The English Summer Flower Shows are a Popular Event
The annual Chelsea Flower Show held in London is famous throughout the world and, even if you cannot get a ticket to visit, the extensive TV coverage gives you a window onto this special treat.
While you might think that Chelsea is one of the oldest shows, it is not.
In the USA, the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is the nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event and features stunning displays by the world’s premier floral and landscape designers.
However, THE oldest horticultural society in the world which will hold its annual autumn show in a Yorkshire village hall later this year - more than two hundred and fifty years after it was formed. It is held by the The Ancient Society of York Florists with the show including classes for roses and fuchsias, chrysanthemums, dahlias, pelargoniums and geraniums - and more.
But it is not just the big shows that are high in the popularity stakes
Smaller, local, village garden shows held across the UK during the summer months are also well attended and supported.
Last weekend, our local Seavington Flower Show here in Somerset was held and it is one of the highlights of the gardening club that puts it on every August.
Although this summer season has been a bit mixed with a glorious but very dry May and June with a cooler wetter July and August, it was amazing to see so many beautiful flowers and colorful produce of every description.
There were also displays of craft, preserves and photography with sections for novices and children - so something for everyone.
And a week later, yet another neighbouring village Norton-sub-Hamdon holds its annual Flower Show and this one is one hundred and six years old.
Is the future of rural village flower shows in jeopardy?
It is - and this is primarily because of a shortage of volunteers to run them.
The official retirement age for the working population has risen in recent years here in the UK, from sixty five to sixty six for men - and more relevantly, from sixty to sixty six for women.
The majority of volunteers have been women who of course were able to retire earlier and in many cases take on some voluntary work. Now they are older when they retire, there might not be so many who feel they have the energy to volunteer.
It is difficult to know how this problem can be resolved...