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Scotlands Garden Show/ Festival

This year's show (2001), was the second to be organised by the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society at the Royal Highland Showground, Ingliston, Edinburgh.

Last year's show, which was the first to be organised by the society, was a success with approximately 45,000 visitors attending the event. Would this years live up to the hope of "bigger and better"?

This year's event opened on Friday 1 June, with expectations from the organisers of 40,000 visitors, after promising a bigger and better show than last year.

The show was certainly bigger with an increase in the number of exhibitors to 400, which was a 25 percent increase on last year. The stands and exhibits were also spaced out more and utilised a greater amount of the space available at Ingliston.

There was a strong environmental feel to this years show, with displays from Fife Ranger Service, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Scottish Natural Heritage (some of which can be seen in the photo gallery pages). In addition to these displays, it was nice also to see some of the other Local Councils exhibiting this year with Glasgow joining in the competition with Edinburgh. It wasn't all new though with some old favourites returning such as the Beechgrove garden question time theatre and last years winner of "Best Stand in Show", the Scottish Rock Garden Club.

The standard and range of exhibitors this year was excellent as ever, with a variety of plants unrivalled certainly in Scotland. The other aspects of gardening such as tools, crafts and specialist societies were also in evidence with large display areas for each. It would probably be fair to state that this years show was indeed "bigger and better" as the organisers claimed, but there is still room for improvement.

If I was in a position of influence (I'm not) the main area for consideration would be the venue itself. I am just not convinced that Ingliston is a very good venue for the show. Ingliston as most residents of Scotland will know is an agricultural showground and as such it has a real "Agricultural" feel to it. In addition (here comes the second gripe) the main floral hall where the bulk of the plant exhibitors display is not lit naturally, which makes it difficult to really see the plants as they should be. In addition it becomes too overcrowded despite the organisers trying their best to widen the aisles between the displays. Fighting your way through a crowd is not a good idea if you have delicate plants in your bag.

Those two gripes apart, the show is certainly worth seeing. Next years event is due to be held between the 31 May and 2 June (2002) and you should make a note of it in your diary. If the organisers can build on this year's success it will be worth seeing.

Organisers for 2002
Rural Projects Ltd
The Stables
2 Ingliston Gardens
0131 333 0969

Picture Gallery

Picture Gallery