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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Southport Flower Show

● Singer Coleen Nolan officially opens last year’s Southport Flower Show in style. Look out for celebrities galore at this year’s event

Show’s 80th year promises plenty A

RE you ready for this year’s Southport Flower Show (from August 20-23)?

This year the show is celebrating its 80th year. Such longevity is testament to the Southport Flower Show’s continued reputation as a highlight of the region’s annual horticultural calendar. Tickets are now on sale, so don’t waste any time in ordering yours because the 80th Flower Show is sure to be a special one. So what can visitors expect to see at the 2009 show? More than 250 exhibitors will take over 34 acres of Southport’s beautiful Victoria Park, offering everything from home and garden furniture to local arts and crafts. This year there will be fine food offerings to tempt and tickle those tastebuds. Local suppliers from across the North West of England will be offering everything from cheese, pickles and preserves to locally-produced wine. Chefs will also be on hand with some exciting live demonstrations, aimed at showing visitors just how they can make the most of their ingredients. And, in recognition of the increasing number of people using their gardens to grow their own herbs, fruit and vegetables, the allotment society will be hosting a special garden with a range of hints and tips for those keen on growing their own.

Visitors are also invited to browse the Herboretum for expert advice on how herbs can play a greater part in their lives, from cooking through to medicinal uses. A honey expert will be on hand in the honey marquee, with tips on how gardeners can play a part in saving endangered honeybees. Meanwhile, gardening enthusiasts can enjoy up to a million blooms which will be on display during this year’s show. And don’t forget to take in the floral competition, which attracts hundreds of entries each and every year. Entertainment at this year’s show will include lots of live music plus some exciting arena displays. Don’t forget the always fascinating and very popular appearances from some of the country’s favourite celebrity gardeners. Once more, the great and the good of the gardening world will be attending the show to offer visitors some top tips and very useful advice on how to create their own show-stopping garden. The Southport Flower Show promises to be a perfect day out for the whole family, with something for everyone. Don’t forget, entry is free for under 16-year-olds. ● For further information and to

order tickets for the Southport Flower Show 2009, visit or call 0844 847 1555.

● The brief summer sunshine casts a vivid shadow on one of the displays in the Amateur tent at last year’s Southport Flower Show

Inspiring gardeners since 1865

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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Southport Flower Show

Celebrity set to open show in style T

ELEVISION star Christopher Biggins will officially open this year’s Southport Flower Show.

Best known for playing the role of Lukewarm on BBC sitcom Porridge and more recently winning ITV1’s I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here in 2007, Biggins will be helping the show celebrate its 80th year in style. He said: “I haven’t been to Southport for years so I’m really looking forward to coming back. I’ve only heard good things about the show and I’m certain it will be a great day.” Originally from Oldham, Lancashire, Biggins has been a regular face on stage and screen since the 1970s, appearing in a string of successful TV shows and stage productions, which leaves little time to indulge his passion for flowers. He said: “I love my garden but unfortunately don’t have the time to tend to it myself, but I have a fantastic gardener who has just put in some beautiful lights and awnings for me and I’m keen to pick up some new ideas at the flower show. David Jackson, chief executive of the flower show, said: “Christopher is excited to be involved, and we’re thrilled

that he’ll be helping us celebrate our 80th year with his trademark exuberance and style.” Attracting up to 80,000 visitors, Southport Flower Show is one of the largest and most diverse shows in the country. A four-day event, it encompasses the very best in horticulture, garden design, growing your own, gourmet foods, expertise and entertainment to delight and make you smile. If it’s live music you want, there’s plenty on the bandstand, or sit back, relax and pick up masses of valuable tips from the experts in question and answer sessions and the lecture theatre. Visitors can expect to see up to a million blooms on display, while the popular Grand Floral Marquee will be filled with dazzling displays and stunning bursts of colour. Inspirational show gardens with unique features, exquisite furniture and stunning plants will leave you bursting with ideas. If it’s a day out with the family, there’s lots for the youngsters too. Christopher Biggins will welcome visitors at 10.30am on the bandstand and will soak up the friendly atmosphere throughout the day.



● Christopher Biggins will be opening this year's Southport Flower Show

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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Southport Flower Show

80 years of treasured memories S

outhport Flower Show is a treasured fixture in the national events calendar, having firmly established itself over the course of 80 years.

The first show, in 1924, was a dazzling success – it opened to bright sunshine and attracted more than 40,000 people over three days. Now it attracts twice as many people, bringing in exhibitors and trade stands from across the country. The show has seen some changes over the past eight decades. Two world wars and a recession took their toll on the event, but it weathered the storms and has evolved with its visitors. “At the outset, the sole focus was on pure horticulture, and that’s still at the very heart of what the show’s about, but it’s also developed into a more urbane and modern occasion in recent years,” said marketing executive Lisa Taylor. “What our visitors love about Southport is that no two years are the same. We still have the firm favourites like the gardeners’ questions but exhibits in the outdoor gardens and the marquees change all the time.” Indeed, visitors to this year’s show can browse through hundreds of breathtaking


● The home-made camera crane at Southport Flower Show in the 1950s horticultural displays, brush shoulders with celebrities, pick the brains of a host of gardening experts, break out the picnic hampers on the grass and listen to live music from the bandstand, or simply stroll around the 36 acres, taking it all in.

This year, the theme is the roaring 20s, in celebration of that very first show, so expect to see references to Art Deco, Surrealism and the Jazz Age – and don’t forget to brush up on your Charleston so you can work off that picnic lunch in style!

● Celebrities at previous Flower Shows have included Gloria Hunniford, top, Samia Ghadie and Alan Halsall from TV’s Coronation Street and, bottom, Emmerdale actress Roxanne Pallett

● Top, ‘beautiful people' at the 1967 Southport Flower Show and above, best friends Reg Anson and Olly Maguire (both standing), pictured at the Flower Show in the 1980s, who spent their whole working lives in the Parks Department, largely working with the botanical collections



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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Southport Flower Show

● These white 'enchanted' garden bird cages create beautiful table centrepieces for a traditional afternoon tea feel Picture: Confetti

● Dine in style with this Tulip tea for two table and chairs set Picture: Bhs

The rip-roaring 20s THE theme of this year’s Southport Flower Show is the 1920s and there’s plenty of ways you can incorporate the era into your garden. Gardens of that time obviously varied, but for the garden lovers well-tailored lawns, flowerbeds and paths where the key to achieving the right style. The planning of the garden was just as important as

positioning the furniture in your home, and it was this attention to detail that created stunning manicured garden areas. A true 1920s-style lawn should be trim, smooth and a healthy green shade, and thought of as a feature in its own right – perfect for afternoon tea. Many of the trees and shrubs where kept in line and

beautiful roses gardens often played a part in landscaped gardens. Topiary was also often used on medium sized bushes to make a lovely impact on the garden with rounded bushes in stone planters around the path or garden’s edge. So why not bring a little 1920’s style into your outdoor space with these garden accessories.

