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"Write something worth reading or do something worth writing" A blog by Amy Willis, a multimedia journalist based in London

Record crowd for ‘absolutely fabulous’ flower show

Apr 20 2009 by Amy Willis, South Wales Echo

RECORD numbers turned out in the sunshine for the final day of the Royal Horticultural Show in Cardiff yesterday.

More than 7,000 people flocked to Bute Park – the highest number of visitors on any one day since the show started five years ago.

Families enjoying the colourful blooms and intricate gardens described the event as “absolutely fabulous”.

Andrea Mowat, 40, a travel agent from Barry, and her daughter Tilly, eight, were at the show yesterday for the first time.

RHS show

RHS show

Ms Mowat said: “It is absolutely fabulous, I cannot believe how lovely the weather is but it makes it really special. The event organisers must think it is a dream come true. The atmosphere is great.”

Tilly said: “I’m really enjoying myself. My favourite garden is the Four Seasons Garden because of the flowers.”

Around 18,000 people attended the show throughout the entire weekend narrowly missing the existing record of 19,000 show-goers in 2005 but trumping last year’s 14,000 visitors.

Fans of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) show come from all over Wales and the south west of England and are some of the biggest spenders of any of the visitors to Cardiff council events.

Last year, each visitor spent an average of £30 in the city, according to a Cardiff Business School study.

Tim Powell, a spokesman for the show, said: “We have been lucky with the weather. There were record numbers yesterday and we are hoping this number will increase next year.”

One attraction that has grown in popularity since the show started was the school’s wheelbarrow garden competition. Sixty-six schools across South Wales entered this year, and more than 4,000 visitors voted. The winning wheelbarrow was the Peacock garden, created by children at St David’s Church in Wales School in Pentwyn, Cardiff.

The children won £100 in gardening vouchers for their school. The runner-up was Marlborough Road Junior School, Roath, Cardiff, which won £75 in vouchers for its Tortoise garden, and third was Milbank Primary School, Ely, Cardiff, with its “Bee Friendly” garden, winning £50 in vouchers.

Pat Palmer, 62, a dinner lady who had travelled from Bristol, said the wheelbarrow gardens were a great idea.

“I cannot get enough of them. I want to bring the idea back to my school in Bristol. It is so important children learn these skills and are aware of environmental issues.”

Other gardens that were a great success included the Really Fit Garden where TV presenter, garden designer and Western Mail columnist, Lynne Allbutt, 42, from Powys, had been exercising all day non-stop to raise money for the Marie Curie cancer charity.


Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio, , ,

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