The Flower Tent was replaced last year with a bigger, single span marquee which proved very successful.  The new floral marquee now houses the traditional Flower Competitions, the Kent Federation of Horticultural Societies and the smaller Show Gardens.  The area bursts with colour and smells and the light airy space is a perfect backdrop for the huge variety of plants, flowers and crafts.  The Floral Art Competitions are hosted and organised by Kent NAFAS who invite members to enter the showcase event.

The Kent Area of NAFAS has 40 clubs across the county who meet on a regular basis for flower arranging demonstrations, talks, workshops, competitions, visits to places of floral interest and social events. New members and visitors are welcome at all skill levels, even if you only want to sit and watch. As well as the 36 adult clubs, Kent also has 4 junior clubs which pave the way for flower arrangers of the future.  The National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS) began in 1959, when local flower arranging clubs decided to join together to share experiences. Today there are 78,000 members within 1,315 Clubs, across 21 Areas in the U.K.

The aim of the area is to encourage the love of flowers and plants and to demonstrate their decorative and creative value; to encourage the preservation of rare and endangered species of flowers, plants and all things connected. There are a number of trophies and awards that are competed for in the Floral Art section and last year the coveted, Lady Falmouth Rose Bowl for the best Floral Arrangement by a Club or Society, and Best Use of Texture and 1st in the Club Class ‘Emerald City’ was Hartley & District Flower Club.  The theme this year is ‘The Countryside’ with all the competitions taking inspiration form our green and bountiful landscape.

Class 1 ‘COUNTRY WAYS’ is the club class this is open to Floral Arrangement Clubs and Societies affiliated to NAFAS; up to two members may stage this exhibit. The novice Class 2 is named ‘COUNTRY HIDEAWAY’ and is staged on cream covered tabling. Novice is defined as a competitor who has not achieved ‘a first’ at an Area or County Show before.  The other classes in the theme include, ‘CAUGHT IN THE WEB’, ‘NATURE’S BOUNTY’, ‘MARKET GARDEN’ and ‘THE RIVERBANK’. ‘OVER THE HILLS’ is a craft class and is brought ready assembled. The final few classes are  ‘COUNTRY STYLE’,  ‘INSIDE OUT’ and ‘BOTTOM OF THE GARDEN’.  The junior class is ‘COUNTRY MARKET’ which is an arrangement in a basket which has to be brought already assembled. The youngsters compete in two age groups, 6-8 and 9-11.

The Horticultural Area is well worth a visit with flower arranging workshops and gardening question times throughout the day.  For more information and exact times please refer to our itinerary planner nearer the Show.