● These beach style, traditional-look, handmade English hardwood deckchairs would look lovely in any garden Picture: Berry Red

● Enjoy an array of lawn games this summer, such as croquet or garden boules, with friends and family Picture: Marks and Spencer

● A pretty lime and fuchsia floral food-cover is ideal for outdoor dining Picture: Tesco

● Use topiary to create an impact on your garden Picture: Encompass Furniture



Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, August 12, 2009


If you want to turn heads on your special day look no further than Captivating Brides. With over 10 years’ experience in bridal wear, Cathy Whitby’s Captivating Brides has a beautiful range of dresses to suit every budget. Cathy opened her new shop in Crosby at the beginning of the year and is fast gaining a reputation for quality and outstanding customer service in the area. Captivating Brides has everything for the bride to be and her bridesmaids, from dresses and veils, to tiaras and accessories. Prices start at £195 with dresses available up to the £2,000 price tag. The groom and best man can also find something to suit with a hire service including morning suits or top hat and tails! Cathy explained today’s latest trends: “Fitted dresses which show off the bride’s figure are very much in vogue at the moment and, whilst ivory is always very popular, pink is also selling well. Dresses aren’t quite as traditional as they have been and a number of brides are choosing the more modern design,” said Cathy.

LADIES, we all know how uncomfortable an ill-fitting bra can be, but with expert help, you are guaranteed to improve your posture and feel more comfortable, plus your clothes will look great too. Wendy Hughes, owner of The Collection in Formby, offers expert, personal advice for all ages and sizes. So, whether you are a size A or a K, you’re sure to find a feminine, pretty and practical bra to suit your needs. Established in November 2005, Wendy gains great satisfaction from ensuring her clients leave the shop feeling confident. She offers a personal measuring and fitting service, where individual attention and advice makes sure you choose the right bra for your shape and size. Brands include Lepel, Fantasie, Freya, Vanity Fair and Triumph and Wendy has recently introduced the Bravardo brand of maternity and nursing bras. Bridal lingerie is also available and with accessories and vouchers on offer, you’re sure to find everything you need to completely transform your lingerie draw.

Whatever you decide on you can rest assured that Captivating Brides will ensure that you captivate your guests on your very special day!

Open Monday to Saturday, 10am-5.30pm, and flexible appointments available after hours, with a visit to The Collection, you won’t be disappointed. Telephone 01704 830888, pop in to 5 Redgate, Formby or visit for more information.

Captivating Brides

The Collection

The Print Store UK has all your design and printing needs under one roof. With over 25 years' experience in the print business, Julie Maddocks and her team have the expertise, customer service and commitment to make sure your print is delivered on time and on budget. Formerly Sprinter Printer Waterloo, the company has created a whole new concept and evolved into The Print Store UK, covering all aspects of design and print. Julie sees her business as very much community based: "Although we have a wide range of clients nationwide, we like to see our business as very much part and parcel of the local community. That said, The Print Store UK services a corporate, blue chip market producing brochures, business cards, letterheads, unique business start-up packs and flyers - 5,000 full colour flyers can be yours for under £99! We also produce a wide range of bespoke invitations for all occasions, many of which have appeared in OK magazine," explained Julie who recently picked up the local chamber of commerce award for networker of the year. The company's design team can also put together a website to your specification, so next time you have a need for high quality design, print or web media call Julie at The Print Store UK in Crosby Rd North on 0151 949 1042.

The Print Store

71 Crosby Road North, Crosby - 0151 949 1913

5 Redgate Parade, Formby – 01704 830888

Crosby Road North Crosby – 0151 949 1042

A N EW sports and personal injury clinic has opened in Shakespeare Street and is already proving popular among Southport’s residents. Sports Rehabilitator, Sarah Hall recently graduated from Salford University where she was awarded a BSc (HONS) in Sports Rehabilitation. Explained Sarah: “Sports rehabilitation offers an holistic approach to injury treatment. It isn’t a matter of simply treating the injury in isolation.” Sarah offers a comprehensive range of treatments, including manipulation, massage, postural correction and exercise advise. Although primarily for sports injuries these treatments are successful for a whole range of joint and muscular problems, including those with conditions such as arthritis and spondylosis. This enthusiastic Southport girl was a pupil at Greenbank High School before going onto Southport College where she studied for a Sports Studies Diploma. Needless to say Sarah is a keen sportswoman, participating in sailing, badminton and running. Her passion though is dinghy sailing and she is an active member at West Lancashire Yacht Club where she is an instructor. She has sailed at club, regional and national level, enjoying success in a number of dinghy classes. “I am so proud of all that Sarah has achieved,” said Sarah’s grandmother Val Martyn-Beck, “she has a special gift.” Telephone 01704 500957 or mobile 07761532279 or visit

The Brides Room of Birkdale, established in 1999, is celebrating 10 years of excellence. Since opening its doors in 1999 the Brides Room has become the areas premier Bridal House and has had the privilege and satisfaction of making the dreams of many brides come true. A bride’s wedding day is the most important day of her life! At the Brides Room every bride can be assured of a warm and friendly welcome, taking confidence from a highly professional service and advice that has been gained through many years of experience. Many leading labels are stocked with more than 200 gowns to choose from, in the latest styles and colours; every taste and budget is catered for with gowns ranging from £300 to £5,000. There is also an extensive range of bridesmaid’s dresses with accessories to compliment and the back up of a professional alteration service. The Brides Room of Birkdale also caters for the increasing number of ‘last minute’ brides, with gowns available for either immediate purchase or with a short ordering time of four to six weeks. Margaret and her team including Linda, Lynne, Carla-Marie and Deborah look forward to welcoming you in the very near future. So, if you’re planning your special day, contact Margaret at the Brides Room of Birkdale, 15 Liverpool Road on 01704 550991 or email to make an enquiry or an appointment.

Big and bouncy is back! And, what’s more, the girls at Retro Hair are up to speed on all the latest styles, trends and cuts and able to give you the look to die for! Having taken over the popular hair salon In Liverpool Road 12 months ago, Rebecca Gilbert and the team including Sachelle, Jessica, Joanne and Amy will ensure that your hair looks the business. Whether you’re planning a night out with the girls or want to look your best for a special date, Retro Hair is the salon to choose. Expert stylist Rebecca outlined what’s hot at the moment: “Last year’s graduated bob has taken a back seat to the big and bouncy look with lots of flicks and curls. It’s a great look and extremely popular at the moment,” explained Rebecca. The main aim of the team at Retro Hair is ultimate client satisfaction, so if there’s a particular look or style you’re after you can talk your requirements through and rest assured that the result will be perfect. The salon uses TIGI products including Bedhead and Catwalk and every staff member keeps abreast of the latest trends, styles and developments. So, whether it’s a colour or an expert cut, a sewn-in extension, a hair-up in vintage style or simply a blow dry, call Retro Hair today on 0151 286 6766 to book your appointment!

