One of the great things about a garden fair is the chance to be inspired! Visit with an open mind and look further than the usual pink petunias you put in the front planters every year – get excited about really seeing plants!
There will always be banquet of beautiful plants to enjoy at a garden fair, many which have been bred by local growers, and it is a chance to get up close and personal with new plant varieties and garden trends.
A garden fair is a rich source of information and a chance to grab inspiration for your own garden, even if that extends only to a few hanging baskets at the front door, or some patio pots surrounding a deck chair.
It is not all about the plants though, every garden fair will have a host of garden accessories and garden-inspired products for outside and inside, as well as food stops and entertainment, so be sure to check out everything!
Here are our top 10 tips so you get the most from a garden fair visit:
1. Plan Ahead
Before you arrive, look up the exhibitor list to get an idea of the products they will be bringing and decide who you would like to visit and what you want to see.
Know the parking or public transport options available and check to make sure there are food and drink options on offer.
2. Wear Comfy Shoes and Dress for the Weather
Most garden fairs are outside, and can be spread over several acres so there may lots of walking, and limited places to sit – comfy shoes are a must! An outdoor event is subject to varying weather conditions so you may need to bring both sunscreen and a raincoat!
3. Arrange a Meeting Point
If you are heading to a garden fair with friends or children, organise a meeting point so that if you get lost everyone can regroup. At large, outdoor events, it is not always possible to rely on a phone signal to make contact.
4. Capture Ideas
Take a notebook or use your phone to record the things you love, particularly plant names, colour combinations, and exhibitor details. Take all the fliers on offer from exhibitors so you can read about things you might have missed when you get home.
5. Talk to the Experts
Garden fairs are an excellent way to meet local growers and gardening professionals. Exhibitors will offer great advice for planting in your particular situation and help you chose the right plant for the right place.
Pick up a few brochures and business cards, so you know where to turn when you need assistance, or follow these experts after the fair on social media – they will appreciate the support and you will benefit from the gardening knowledge they share.
6. Meet Local Businesses
It is always great to support local businesses, and buying plants, garden accessories, and homeware at a garden fair is an ideal opportunity to do that. Chat to the exhibitors to see where they are based so you can visit them again if you like their products.
7. Take a Bag
Taking a bag is a must – you will pick up lots of leaflets, plant lists, and garden purchases. Without a bag, you will be left carrying an armful of bits around all day. It is a good idea to pack some water, suncream, snacks, and a picnic blanket too so you can really make the most of the day.
8. Don’t Rush
Once you have made the effort to get to a garden fair, don’t rush round buying a few plants you like, then leave – make a day of it! There is usually entertainment and food and drink vendors on site so find a comfy spot and rest your weary legs while you take it all in, a picnic blanket is a great idea. Many garden fairs are set in extensive grounds so you should take the chance to wander while you are there.
9. Follow up after the Fair
If you have met any exhibitors or organisations you think might be helpful to you as you source plants or plan out your garden, follow them on social media and contact them for further information.
10. Join the Chat
Social media is a great way to catch up after a garden fair, or particularly if you cannot attend so you can follow all the fun of the day and make a note to attend that event next time. Most events will have a hashtag you can join in with or follow.
For Scone Palace Garden Fair, use #sconepalacegardenfair and #scotlandgrows and we will try to share as many of your pictures as possible across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.