It’s been a week and a half since we moved into our new home and with all of the sunshine we have been treated with recently we are using our new garden (we had a little yard before) like another room of our house.
I’ve always wanted to try to live semi-sustainably and now that I have land I have already been planning ahead. I have all of my ideas so now I just need to see if they were feasible and how much they are going to set me back.
Where can I go to get more ideas, expert advice and maybe make a start in picking out a few items?
The Southport Flower Show.
Victoria Park isn’t that far from us. Myself, my Dad and Little Miss packed ourselves into the car in readiness for a day in the sunshine to take in the flowers and some sunshine.
We had SUCH a fabulous day that I thought I’d share my top tips for anyone else hoping to go this weekend.
10 Things You NEED TO KNOW About Southport Flower Show
1. Prize Parking
We had a pre-booked pass for the ‘Yellow Zone’ at the Esplanade car park at the Show… but this means nothing if the car park is FULL.
By pure fluke we ended up parking on the Pleasure Land Fairground (and paying £8 for the privilege) but we did have the BEST TIME… more to come on that later.
You could always chance public transport too?
2. Bring Blooming Cash
But don’t panic if you forget – there are at least two cash points within Victoria Park to use but beware that not all stalls have smaller coins so expect to be short changed if you are paying with notes fresh from the machine. I’m not certain as I didn’t use the cash points, but I would imagine there is a fee to withdraw too.
Some stalls (mainly the well known brands) do take all major cards but not many of the food and drink vendors do.
You’ll also need to plan ahead for car park cash.
3. Bring Your Own Blooming Bag
I had NO IDEA how big the Southport Flower Show would be before we actually went.
It’s enormous! And there are so many lovely luxuries you could pick up whilst you are there.
If you intend on coming away with a few items I would highly recommend taking a shopping trolley with you. Firstly, it will have you the hassle of carrying everything back to the car with you (there are plant drops to store your goodies so you don’t have to carry them around all day). Secondly, taking your own trolley on wheels will save you around £14 (so that you don’t need to buy a box on wheels whilst you’re there (unless you want to?)). And thirdly, you actually look out of place if you DON’T have a trolley full of flora.
4. Plan Your Day
Before we set out we discussed and agreed on what we would we like to see and do the most. Being a foodie family mostly what we decided on were the cookery demonstrations… we saw none of them.
Really what we should have done was plan our visit better before we arrived: i.e. set out a loose itinerary and looked at the map rather than just wondering around.
We still had a fabby time but I’m just a teeny bit sad we missed Ainsley.
5. Pollinate a Picnic
As well you know, dear reader, I have been on a healthy eating journey now for well into twelve months. My Dad is somewhat of a Slimming World convert too so we settled on taking a packed lunch.
Dad brought Chicken sandwiches on brown (no butter), a lunch box full of (mainly homegrown) salad, apples, peaches, light crisps and water. I packed toddler related snacks in abundance (of which she ate them ALL!) sliced melon of all varieties and hi-fi bars (similar to Alpen bars). A veritable feast was had sat on a blanket in the shade of a tree.
Food is available everywhere throughout Victoria Park at the Southport Flower Show, but none of it is Slimming World friendly.
6. Bring the Blooming Family
The entertainment at the Southport Flower show is fantastic. From making your own dried herb bag and the live music at the Bandstand and Piazza Area there is only one thing that could make this garden-fest even more child friendly… Mr Bloom.
YEP! He’s there too – but only on Saturday! This means we missed him but we did see something that looked like his cabbages…
7. Buy your Blooming Bulbs
I came away with 20 bulbs of a plant that I didn’t know existed – a miniature tulip called ‘Girlfriend’. I’m a very amateur gardener (at best) so I’m really pleased with my purchases.
I’ve also invested in three packets of seeds of veggies we love with directions on exactly what to do with them and when included: Pumpkin – Jack O’Lanterns, Baby Leaf Spinach and Winter Squash – Vegetable Spaghetti.
8. More Than Blooms
There are some BIG clothing brands there, crafts, small independent jewellers, beautiful wood works, food, charities, coach holidays and luxury holidays to far flung places!
Here are a few of my favourites:
Not only do they make some of my favourite charity shops, they make THE best shopping bags… #got #gameofthrones #motherofdragons
9. Beware the Blooming Park and Ride
Great idea in theory… but not so great when you’re crammed in like a sardine being tickled in the ear by someone else’s Buddelia. True story!
10. BUY THE BLOOMING PROGRAMME
£3 well spent if you ask me. Details on all stalls, talks and a handy map on the very last page.
We really did have such a lovely day. He hopped over to Pleasure Land afterwards too and had a tenners worth of tokens for the rides small enough for Little Miss Vista.
I now have more of an idea of what is achievable in my new garden this year and I’m now planning out how I can start bringing it to life…
A photo posted by Katie Haydock (@lifeonvista) on
Fancy Southport Flower show next year? The great news is the dates are out already… want my advice? Go on the Thursday. It wasn’t too busy and everyone is fresh!Same time next year.
Are you going to Southport Flower Show this year?!
Thanks for reading:
**With thanks to The Southport Flower Show for inviting us – all opinions are our own**