Chorley Flower Show 2017

 My parents are kind of the best, so I decided I'd treat them with a trip to Chorley Flower Show. My mum's had the advert pinned to the kitchen notice board for months, and I knew she'd love bingeing on begonias and getting her fix of fuchsias. I secretly ordered tickets, then made a rhyming treasure trail leading them to the prize. 

handwritten clues and a note reading 'chorley flower show'

On the day itself, I woke up to lashing rain and my heart sank, but the garden gods were on my side as we arrived, and granted us glorious sunshine all day. Things quickly got even more tropical as a beat began to boom out. A troop of samba dancers in bikinis and feathers suddenly appeared and danced through the crowd, leading a drumming group. Every performer looked like they were having so much fun, and the children were mesmerised by the ladies swirling their colourful capes, and shaking their feathers like birds of paradise. 

a female dancer wearing a blue cape and face glitter leading a group of drummers
a drummer beating a bass drum in a crowd
a dancer wearing face glitter and a pink feather headdress smiling and waving at a child in the crowd

I honestly hadn't expected the event to have so much going on. I had anticipated curated garden displays, but there was so much more. Face painting, floral display competitions, wicker workshops, and the biggest bubbles I have ever seen! The miniature gardens that were on display had been made by community groups rather than professionals, with my favourite being a bug themed space created by children from a local primary school.

a 5 foot long bubble in a garden, swirling with rainbow colours
stacks of pine cones and seed pods labelled 'Buggingham Palace'

For the more hardcore horticulturalists there was a tent dedicated to specific species- the cactus collection was a blogger's dream! One of my favourite stands was stacked with vegetables, with the variety of colours and shapes forming a really interesting display. 

a tropical flower with spiky purple and white leaves coming from a pink stem
tomatoes and cucamelons in white wicker baskets

The event was held in the grounds of Astley Hall, which boasts an impressive pond and fountain. For the flower show, a bridge had been placed over the water, leading to a huge array of food and drink stands. Fish and chips, gourmet hotdogs, puddings, and Pimms were among those available, as well as plenty of local, independent bakers and confectioners. We chose delicious chickpea and potato curries from The Indian Place, followed by possibly the best hot chocolate I have ever had. 

a curry simmering in a huge iron pot
a plate of chana masala and naan bread
two hot chocolates topped with cream and marshmallows

We enjoyed our lunch in a marquee while being serenaded with excellent guitar and piano covers. Again, I had no idea that the flower show offered so much, and there was a really great atmosphere as all ages tucked into their treats, some in the marquee with us, and others soaking up the sunshine on the picnic benches provided. 

a young male singer on stage and a teal volkswagen camper van in a white marquee

It's safe to say that I was very pleasantly surprised the Chorley Flower Show. There was so much to see and do, and it was really lovely to see attractions aimed at young and old, enthusiast and observer. Our tickets were £8 each and I would happily pay the same price next year, as it was excellent value for money and a really memorable day out.

Have you ever been to a flower show?



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