Creating an Autumn English Show Garden

So here we go, time for another Flower Show and this time we are over at The Harrogate Autumn Flower Show which for the first time is being hosted in the beautiful grounds of Newby Hall, it’s a very exciting time and lovely to be out and about again, and with the forecast looking good why not come along and see for yourself!

It’s amazing the amount of preparation that goes into creating a display, and with us pushing the boat out this year it’s another chance to fly the flag for HC along with inspiring you as to what you can create in a small space, I say small space its actually quite large and takes over 1000 plants to fill it, all grown at the nursery, we also totted up over 200 hours go into creating the garden and this year like Tatton was, it’s bigger than anything we have done before at the Autumn Flower Show.

Last week Kate and myself spent an hour or two going around the growing field, looking at the batches and earmarking the plants which will be featured in the garden, then Kate our team lovingly collate and prepare the plants ready for the show, any slug nibbled leaves get removed and anything which needs a bit of extra support to get it down there is caned up before it all gets taken down in a few lorry loads, even Rose had her high vis jacket on again helping load the van, it takes me back to when I used to help load the van when I was little!

The garden is again featured round a central hand thrown terracotta urn, filled with water which then flows down the sides and through the mossy river pebbles, creating a beautiful sound and forming the focal point, then it’s time to position all the plants once the urn is in and the path edgings are dug in by hand, to date I have never done a planting plan for the show gardens, it’s hard to tell what will be ready that week and by the time it is we have a quick tot up of how many plants we will need and the rest falls into place when we are down at the show, all I work out is what plant I will place first, this year it’s the groups of Hydrangea ‘Limelight’ flanking the mirror and then appearing again along the reclaimed Hungarian Railings, it’s such a beautiful colour and a great addition to any garden for late Summer blooms, they are also beautiful when dried after flowering.

Who knows what medal we will get but the show is on throughout this weekend starting on Friday so come along and see us, in its beautiful new location and surrounded by the beautiful gardens of Newby it’s a great day out and it’ll be a chance to see the stand in full colour after the black and white preview above!





Here you can send in and find out the answers to those gardening problems


Can I trim topiary now?

Yes trim it and also feed it, trimming it now helps tidy it up for winter and it’s also a great time to trim any hedges as well, any birds will have flown the nest and it helps encourage the plants to form new buds ready for next Spring. Feed your topiary with a high nitrogen feed, topiary feed is best and it will keep it looking good all winter long, then feed again in the Spring.

Do I plant Tulips yet?

It’s a great time to buy your Tulips but don’t plant them until the first frost, store them in a cool, dry and dark place in a paper bag until the time is right. Other bulbs like Alliums and Narcissus can be planted now, don’t however leave it too long to get your Tulips as availability seems very limited this year due to the growing reductions of 2020!

Why is my Magnolia flowering now?

Magnolias and Rhododendrons can often shoot out random flower buds in the Autumn, it’s nothing to worry about and don’t worry it will still flower in an abundance in the Spring. Keep an eye on watering them during dry spells at the moment and always make a note to feed them after they flower to help give them the energy to produce lots of buds the following year


1 – Harvest Flowers

Cut bunches of flowers to enjoy in the home and also experiment with drying flowers, preserving their colour for the Winter

2– Net Ponds

This will help gather leaves so they don’t fall into the pond

3 – Check for Spider mite on Houseplants

During drier spells Spider mite can thrive, use SB Plant Invigorator to help treat it and also give your plants a foliar feed

4 – Water New Plants

Water them in to help them develop strong root systems ready for the seasons head

5 – Plant Spring Bulbs

It’s the perfect time of year, Alliums, Narcissus, Crocus can all be planted now, store your Tulips and plant after the first frost

6 – Pick Autumn Raspberries

A perfect time to harvest any Autumn crops, freeze anything you have too much of so you can enjoy them during the Winter months




Lobelia ‘Queen Victoria’

A beautiful late flowering perennial with vermillion red flowers in spires above dark maroon red leaves. Great for a sunny position in a normal or moist soil, cut back in the autumn and divide annually to encourage vigour, a great addition to a sunny border or bog garden.