A record number of garden enthusiasts flocked through the gates of this year’s Southport Flower Show.
The festival’s general manager, Ray Roukin, declared it a huge success with tickets sales up 20% as the good weather and host of celebrity guests helped to pull in the crowds.
Coronation Street’s Alison King was among the VIPs to the 34-acre show ground in Victoria Park at the weekend.
Ray Roukin said: “Alison told me that she really enjoyed her time at the show.
“Everyone here has been having an absolutely wonderful time and the weather has been great.”
Strictly Come Dancing star Anton Du Beke opened the show and Emmerdale actress Lisa Riley was the star guest at Ladies’ Day on Friday along with gardeners Christine Walkden and Carol Klein.
Delighted visitors enjoyed hundreds of stalls, a food festival and entertainment.
West Lancashire traders won big prizes at this year’s show.
Banks-based salad producers Flavourfresh took home the Lady Pilkington award for the exhibit that best depicted the Brazilian theme of this year’s event.
Managing director Nick Fradsham said: “We have always supported the show and it was great for us to win this year and we are all very pleased.
“We concentrated very hard on the theme and created a display of our finest produce in a football pitch and we displayed a range of tomatoes grown locally for the pitch.”
Dan Billington from Every Picture Tells a Story in Maghull wowed the judges with his three dimensional display of bromeliads to take home the show’s most prestigious award, The Brockhouse Gold Challenge Trophy.
He said: “I love exhibiting in Southport because it is a great local show.
“This is the first time that I have won the best in show and I was not expecting it because I thought that the other gardens looked so wonderful.”
Dan also won the John A. Chatterton Trophy at add to his four he has won in other shows this year.
Pangea Sculptures, based in Burscough, impressed the crowds with their 14ft animal sculptures.
Jamie Powell, from the company, said: “We’re a relatively new business and the show was absolutely fantastic.
“We had lots of people coming up to our stand, who were amazed by the sculptures.
“We managed to make a few sales and interest has rocketed this week.”
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