This live event has finished
- Taunton Flower Show taking place in Vivary Park
- Thousands of flower enthusiasts expected to attend
- Doors open to the public at 10.30am
- Show is dubbed 'Chelsea of the West'
50 or 60 seagulls attacked one of the falcons from the earlier display today. It did come home again. Phew! #TauntonFS #falconry— @TauntonFS 02 August 2013
Retired couple Stephen and Christine Williams from Hatch Beauchamp, have been members of Taunton Flower Show for the last five years, and really rate all it has to offer.
Stephen says: "When we came here for our first year, we decided there was a lot more going for the members here.
"It's such a wonderful day out, and great to see different plants that you've got in your gardens, and identifying ones that you haven't.
"The whole ambience is brilliant, especially in the arena."
Christine adds: "It's such a good value for money fun day out, especially with it being in the middle of town."
Taunton Flower Show's Bob Homeshaw has his own Flower Show landmark to celebrate - 10 years as its chairman. He says the show simply gets "better and better", year on year, and is always striving to better itself.
"We try and vary things each year to see how we can improve things," he says.
"We have a waiting list for the traders who appear at Vivary Park, which we draw from to give a good mix and variety each year."
As to what Bob looks forward to most?
"It's all good fun, so to say one enjoys a particular part of it is not possible. I just want it to work."
He also says that Taunton's is so much more than a flower show.
"Some how people think it's a flower show, when in fact it's more of a county show, with arena activities, with a children's area... this is a family affair, rather than just people who are interested in flowers through to vegetables."
IT'S not all about the flowers at Taunton Flower Show - here are David and Isobel Tosh-Robb, from Taunton, with their entries for the pastel and oil pastel categories.
MR David Bryant is the winner of the "five vases of cut flowers" display, which includes cultivars.
AS for the display of CUT FLOWERS, where a space of 1·2m x 0·75m is granted, Adrian Somerfield has taken first place and £25, followed by Mr Victora Chubb in second and Mr A Tarr in third.
TAUNTON Deane MP Jeremy Browne is among the crowds enjoying the Flower Show at Vivary Park. He is pictured below with Andrew Pitman of the Monkton Elm Nursery.
Mr Browne said: "Taunton Flower Show is one of the great events in the Somerset social calendar. It seems to be getting bigger and better every year.
"I enjoyed the vast range of stalls this year, including the high number of arts and crafts stands. The main flower displays continue to be spectacular.
"Organising the Taunton Flower Show is an enormous task and the volunteers deserve huge credit for putting together such a fantastic event.”
PHOTO: Geoff Roberts
... Who also seized the win for his pot plant display, with D J Marshall the runner-up.
VICTORIOUS in the fushias/ and or Pelargoniums display category is Brian Carlson
CONGRATULATIONS to Walter Ambrose who has been crowned Master Gardener of Taunton Flower Show, winning the Les Pring Memorial Cup and £25.
To be in the running, and to show off their overall skills as gardeners, Walter and his fellow competitors had to enter:
- An arrangement of two vases of cut flowers
- A collection of three kinds of fruit
- A collection of three kinds of vegetables
...and all to be displayed in a 92cm x 68cm
Pat Wilding has secured second place and a £15 prize.
Doing the weaving workshop great fun & idea @TauntonFS http://t.co/r6p5huoT6O— @cllrjaybaker 02 August 2013
The prize for the best exhibit in the Floral Marquee, where the experts and traders' work has been put under the judges' microscope, goes to Monkton Elm Garden Centre.
Photographer David Hillburn has won the Somerset County Gazette trophy for gaining the most points overall across seven different photography classes - 'Somerset Bridges', 'Farming', 'Celebration', 'Vintage', 'Furry Friends', 'Seashore' and 'Black and White'.
This year's Taunton flower show is certainly an impressive sight, as any of the expected 14,000 visitors can attest.
The two giant white marquees separately host the public competitions and expert and trader exhibits. With their pointed turrets they look almost regal - and combined with the green show quadrangle beneath, it reminds you of scenes from some brilliant Chaucerian knight joust.
Show secretary, Caroline Seymour, says she's "feeling terrific about this year's event".
"The weather's been wonderful. We started setting all this up ten days ago, and the weather's been tremendous and the atmosphere is terrific, so we're doing well.
"Our 200 volunteers are all working their socks off to provide an amazing show."
Heading to Taunton Flower Show today, check out http://t.co/ZcCqWUXFIv #TauntonFS— @AKASez 02 August 2013
Britain's bee population is famously struggling - but gardeners can take steps to help turn their green spaces into bee havens, says Jenny Spiller of Elworthy Cottage Plantsman's Garden and Specialist Nursery, situated 30 mins from Taunton.
