Sowing the seeds of a different garden show in Sheffield

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 attracted thousands of visitors to the Botanical Gardens is unlikely to make a comeback, its organiser has said.

The second Garden Up - a horticultural celebration with input from artists, sculptors and market traders - was due to happen this month.

After the first event took place in 2014, organiser Richard Nicolle said the show would take a year out to secure funding, extra stands and set up an awards scheme.

But Richard, a gardening expert and former TV producer, said the arrival of a major new Royal Horticultural Society show at Chatsworth, set for June 2017, had triggered a rethink.

“The Chatsworth show has taken the wind out of our sails - there’s no way we can compete with something on that scale,” he said.

A sponsorship deal with a bank fell through and the city council could not provide financial support, Richard added. “At the end of the day they have not got the resources. I thought I’d just find another sponsor but I couldn’t find anybody who wanted to do something on that scale.”

Richard said Garden Up would not happen again ‘unless somebody else is going to pick up the baton’. “September is the only other slot, but it would have to be a different show at that time of year, because people aren’t buying for their gardens then, unless they’re serious gardeners.”

However, he said plans for an ‘innovative’ flower show in the city centre, potentially in the Winter Garden, were being explored. “Garden Up was always about innovation, it wasn’t just about plants - structures, materials, technology and stuff like that.”