Sarah Hall Injury & Pain Specialist

The Brides Room

102 Shakespeare Street Southport - 01704 500957

15 Liverpool Road Birkdale - 01704 550991


Liverpool Road Crosby - 0151 286 6766


Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Jane Copnall of Birkdale is passionate about couture! Thanks to Jane’s passion, ladies from all over the region and beyond are now able to dress in some of the world’s top designer labels at a fraction of the original cost. Jane has developed an excellent business model, which offers her customers a unique shopping experience. Jane built up a loyal clientele whilst working for many years in a well-known up-market fashion boutique in Southport as she explained: “My clients buy beautiful exclusive designer items in the UK and worldwide. Jane’s Couture allows them to constantly generate the space required for their new favourite purchases and in turn sell them on at a fraction of their original price, this also brings me in to contact with new clients on a daily basis!” The boutique opened just over a year ago selling designer labels only, pre-owned but not always worn. “The shop has gone from strength to strength,” says Jane. In fact, due to demand from outof-town clients, Jane’s sister has now opened and runs the newly established Lytham Boutique. So, if you’re looking for something stunning by D&G, Chanel, Gucci or Versace call Jane on 01704 553753.

To discover the secret of creating a beautiful home, drop into Vintage Home..

FROM the latest must-have luxurious handbags to stunning designer jewellery, no shopping trip is complete without visiting Covet & Crave. One of Southport's most exclusive boutiques, Covet & Crave in Wayfarers Arcade stocks a beautiful selection of luxury accessories and since opening six months ago has become a Mecca for style-conscious shoppers. The contemporary store is immaculately presented and owner, Alison Fulford has expertly brought a touch of London glamour to the heart of Southport. Gorgeous handbags sit shoulder-to-shoulder with exquisite jewellery, beautiful scarves, sunglasses and watches and there is also an excellent selection of men's accessories with vibrant silk ties, cuff links and wallets. Many of the shop's accessories are exclusive to Covet & Crave and Alison has personally selected each item from a range of innovative, emerging British designers including Martine Wester and Louise Hempleman. Together with established brands such as Lulu Guinness, Duchamp and Dyrberg/Kern, Alison offers her customers premium designer brands at affordable prices. What's more, if you're looking for a special gift - why not treat your loved one to a champagne reception and exclusive use of the boutique with Covet & Crave's Champagne Sunday experience? For further information call 01704 500321.

38 Wayfarers Arcade, Lord Street, Southport – 01704 514067

37 Wayfarers Arcade, Lord Street, Southport – 01704 500321

19 Upper Aughton Road, Birkdale Southport - 01704 553753

WHETHER you're searching for a quirky gift or some beautiful home furnishings, head to Vintage Home in Southport. Ideally nestled within Wayfarers Arcade, the enchanting shop is filled with a treasure trove of vintage and vintage-inspired homeware and since opening in August 2007 has become a firm favourite with shoppers across the region. Inside the charming displays tempt you to explore and from retrokitchenalia and elegant French furniture to 1950s-style crockery and vintage clothing, there's something to suit every pocket. Jill Skelton, owner of Vintage Home and an interior designer, is blessed with a natural flair for style and lovingly hand-picks each stunning item herself - sourcing many original pieces from antiques fairs and auction houses. Jill said: “Our eclectic range of quirky and stylish vintage homeware, accessories and gifts offers something for everyone. In particular, I love the recycling aspect of our vintage range and finding a new use for pre-loved treasures.” The store has recently added a selection of Cath Kidston homeware to its range and also stocks Gabriella Miller Ceramics, Gisella Graham and East of India.

Vintage Homes

If you’re looking for that bikini body, Gymophobics has the answer! The ladies-only gym will design a bespoke 30-minute circuit in which you can take part two to three times per week. After 10 weeks you’re re-assessed and a new schedule is worked out for you as Gymophobics, Jenny Rimmer explained: “We begin by taking initial checks including blood pressure and body fat measurements. Then we design a series of exercises taking into account age and fitness levels. We have a fantastic success rate and often clients will drop a dress size in a matter of weeks.” Help and advice is available at every stage from professional Gymophobics instructors and encouragement is given freely to help gym members get the most out of their fitness plan. Women of all ages and abilities have signed up for Gymophobics with ladies using the service from 20 to 87! There’s a friendly, welcoming atmosphere at Gymophobics which you won’t find at the run-of-the-mill, image-conscious gym, furthermore the exercise is easier than many would expect due to the equipment being ‘air’ driven but which still gets amazing results. So, for that new look you, why not pop into Gymophobics today at 138 Bispham Road, Southport for a chat with Jenny or any of the friendly team? Alternatively, for more information, telephone 01704 505072.

Gymophobics 138 Bispham Road, Southport – 01704 505072

Covet & Crave

HAVING travelled all over the world with her job and achieved nearly 10 years in the business, Dot Taylor, who runs Nails by Mae Taylor, is now passing on her wisdom to the next generation of nail technicians. As an official “Entity Educator”, Dot is qualified to offer training in manicures, pedicures and all levels of nail technician right up to advanced. Entity Beauty is an internationally renowned, industry leader, so a qualification with the organisation can really open doors and has enabled Dot to be able to take her skills to the highest level. After five years of global travel as a nail technician on board cruise ships, Dot felt it was time to put some roots down and in the last 18 months she has set up on her own. She has since gone from strength to strength specialising in acrylic nails as well as expert manicures and pedicures. Based in the Nail and Beauty Company on Union Street in the heart of Southport, Dot will shortly be recruiting trainees for her next set of courses due to be held in October so watch this space for more information. Anyone interested is invited to call the salon on 01704 500 408 for further details.

