This year the Kent County Show will be extending the Horticultural section and have combined everything green in to one wonderfully bright and scented area. This huge clearspan marquee will house Kent Beekeepers, Kent Federation of Horticultural Societies, the amazingly clever floral art competition entries from Kent NAFAS members, mini displays from plant experts, hanging baskets, a demonstration stage and a coffee shop.
Kent Beekeepers will make their debut in to the area this year and will be educating the public about the life and habits of the humble bee. Often misunderstood, bees are essential for the farming world, along with other pollinators. Bees are members of the Apidae family, flying insects that collect nectar and pollen. There are many different types of bees, possibly 20,000 species, and there are many differences between them. Some make honey and some don’t. Some can sting, while others can’t. The Kent Beekeepers Association will be doing demonstrations throughout the Show, at 10.00am, 12.00 noon, 2.00pm and 4.00pm. This fascinating talk explains the bees habits, the vital roll they play in the environment, general beekeeping, life in the hive and making honey.
The Kent Federation of Horticultural Societies is a wonderful area where dedicated gardeners work year round to produce the finest flowers and produce. Their displays are pristine, the vegetables perfect and their blooms are the finest you will see anywhere. Vegetable and fruit classes include: potatoes, onions, shallots, runner, french and broad beans, peas, carrots, courgettes, beetroot, raspberries, gooseberries and then any other fruit or vegetable. In the Flower Classes there will be exhibits of Sweet Peas and Roses along with potted plants. They also exhibit entries of crafts, children’s classes, preserves and home economics. This area is well worth a visit with many of the members on hand to chat about growing your own produce.
The centre section of the Garden Life Marquee is dedicated to beautiful, stunning floral displays. NAFAS, National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies, have been a big part of the Kent County Show for a number of decades. Each year their members produce exceptionally high quality arrangements that give the marquee a floral scent. This year members will be creating arrangements in the theme of ‘Showtime’. There are ten adult classes and a special class for juniors. ‘All the Fun of the Fair’ is the novice class open to any member who has not achieved a ‘First’ at an Area or County Show. Other classes are named ‘On the Catwalk’, ‘On with the Show’, ‘Motor Show’ and ‘Art Show’. This year they have a record number of 80 entries which will fill the area with incredible colour and style, it is well worth a visit to see these gorgeous arrangements.
In addition to the Floral Exhibits there will also be eleven Flower Show Exhibition Displays all vying for Top Gold and a prize fund of over £500. This year Quex Park will be creating a Heritage Garden, The Fly Trap will showcase carnivorous plants and Foster’s will be bringing a selection of their exotic and unusual plants. There will be a display of maples from Garden of Japan and fuchsias from Lockyer Fushsias, Low Wood Nursery, Lenham will be displaying a selection of their specialist plants and shrubs. New for 2017 is exhibitor Mig Kimpton from Mig Kimpton Flowers, he is a floral designer and demonstrator and has won many awards, including ten prestigious medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Visitors will also be able to see beautiful displays from the Southern Group of the National Chrysanthemum Society, New Forest Hostas and Hemerocallis and Richard and Sheena Drane who will be showcasing their cacti and succulents.
There will be demonstrations and specialist talks on the stage and visitors can take time to enjoy the vivid colours in the Coffee Shop with a Cream Tea.