There is something for everyone in gardening

Exhibitors' flowers at a show.Exhibitors' flowers at a show.
Exhibitors' flowers at a show.
Gardening interest feels to be at an all-time high once the main Royal Horticultural Society's Shows get under way.

There's media coverage every day during Chelsea week, where a huge crowd is always anticipated, and each of the high-profile shows that follow, Gardeners' World Live for example, encourage this momentum.

Meanwhile, back at base we're beavering away enthusiastically in our own gardens, inspired by the range of plants and ideas such events offer.

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There's an occasional visit to the local plant centre and we take an hour or so off at weekends to visit a nearby garden open for charity.

As this season progresses, further motivation comes from the Britain in Bloom initiatives in our towns and villages, and then the local flower shows are flagged-up.

There is something for everyone in gardening. The exhibitor type wishing to display an individual skill, the team member engaging in a group project, and the retiring type who wishes to create a private haven.

For many of us, the garden is seen an extension of our living quarters. A personal space that incorporates features, plants and sundries of our choice.

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Even the smallest outdoor area, with the addition of plants, can bring a sense of enjoyment and well-being, but do we want to share it with the world outside or consider entering it in a competition? More often than not the answer is 'No!'

If the number of gardeners entering a Britain in Bloom competition were added to those who compete at flower shows, the result would represent a single percentage figure when compared with the United Kingdom`s gardening population.

The majority it seems, love gardening as a hobby, even take an interest in its competitive events by visiting or following them in the media, but do not wish to enter the fray.

The horticultural exhibits at Warkworth and Glendale shows; collections of vegetables, dahlias and gladioli, never fail to impress, but they are grown by a limited number of gardeners.

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Should one of these main exhibitors fail to turn up on the day, it would immediately reflect in the overall bench display, the show secretary`s nightmare. The message is clear, please support your local show.

Britain in Bloom, of which Northumbria in Bloom is part, has a similar competitive edge but much more besides. The system envelops whole communities in villages, towns and cities.