Nails by Mae Taylor

8 Union Street Southport - 01704 500408

Jane’s Couture

IF you’re looking for beautiful, handcrafted homewares, inspirational gift ideas and stunning jewellery at this yearís Southport Flower Show, a visit to the Tienne stand will not disappoint. Since opening three years ago, the independent store has established itself as the place to go for those looking for something a little bit special. Cheryl Gradwell, who owns Tienne with daughter-in-law, Joy, said: “We have something to suit all tastes and occasions - from one-of-a-kind christening gifts to scented candles, pretty trinkets, gadgets and jewellery from leading designers like Pandora and Blog.” A family-run business with stores in Southport and Preston, Tienne is a pleasurable place to shop, with all customers receiving a warm welcome and personal service. Cheryl, a former road safety officer for Lancashire Police, added: “The whole family is involved with the business - Joy and I manage the two stores and my eldest son, Adam, is currently designing a website for All Charms, a new online store I’m launching in October.” However Cheryl’s entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t stop there - as she is also an authorised distributor for Utility Warehouse! So, as well as helping you choose beautiful gifts, jewellery, homewares and more, Cheryl can help you lower your household bills! For details call 01704 539287, log onto

Tienne Jewellery & Giftwear

32 Wayfarers Arcade, Lord Street, Southport – 01704 539287


Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Southport Flower Show

● From preparing the ground to serving fresh vegetables for your Sunday lunch, growing your own can not only save you money, but also ensure you become more self-sufficent

Self-sufficiency saves money A

CCORDING to research, with the credit crunch in full swing and growing concerns about the environment, more and more people are looking to become more selfsufficient. But where to begin? If your idea of being self-sufficient is putting the bins out yourself then you’ve got a lot to learn. Take a leaf out of Tom and Barbara from The Good Life’s book and read on for some ingenious ways in which you can become more selfsufficient.

Make the most of your garden by creating a vegetable patch. Not only will it help you on the road to self-sufficiency but it will save you a fortune at the supermarket. First of all, you need to dig over your vegetable patch to a depth of around eight to 10 inches. Turn it over until the soil is loose and, to improve the condition of your soil, add some well-rotted compost or manure. Make your own compost by saving all your leftovers from potato peelings and egg shells

to tea bags and coffee grounds. It is not advisable to put meat or fish waste on the compost as this is likely to attract rodents and other disease carrying creatures. It might be a bit whiffy so it is a good idea to position your compost bin well away from the house! Next, you are ready to plant your seeds. Generally these are planted in rows some 18 inches apart or just wide enough for you to walk between the rows but this is dependant on how much space you have.

It is also worth rotating where you plant your vegetables each year to minimise the risk of disease. Choose a range of vegetables that you will make use of in the kitchen. Most people go for potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, peas and lettuce but you may also be able to cultivate a good crop of courgette, peppers, beetroot, pumpkins and even chillies. Once your vegetables are all planted, they will require regular watering, weeding and fertilising. On average your vegetables will need one inch

of water a week. If this is not provided by rainfall, you will have to make up the difference. It is better to give the garden a good soaking once a week rather than applying small amounts of water every other day. The best time to water is early in the morning. Hoe your beds regularly to control the weeds and leave the soil in a loose condition to absorb later rainfall. Even if you don’t have a big garden, you can still grow herbs in a window box so no matter how small, you are still

doing your bit for selfsufficiency. If you want to take it a step further then why not keep your own chickens to provide fresh eggs and meat? You can now buy special fox proof chicken coops designed for keeping chickens in small town gardens. Some people even breed rabbits for the pot. You could also invest in a water butt for the garden so that when you water your plants you are using recycled water and, if you are on a water meter, you’ll also be saving yourself some money.


Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Southport Flower Show

● From last year’s Southport Flower Show, clockwise: The Band of Brothers perform aerial stunts, patron Professor David Bellamy, OBE, Rob Showering relaxing after finishing his garden, The Pictures Rob Lovett Singing Nun entertaining the crowds and Ray Bishop with wife Vicky and their Superlambananas

What’s on at this year’s show S

O, the 2009 Southport Flower Show is gearing up for the grand opening to offer visitors a real treat this year.

The event is celebrating its 80th year and will feature appearances from some of the country’s top gardening experts, including Sir Roddy Llewellyn and Professor David Bellamy OBE. Of course, the famous show gardens will continue to impress. Each year the Flower Show adopts a different theme, and this year that theme will be the 1920s, in recognition of the show’s landmark 80th birthday. This 1920s theme will inform the design of the impressive show gardens which have pulled in the crowds year after year. Peter Tinsley Landscaping is the name to beat – having scooped the Best in Show Brockhouse trophy for the last two years – and the company will be returning to the competition this year, better than ever. But they will certainly face stiff competition from the likes of Flower Show faithfuls Garden Creations and Mook Gardens. If you’re looking to maximise the potential of your garden, head over to

the Grand Floral Marquee, one of the popular attractions at the show. This is where experts and professional growers from across the country come to showcase their first-class displays, which include bonsai, begonias, vegetables, dahlias, gladioli and roses. The list is endless and the quality is second to none. Professor David Bellamy OBE, a long-serving show patron, agrees. He said: “There’s nothing quite like the Grand Floral Marquee. It’s a flamboyant celebration of excellence under one roof.” While all of the passionate exhibitors are always happy to share their experience, many of them will also be inviting visitors to buy their prized plants and vegetables. One such exhibitor is Keith Jones of C&K Jones, who has been coming to the Flower Show with his stunning roses on and off for well over 20 years. He said: “I am proud of my roses and I get a lot of pleasure from growing and selling them. “I am always happy to answer questions and try to help my customers grow better roses. The grand floral marquee is a super venue and it’s great to be surrounded by such a wide range of plants and

quality displays.” Southport Flower Show has made a name for itself as somewhere to learn about gardening and all that it has to offer. This year is no different, with an exciting and eclectic mix of topics being covered in the showground’s busy lecture theatre. The schedule of friendly and informal talks will include Michèle Martin from the North West Society of Garden Designers, who will be revealing trade secrets and helping you to have your very own designer garden; Richard Smedley will be sharing his knowledge of allotments and growing your own produce; while Maureen Flett will be looking at gardening with a disability, organic gardening and permaculture. In recognition of the increasing number of people using their garden to grow herbs, fruit and vegetables, the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardens (NSALG) will be at this year’s event. With the total waiting list for allotments in the UK reaching 100,000, people are realising what an enjoyable and fulfilling activity growing your own can be. If you would like to try your hand at growing your own, even if it’s only a window box with a few herbs, the

show has a wealth of reputable trade exhibitors selling quality seeds, sets, saplings and locally grown plug plants. NSALG will be having their own display garden, so you will also get unrivalled access to plenty of expert advice. Meanwhile, the floral arts marquee will be on hand to get your ideas and inspirations with its impressive and colourful displays. This popular pastime has evolved in recent years to become an important part of home design and this year is expected to be busier than ever. Josephine Yates, who has coordinated this part of the Flower Show for the last 37 years, said: “It’s great fun. “This year we have a 1920s theme and there will be classes such as Talking Pictures and All That Jazz, and we have a number of themed competition categories that anyone can enter, including Romance and Roses, Foliage Class and Circus.” And for those whose floral talents extend only as far as finding a clean vase, you can always buy a raffle ticket and keep your fingers crossed. “As in previous years, we’ll be raffling off the displays at the end of the show,” added Josephine.

