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Southport Flower Show preview 8

Host of competitions showcases the best

TV chef Simon Rimmer and Coronation street's 'Fiz' Jennie McAlpine enjoy the show gardens in 2013

There's so much to explore and find around every corner at the Southport Flower Show. But for many it’s the exciting element of competition and seeing what the judges picked out as the best of the best that makes the show.

There are awards given to flowers, plants, vegetables and whole gardens, but there is also a range of community focussed competitions running alongside these.

Local schools, for example, have been invited to get involved and compete as part of a ‘grow your own’ competition.

This will see pupils challenged to plant a trug, which is a shallow oblong basket, with vegetables. The entries will then be exhibited and judged at the show. The pupils will be judged on the display, the quality of the vegetables and the diverse selection exhibited in the trug. The school with the winning trug will be awarded a prize of £500!

Ray Roukin, general manager at Southport Flower Show, said: “The idea behind the competition is to encourage children to learn about vegetables and develop an interest in gardening.”

Andrea Monahan is a Year Five teacher at Shoreside Primary School. She said: “Biodiversity is part of our school curriculum, and we really appreciate the help that the Southport Flower Show has given us in teaching the children not only where vegetables come from, but also the planting process and the science element too.

“The children really enjoyed the practice sow. We grew so much cauliflower, celery and cabbages that our classroom now looks like a thriving garden centre, and we can’t wait for the opportunity to take part in such a great event.”

Organisers of Southport Flower Show also asked local businesses to join in the Flower Show fever and compete in a competition on who has the best dressed display.

The theme for this year’s show is Brazil, and local businesses are reflecting this theme in their window, reception or outdoor displays. The best displays will win a trophy and two patron badges for the show.

Ray Roukin said: “The Best Dressed Display Competition is something we hadn’t done for years up until last year, where it proved extremely popular, so it’s back again.

“The competition gives local businesses the chance to show their support for the show, and give the Southport community an opportunity to be involved in what is one of the biggest events in the North West.”

There are three classes for business to enter – small frontage (up to and including 10ft), large frontage (over 10ft) and hanging basket/ plant display.

The winner of each class will receive an official trophy, trophy certificate and two patron badges for the show. The runners-up will receive a trophy certificate and two complimentary tickets.

Meanwhile, the Flower Show once more called for those with a passion for taking pictures to enter its photography competition, which is run in partnership with well-known horticulturalist Stefan Buczacki. Open to amateur photographers of all ages, there are four categories, with a £100 prize and two entry tickets for Southport Flower Show for the winners of each category.

The categories were: British Plant Portraits; British Garden Views; British Natural History & Wildlife; and Creative

Digital, with each entrant being permitted a maximum of two images per class, totalling eight images per entrant.

There was also a prize for second and third place, of £50 and £25 respectively.

Ray Roukin said: “Allowing people to express themselves through photography can be a lot of fun and a great way to be involved in this year’s show. We were excited to see what images were entered and how the different classes can be interpreted through a camera lens.”

The competition also consists of a special class for young photographers under the age of 16. The winning entries can be seen at the show.