Jenny specialises in growing plants to attract bees and butterflies.
She says: "Bees and butterflies like to be able to get their tongues into the flowers, so a plant like The Pearl (Achillea Ptarmica) will attract them. And they like single flowers rather than double ones.
"They also like the Bee Balm - it's like Cat Nip for bees - on a good day this will be covered, they love it."
IT'S official! Somer Breeze Landscapes and WB Design have scooped the top prizes for their designer garden, 'Relax and Unwind' - the Best Show Garden cup and the show's prestigious Large Gold Medal.
All five designer gardens were built on-site at Vivary Park, starting 10am on Monday morning.
Judge David Hitchcock, one of the judging panel of three who assessed the five designer garden entries, said the final decision was a tough call.
"I'm assured the standard has improved considerably on last year, and I think each of the five exhibitors have to applauded for their efforts.
"Just a few days is all they get to build these gardens. I know they have the concepts beforehand, and they have to send in some detailed drawings.
"While certain plants aren't always available for what they hope to achieve, nevertheless, the standards of all these gardens are exceptionally good."
So what secured the win for 'Relax and Wind'?
"The professionalism of the whole design, there's a lot of effort gone into it. It's delightful," says David.
EMMA and Joseph Blunsum, of Corfe Toddler Group.
10.30+am We've reached zero hour. Let the show begin! Yayyy! #TauntonFS #Somerset #SouthWest http://t.co/ippvx7ywQP— @TauntonFS 02 August 2013
MONICA Smith from Hemyock at the Show.
PETTY Officer Paul Fraser, of Taunton Sea Cadets, said: "We are operating a plant creche for anybody who buys a new plant at the Show.
"We look after them for a small donation and then they collect them at the end. We have done it for many years and it is being very well-used."
IAIN Truman, from Somerbreeze Landscapes, is at the show and has helped design the 'Relax and Unwind' designer garden with William Brett, of WB Design and Construction.
Iain said: "We have done quite a lot with Bridgwater College but this is the first time we have done one on our own here.
"We started off with geometric shapes but the real thing that drove the design was being along in the 'pod' in the middle of the garden."
ISOBEL and Faith Sargeant with their exhibits.
Good luck to Adrian Prior'Sankey and all at Taunton Flower show today and tomorrow #greatplace,great people— @Murph2406 02 August 2013
REPORTER Daisy Blacklock in Vivary Park: "The sun is beginning to break through in Taunton for what promises to be a fantastic Taunton Flower Show 2013.
"The judges - all 45 of them - arrived at 7.30am and began judging at 8am.
"Most categories have two judges assigned to them and, of course, cover a wide range of disciplines, from flowers to more craft-based categories.
"The judging for the 'designer gardens' category has finished. There were five entries but the winners have not yet been announced."
All set up at the wonderful Taunton Flower Show Expecting approx 15,000 people over the next 2 days so bring it on http://t.co/rd9DCEALNE— @TheChillees 02 August 2013
Taunton Flower Show today, come over and say hello and buy some fantastic tea! #tauntonfs— @MilesTeaCoffee 02 August 2013
THE gates at Vivary Park have opened to members for the 2013 Taunton Flower Show. The gates open to the public at 10.30am.
VIC Chubb showing off his exhibits at Taunton Flower Show.
LINDA Ellingford with young Ripley Hume showing off the work of the 1st Galmington Rainbows group at Taunton Flower Show.
SET-UP work in Vivary Park has been taking place all week ahead of the show.
FEW things are more British than a flower show, and it's said not only is Taunton's the oldest and longest running in the country - it's possibly even the second longest-running in the world.
14,000 visitors are expected to pass through Vivary Park's gates this Friday and Saturday, and over 500 people have submitted entries this year, up from 388 in 2012.
On the entertainment itinerary today, is Rossendale Scout Band, who will be giving staggered performances throughout the day, freestyle motorcycle stunt shows from Jamie Squibb, and Beekeeper's demonstrations.
Gardeners' curiosities will also be stoked today by a number of specialist talks, from garden designer Iain Truman on 'Sustainable Gardening' (1pm-1.30pm), 'Making a New Garden' with Anne Swithinbank (2pm-2.30pm), Ian Parsons on the delicate skill, 'The Care of Orchids' (3pm-3.30pm), to 'The Trials of Building a new Garden on a Building Site' (4pm-4.30pm).
For our 2013 Flower Show preview and ticket information, click here.