As GardenSIte's plant specialist I always keenly anticipate the HTA National Plant Show. This is my chance to visit nurseries, find out what's trending in the horticultural world and source new stock, all from under one roof.
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) National Plant Show is always eagerly anticipated and well attended.
As in previous years the event is taking place at Stoneleigh Park near Coventry.
It's the industry's opportunity to showcase the best that British plant suppliers can offer. Focussing purely on plants, retailers flock to the show in order to see what exciting developments are taking place and plan what they will sell next season.
There is no other single place like it, where you can see the very best that over 100 UK plant suppliers have to offer.
And it's not only British suppliers, plant breeders are attracted to the show from all over the world with exhibitors from Europe and the USA bringing with them a truly international flavour and many new plant varieties.
Seminars are given by well known personalities. This year the headliner is best selling author James Wong who explains how he would get youngsters excited about gardening and the future of the 'Grow Your Own' movement.
There's also James Pascoe from Gardeners' World magazine putting forward his views on what everyone should be looking for in their gardens and garden centres in the year ahead.
There are prestigious prizes to be won and the New Plant Awards are at the heart of the event. On the first day, Clemetis 'Beautiful Bride' was awarded Best in Show. This is a free flowering variety with a stunning display of large pure white flowers.
Other awards go to the best Annual, Herbaceous Perennial, Climber and Houseplant in addition to Hardy Nursery Stock and Breeder Innovation.
A particularly popular feature that is repeated this year is the British Plant Fair Marketplace.
Visitors can visit this dedicated area, a plant lover's Aladdin's Cave, to purchase sample stock from suppliers.
With seminars, merchandising displays focussing on roses, heathers, conifers and seasonal plants, and so much else of interest, there's plenty to catch your eye at this annual event.
It certainly is the the show where inspiration grows!
For more information visit: www.nationalplantshow.co.uk
Nathan James Dodd
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