Sheffield gardening show needs more time before blooming again

The Garden Up event at the Botanical Gardens in Sheffield
The Garden Up event at the Botanical Gardens in Sheffield
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A flower show which pulled in thousands of visitors to the Botanical Gardens is returning in 2016 rather than this summer, say organisers – who are taking a year out to realise the ambition of making the event ‘bigger and better’.

A date for the second outing of Garden Up – a horticultural celebration with input from artists, sculptors and market traders – had been tentatively pencilled in for this month.

But organiser Richard Nicolle said the decision had been taken to focus on June 2016 instead, in order to secure more funding, extra stands and set up an awards scheme for exhibitors.

Richard – a gardening expert and former TV producer – said: “Last year was a bit of a pilot. It exceeded all expectations and was a great success.

“We thought that to do another one it would really need to be bigger and better, rather than being the same again.”

He added: “People like to see things have moved on. We need funding and that will take time to pull together.”

Last year’s event was produced with the council’s backing, but not its financial support. It was sponsored by Investec Wealth and Investment.

The proposed awards system would be similar to the Royal Horticultural Society’s, which offers gold, silver and bronze medals. A scholarship award is also planned.

“At least gardeners will get a return on their expenditure, otherwise they’ll think twice,” Richard added.

Representatives will have a stand at Art in the Gardens and there will be more activity before Christmas.

Richard said: “We will be there to say we haven’t gone away, this is what we’re looking for and bring your ideas to us.”