Families are also welcomed at the event , with under-16s getting free entry. There will be plenty to keep the kids occupied, too, with Liverpool’s popular Underwater Street attraction looking after the children’s marquee. Youngsters will be able to make a venus fly trap, flower-shaped fridge magnets and they’ll even be able to ‘pan for gold’ in what promises to be an experiential, hands-on series of activities. Attracting crowds of up to 80,000, the Southport Flower Show continues to be one of the country’s most popular and well-liked flower shows. Show patron Diarmuid Gavin says: “It’s my very favourite flower show – exciting but utterly unpretentious. I love it because it is a colourful place to be. It’s loud and cheery, full of amazing displays both inside and out.” ● The Southport Flower Show

takes place from August 20-23.

● For further information and to

buy tickets, visit the website or call 0844 847 1555. You could buy your ticket in advance and save money, with advance tickets just £14.

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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Southport Flower Show

Take a different view I

F you want to be able to make the most of your garden all year round, come rain or shine, then a garden room or conservatory is the ideal answer.

These extensions to our homes have come a long way in a short space of time, and there are now all kinds of high tech solutions to the perennial problem of them being swelteringly hot in the

summer and freezing cold in the winter. Thanks to these recent technological advances, conservatories can now genuinely be used all year round, offering a fabulous way to appreciate your outside space without having to leave the comfort of your conservatory sofa! Many conservatories don’t even require planning permission (it is worth

● A conservatory is a great addition to the home and can provide an invaluable extra room

checking with your local authority before commencing any work however) so getting one installed could be easier and cheaper than you think. It is worth getting a professional builder in to give you a quote before you commit to any work and for real peace of mind, get three separate estimates, so you can make an informed choice. Have a think about what you would like to use the conservatory for. For most busy families, space is a real issue so a conservatory or garden room can provide an invaluable extra room. Whether you want it as a family room for everyone to enjoy, or as a more intimate sitting room away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the house, or even a study or a dining room, the possibilities are endless. Remember to make the most of the views of the garden so you should position your conservatory accordingly and it is worth doing your homework on the latest materials available to ensure that you really can use the room all year round.

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Advances in uPVC mean that windows are now far better at keeping the heat in and the cold out but you should also factor in the need for some ventilation in the summer months when it can get really hot. Air conditioning might be one option as well as blinds to keep the bright sun out. You want to be as comfortable as possible in your garden room so invest in some good quality conservatory furniture. Things have come a long way since the days of rickety wicker furniture and there are some incredibly stylish sofas, chairs and tables around which have been specifically designed for the conservatory. Bringing the garden into the conservatory means that you have a far wider choice of plants to grow thanks to the ‘hothouse’ environment. So if you fancy settling down in your conservatory with a gin and tonic and a slice of lemon from your own home-grown lemon tree why not have a go at growing some citrus fruits? Or think about ● A conservatory can be used in a variety of ways from a dining or something exotic like a sitting room to a study, and there’s now modern furniture to give cactus, bird of paradise or a chilli plant. Picture: and (centre) John Lewis that stylish feel

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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Southport Flower Show

Budding designers T compete for prize

WO youngsters from Southport have come up smelling of roses in this year’s Southport Flower Show photography competition.


REATIVE Rob Hurford has earned himself the top prize in a prestigious garden design competition.

The student, from University College Falmouth, has won this year’s Student Garden Design Competition at Southport Flower Show. Rob’s design will be just one of numerous creations on display at this year’s event which is expected to attract thousands of visitors. Rob has won £1,000 in prize money and a further £5,000 which will be used to create his designer show garden which will be on display throughout the four-day event. Rob, 21, from Bristol, said: “I feel privileged to be producing a garden design for a wellrespected flower show. “The inspiration of Southport’s seaside and the connection between land and sea has informed this streamline modern design.” Now embarking on his final year for a BA in garden design, Rob has always had a flair for creativity. After completing his Art Foundation Course in 2006, his tutor suggested that he try out the horticultural scene. Rob has since followed this pursuit with the intention of becoming a full time garden designer. Pernille Dahl, also from Falmouth University, and Lea Maravich, from Oxford College of Design, were commendable runners-up. Now in its sixth year, the Student Garden Design Competition has attracted a record number of entries from across the country. The competition was open to any student in the UK (full or part time) currently studying for a recognised qualification in garden design, horticulture or landscaping, or to any student in the UK who successfully completed a

● Top, previous winner Paul Richards, and above, Rob Hurford’s winning design recognised qualification during the last year. Paul Richards, from Lancashire, a former winner and judge, said: “Southport Flower Show provided me with a wonderful springboard from which to launch my garden design business and

the winning student this year will benefit from the same opportunities. What is great about Southport’s event is that it enables me as a garden designer to promote my own ideas rather than those of a client, which is extremely liberating.”

Andrew Fraser, 13, from Churchtown, and Nicholas Hicks, 14, from Birkdale, both came first in their categories in the Stefan Buczacki photography competition. Andrew is a student at St Mary’s College in Crosby. He took his winning photograph during a family day out in Cheshire. He said: “I was over the moon to win. I’ve only recently bought my first camera so was really happy when I found out I’d come first in my category.” Nicholas, also a student at St Mary’s, is a member of the Southport Photography Club and took his winning photograph in his auntie’s garden. He said: “It was actually a sunflower I had grown myself that I photographed, so I’m really pleased to have won. Photography is a great hobby and something I would like to pursue in the future.” The pair have won £50 each, along with a certificate which will be presented to them at the show. More mature photographers have also been trying their luck in the competition, with Southport residents Tony Duffey and Roy Dorkins both coming runner-up in their respective categories in the over 55 age group. This year’s competition has been more popular than ever, with a 45% rise in entries. Show patron and judge, Professor Stefan Buczacki, said: “The entrants in the photographic competition never cease to amaze me. “The standard rises every year and it was especially pleasing this time to see such a wonderful selection of remarkable quality from the under 16 age group.” The competition is now in its fourth year and continues to attract both amateur and professional photographers with a keen eye and an ability to capture the beauty of nature. This year, hundreds of entries arrived from across the UK, quite

Photos are blooming marvellous

● Top, Andrew Fraser's winning entry in the garden views section, age 10-16 category, and above, Nicholas Hick's winning entry in the flowers section, age 10-16 category impressively attracting entries from as far afield as Kent and Co Antrim, Northern Ireland. The winning entries will be on display at this year’s Show, allowing the talented winners the opportunity to

showcase their work and also giving visitors to the show a photographic feast for the eyes. For more information on the competition or to enter next year, keep an eye on the Southport Flower Show website or call 01704 547 147.


Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Southport Flower Show

Take a step back in time, gala-style G

UESTS at this year’s Southport Flower Show gala preview evening will be encouraged to take a magical step back in time.

As the 2009 show is celebrating the 80th year of the Flower Show, the gala preview dinner will be taking on a 1920s theme in honour of the very first show in 1924. The 1920s theme will complement the overall design theme of the show gardens and its exhibits which will be on display in Victoria Park from August 20-23. Proving that the show isn’t just about green fingers and muddy boots, the prestigious black tie event is an opportunity to have an exclusive look at the spectacular display

of floral exhibits before anyone else. Taking place on the eve of the flower show (Wednesday, August 19), the gala preview dinner is the perfect way to spend a summer evening and begins with an elegant champagne reception in the flower show’s impressive floral marquee, followed by a silverservice, four-course dinner. David Jackson, chief executive of the Southport Flower Show, said: “I know many people look forward to the very special experience that the evening offers.” The grand celebrations will be accompanied by entertainment throughout the night. Tickets to this event are strictly limited, and the price of £65 includes a day ticket to the Flower Show.

● Above, Dr David and Bev Griffin with Elva and David Tyrer at last year’s event and right, in 2007, Prince’s Trust staff Liz Green, Lizz Warmisham, Ian Smith, Sue Littlefair and Julia Worthington

PLOUGH Making something INN of an exhibition Carvery O Ca Grill &Grill NE of the highlights of each Southport Flower Show is the sheer choice of exhibits and exhibitors, presenting visitors with gardening delights, both to view and to buy.

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Along with independent exhibitors there are society exhibits and some amazing floral showcases that just have to been experienced with your own eyes. Don’t miss the displays in the gorgeous setting of the Grand Floral Marquee, housing hundreds of professional exhibitors from across the country all competing to win trophies and prize money. There are also amateur displays, exhibiting in the largest amateur competition in the country. This marquee is a test bed for new varieties of plants and vegetables and attracts many down to earth gardeners. Of course, the Flower Show is renowned for its spectacular show gardens and every year these gardens are built at the show for the thousands of visitors to view. Trade exhibitors mix in with the floral displays to offer you a huge choice of products that will add a brand new dimension to your home and garden.

● Top, Sion Jones with some of his Dahlias at the Southport Flower Show and above, Margaret Robinson from Robinsons Seeds and Plants

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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Southport Flower Show

Use your garden to get fit S

UMMER is a time when we all promise ourselves we’ll lead a healthier lifestyle, but when push comes to shove, something always seems to get in the way.

You want to lose weight and get fit but how many times have you told yourself you’ll start the diet or go to the gym tomorrow, only to end up doing something else instead? These days we all lead hectic lifestyles, so if you’re one of the many people who struggle to find the time to go to the gym, it’s time to think clever and make the most of whatever time and resources you’ve got. Consider investing in some home exercise equipment and setting up a mini-gym in your garage or spare room, that way you can fit the activity in around your responsibilities when it’s convenient. Or better still, why not get fit in your garden? From setting up a trampoline that the whole family can have fun and get fit on, to creating a tranquil area where you can practice tai chi or yoga, the possibilities are endless. An hour’s yoga is a great way to relax both body and mind, and as it burns off about 350 calories an hour it’s also highly effective. If

you’re creating an alfresco yoga area in your garden, add the finishing touches with some far-eastern inspired garden ornaments like Buddha statues and wind-chimes. To further enhance the tranquillity of the area you could even consider installing a trickling water feature. Badminton and tennis are also very effective ways of keeping fit that the whole family will have fun playing. An hour’s badminton or tennis can burn between 300-600 calories, so for a cheap but effective way to get the whole family enjoying a more active lifestyle, why not invest in a set of badminton or tennis racquets and turn your garden

Chilling out W

into very own version of Wimbledon? You never know, you might end up giving Andy Murray a run for his money with enough practice! Other ways to get the whole family more active in the garden include fitting a basketball net to an exterior wall so would-be Michael Jordans can practice shooting hoops; setting up your very own mini football pitch with a children’s set of goalposts or even playing games like bowling or skittles on your patio. So, whatever your age or interests, this summer make the most of your outside space and get fit in the garden.

● Enhance the sense of tranquillity in your alfresco yoga area with the soothing sound of a trickling water feature Picture: Haddonstone's

HETHER your idea of chilling out is relaxing on a sun lounger with a glass of Pimms, or soaking away the day's stresses in a bubbly hot tub, the garden is the perfect place to enjoy a spot of pampering.

● A soothing hot tub is an excellent way to relax and enjoy a spot of pampering in your Picture courtesy of Jacuzzi garden









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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Southport Flower Show

Say hello to the man in the know D


AVID Jackson is the chief executive of the Southport Flower

When you’re visiting the show this year you might see a brief glimpse of him as he scampers about the show site, welcoming VIPs, handing out awards, shaking hands and meeting a lot of people. As David himself says: “During the show I have to be in at least three places at one time. Thankfully I have a mobile phone and a radio to help me!” Now in his second year as chief executive, David’s role involves both overseeing all aspects of the event , along with making the final decision whenever a decision has to be made. He explains: “We’ve got a great team, a great board plus the valued assistance of volunteers and contractors too. Some of the contractors, we’ve worked with for 15 years now.” It takes 15 months to put a show together – which means he’s already begun planning the 2010 show – and there are many things which might need steering quickly in one direction or another. That’s what David is there for. Previously he’d worked in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, where he had the

unenviable task of overseeing the city’s Christmas and Hogmanay celebrations over the course of four years. So how does looking after the Southport Flower Show compare to planning the world famous New Year events in Edinburgh? “Well there are similarities,” says David, “The Flower Show is a large event, too. Also, it involves working with lots of different bodies, such as the council and police, it’s just on a different scale. “There’s perhaps not the international dimension to the Flower Show, but we are working to forge links in other parts of the world.” Just one way in which the show has opened itself up to a global audience is through the world wide web, with a strong internet presence at its homepage – www.southport – and also a regularly updated account with Twitter. You can sign up for Flower Show updates at southportflower and even ‘tweet’ them back! There’s lots to do in the 15 months of planning before a Flower Show, starting with setting a theme, and organising photography and other marketing materials. The work comes in phases

● Chief executive David Jackson promoting the Southport Flower Show for the second year then, with the months from January onwards seeing things getting increasingly hectic, with David overseeing everything from trade stands bookings, to making sure the finances are in order. “Then there’s the all important planning of the layout of the site, which goes

through many changes,” David reveals. “Plus there’s the judging of the various competitions, plus dealing with the press, exhibitors and competition winners. “And then, in August, Victoria Park becomes a construction site. It’s easy to get lost on the park at this

time of year.” Once the show is underway, David becomes the man to call on to ensure things keep going to plan. But he also tries to get a bit of time to experience the show himself. “I try to enjoy myself too. I might get time for a quick glass of wine,” says David.

“Well, maybe a cup of tea.” So get yourself down to the 2009 Southport Flower Show and see what’s new for this year. Oh, and if you happen to see a besuited man trying to talk on a mobile phone and a walkie-talkie at the same time, say hello.

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West Lancashire Open Exhibition 2009

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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Southport Flower Show

This is the ladies’ night


HE Ladies’ Day event at Southport Flower Show has become one of the highlights on the North West’s glittering social calendar since the first one was held in 2006.

● Ladies’ Day Fashion at the 2008 Southport Photographer: Rob Lovett Flower Show

Ticket holders have access to the exclusive Ladies’ Day marquee in addition to entrance to the Flower Show itself. The Ladies’ Day event takes place on Friday, August 21. Inside the marquee there’s champagne and light refreshments, a stunning fashion show and a complimentary goody bag filled with everything a glamorous woman needs to stay one step ahead in the style stakes. Throughout the day there will also be hair demonstrations, a Best Dressed Lady competition and a raffle. The Flower Show has a reputation as one of the largest, most diverse and friendliest shows in the country and Ladies’ Day is its most stylish event. It's a glamorous occasion where you can unwind with friends, sipping champagne and enjoying exclusive

fashions, surrounded by a whole range of beautiful blooms. David Jackson, chief executive of the Southport Flower Show, said: “We’ve had a phenomenal response from our previous Ladies’ Day events and I’m certain this year will be no exception. “There is a great line-up of events across the four days with something for the whole family to enjoy.” Tickets to this year’s Ladies’ Day event are priced at just £35 and are limited. The ticket price entitles holders to entrance into the entire show plus entry into the Ladies’ Day marquee. You’ll then get a complimentary glass of champagne and light refreshments. Entertainment is laid on in the form of fabulous fashion shows and hair and beauty demonstrations. Make sure you come wearing the finest fashions as there’s a chance to win some fabulous prizes in the Flower Show’s best dressed lady competition. And if you don’t win that award,

there’s always the raffle prize draw appearances from some of the with some excellent prizes in store. country’s favourite celebrity Whether you are a gifted gardeners who will be on hand amateur, professional or just with advice on making the most of starting out, this year’s Flower your garden. Show has something for everyone. ● For more information about Gardening enthusiasts can enjoy the Southport Flower Show the million blooms that will be on Ladies’ Day or to order tickets, display while budding chefs call 01704 547 147. explore the new fine food offerings from local suppliers across the North West. More than 250 exhibitors will take over 34 acres of Southport’s beautiful Victoria Park, offering everything from home and garden furniture and kitchen gadgets to local crafts, food and wine. Entertainment will include live ● Enjoying Ladies' Day at last year's Southport music, arena Flower Show displays and

Floral key to flower show fashion THE perfect opportunity to put your best foot forward and dress to impress, Southport Flower Show Ladies’ Day has everything you need for a fabulous day out – from beautiful show gardens to fabulous fashion shows and the much-anticipated Best Dressed Lady competition. With top prizes awarded to those judged most sartorially successful, the competition is hugely popular. So, if you’re keen to be crowned the rose of this year’s Ladies’ Day, you’ll have to dig deep into your fashion know-how and start planning your outfit now. This summer has been an exciting time for fashion, with a diverse array of trends ensuring there is something to suit all women no matter

● Floral print and statement shoes are on trend Picture: Matalan and Debenhams (right)

what the size, shape and age. Versatile and flattering, prints have been huge this season, with arty, graphic-style prints, 80s inspired motifs and pretty floral prints proving the most popular. To look pretty as a petal at this year’s Ladies’ Day, try pairing a vintageinspired floral print dress with statement shoes and an elegant fascinator to complete the look. Other key trends this summer include; nudes - look for creamy hues of peach, coral, tans and soft pinks for an effortlessly elegant look; transparent fabrics – try layering soft, sheer items for a floaty, feminine style; colour blocking and the 80s. To ensure your retro 80s look is more Kate Moss cool than something from the wardrobe department on Ashes to Ashes, keep it simple and pair one statement 80s item with more classic items.

● Chunky, statement necklaces are one of the summer's big trends Picture: Primark

Try a simple summer dress paired with an 80s style boyfriend blazer. One shoulder dresses are also tipped to be everywhere come autumn/winter so to be one step ahead of the fashion pack, try pairing a one-shoulder ruffled top with classic, tailored linen trousers. When it comes to jewellery, big is beautiful this summer, with statement necklaces dominating both the catwalks and high street. In contrast, bags this season are small but perfectly formed - with pintsized clutches complete with intricate detailing or embellishment proving to be the musthave bag for the girl about town. To add the finishing touches to your Ladies’ Day outfit opt for statement heels in bold colours to ensure you stand out from the crowd. Plus top it all off with an elegant fascinator. With so many styles to choose from, you’re sure to find an outfit to make you look blooming marvellous in next to no time for this year’s Flower Show.

● An ornate hair band is a good alternative to a hat or fascinator Picture: Accessorize

● A boyfriend blazer is the ideal cover up for Ladies' Day, combined with an 80s style clutch bag (centre) Picture: Dorothy Perkins and TX Maxx (centre diamonte clutch)

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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, August 12, 2009


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STURDI-LAP Available in Golden .£10.11 GOLDEN .£11.54 GOLDEN .£13.07 GOLDEN .£14.96 GOLDEN .£16.85 GOLDEN

NEW SLEEPERS BROWN - 4” X 8” ( APPROX) X 8’-0” £14.99 DUAL PROFILE “ ANTI-SLIP “ DECKING 28mm x 145mm x 3m £4.99


25 No 10 KG BAG (250 KG) £3.97 / BAG (FREE DEL) 50 No 10 KG BAGS (500 KG) £2.97 / BAG (FREE DEL) 100 No 10 KG BAGS (1000 KG) £2.42 / BAG (FREE DEL) All above prices are inclusive of VAT. Delivery within the Southport area is £5.00. Orders over £100 delivered Free within the Southport area.


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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Southport Flower Show

Stuck for inspiration? Flower Show has it all D

O your lifeless hanging baskets and lack-lustre lawns leave much to be desired? Would you love a new garden, but don't know where to start? If so, the Southport Flower Show is the perfect place to get your creative juices flowing. A fantastic four-day event, the Southport Flower Show is packed with horticultural experts – not to mention a selection of wonderful show gardens – and whether you're a green-fingered genius or a complete beginner, it's a great place to find some inspiration to transform your garden. For those who could do with giving their whole garden an image overhaul, start by taking a stroll around the show's beautiful show gardens and thinking about what you want, as well as what you're realistically able to do. From traditional English gardens filled with beautiful roses, quaint rockeries and vegetable patches to contemporary landscaped gardens with manicured lawns, stylish topiary bushes and an elegant pergola, there is a huge range of styles to suit every garden. Perhaps you're time-poor but still keen to create a beautiful garden? If so, why not opt for a striking patio complemented by terracotta pots over-

● A simple hanging basket can transform your garden spilling with colourful tulips and dahlias? An easy and manageable alternative to large lawns and intricate flowerbeds, a low-maintenance garden can be just as beautiful as those more ornate – and with so many stunning plants and accessories to choose between, there's no need to sacrifice style for ease. However, if your weekend's not complete without pottering around in the flowerbeds and you've got lots of spare time to spend outside, you'll find a wealth of more challenging ideas to inspire you at the show. How about giving your garden a theme? A beautiful Victorian-style lawn with cast iron patio furniture and

a decorative bird bath instantly adds a touch of elegance to any outdoor space. Or, for a taste of the exotic, why not inject an international feel to your back garden with some hardy Chusan palm trees and Moroccan-style lamps? You could even create an organic kitchen garden. An increasingly popular trend, more and more of us are choosing to grow our own food, and with so many wonderful fruits, vegetables and herbs – not to mention bee hives – your kitchen cupboards will be full in no time. Perhaps it's just your flowerbeds or lawn that have seen better days and are in need of some sprucing up? With so many fantastic exhibitors and stands just waiting to be discovered, you're sure to find inspiration for dozens of vibrant flowers, accessories and arrangements. In particular, the Grand Floral Marquee is a must-visit part of any gardener's trip to the Southport Flower Show, and is filled with vibrant blooms of all shapes and sizes. And don't forget, the Garden Roadshow team is on hand every day of Southport Flower Show to help solve your gardening problems. Whatever you're looking for, you'll find all the inspiration you need at the Southport Flower Show.

● If your garden leaves a lot to be desired, a day out to the Southport Flower Show is a must

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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Southport Flower Show Get set for autumn WE all love the bright colours of a summer garden, but it may be an idea to start looking ahead – it’ll soon be autumn, and jobs will need doing. If you want to keep your garden looking its best, then it may be worth adding some plants that look good during the autumn months. The sedum spectabile ‘brilliant’ produces plenty of flat, bright pink flowerheads, while ornamental grasses, heleniums, perennial asters and michaelmas daisies are also good as the weather cools. If you’re thinking even further ahead and planning for next spring, then plant wallflowers; or tall-growing tulip bulbs can make a lovely spring display. Plant the tulips first, then the wallflowers over the top; the tulips will then grow up through them to provide an extra layer of height and colour. September is also the time to trim and tidy up your garden. Deadhead roses as the blooms fade, cutting off the flowers just above the uppermost leaf on the stem. You can also remove faded flowers from perennials and annual plants to ensure a continued display of blooms, plus trim back lavender bushes after flowering to remove the old blooms and shoot tips– but take care not to cut back too heavily into old wood. Also remember to put plant supports around tall, late-flowering perennials to prevent them from being damaged by autumn winds. Bedding displays and hanging baskets also need a little attention during this time to ensure their displays last well into autumn. Pick over plants twice a week to remove any faded blooms, and keep watering daily. Any tender plants you want to save for next year can also be potted this month, so they are established and ready to bring under cover when the weather turns cooler. Make the most of free seeds produced by perennials and other garden plants by saving them when they are fully ripe. Collect mature seed-heads in paper bags and hang them in a warm place to dry out. The seeds can be cleaned and sorted, then put into labelled envelopes and kept in a cool, dry place. If you’ve got vegetables, then regularly pick crops so that they are always tender and fresh. Never leave crops for too long before picking them, especially beans and courgettes. From August to early September the following crops can be sown directly outside: lettuce and salad leaves, Chinese cabbage, endive, winter spinach, turnips for their green tops, and a final sowing of spring cabbage. So even though the summer may be coming to an end, it doesn’t mean your time in the garden has too – enjoy it all year round.

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Gardening is just child’s play C

HILDREN love gardening. If nothing else, it’s a great excuse to play in dirt, which is something else children love.

It is an ideal way to get the kids out in the fresh air, gets them moving and helps them learn more about the world around them in a very hands-on way. Plants and flowers with interesting textures are irresistible to many kids. Most are easy to grow, as well. Lamb’s Ear is probably the most commonly grown. These easy to grow plants have soft, fuzzy foliage that kids love to touch and pet. Try growing Blazing Star. It has stiff spikes of tiny, fuzzy, purple blossoms and is very easy to grow. Other child-friendly plants which are ideal are Zinnias and Cosmos. In fact, Cosmos are so easy to grow that once established they will continually self-seed, practically looking after themselves. These plants produce fern-like foliage and large, brightly coloured flowers. Marigolds are also extremely popular, as well as sunflowers, which have the added bonus of producing seeds once they are ripe. How about planting a herb garden? Not only do they smell divine, but kids love to pick them and watch them being put into their food. Think about planting oregano, basil, parsley and chives. Vegetables are also a good choice for children to plant. Not only are they relatively easy to grow, but they come in all kinds of interesting sizes, shapes and colours that kids find appealing. Tomatoes, carrots and radishes are

● Gardening is a great way to encourage children to learn about the world around them in a hands-on way

great choices, along with vine crops like cucumbers. Encourage your children to not just plant the flowers and herbs and fruit and veg, but to learn how to look after them. Buy them their own watering can so they feel like it is their job to water the plants as they grow, and give them plenty of support as they nurture ‘their’ garden. A really fun way to get the children enjoying the garden is to make a scarecrow. Originally used by farmers to protect crops against attacks from harmful birds such as crows, scarecrows are now more whimsical additions to the garden. They aren’t hard or expensive to make, and can be created from simple items collected from around the house. Look for an old long-sleeved shirt and pair of jeans or overalls. It doesn’t matter if the clothes don’t match – in fact, the wackier the better. Accessorise with brightly coloured scarves, hats and gloves. An old pillowcase makes a great scarecrow head. If you want the scarecrow to have hair, yarn works well or, even better, an old wig. For facial features, kids can use waterproof markers, or they can glue on buttons and similar items. For additional interest, you can even use an old pair of shoes or boots for the feet. You’ll also need some leaves, rags, hay or straw for the stuffing and something to stake the scarecrow up with. For more inspiration on getting children out into the garden, visit

Dobbies - a world of inspiration for your garden and home

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Southport Flower Show  

Southport Flower Show, 20th - 23rd August 2009