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Plant Hunters' Fair

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Specialist nurseries attract plant lovers to memorial site
A bloomin' lovely time was had by visitors to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire when the 150 acres of tree-covered grounds were enhanced by a well-stocked Plant Hunters' Fair. The event attracted a large number of specialist nurseries to the Arboretum at Alrewas, near Lichfield, on Saturday 11 May. Plant Hunters' Fairs are staged around the country in a variety of great gardens and splendid countryside locations. They range from Cholmondeley Castle Gardens and Whittington Castle to Middleton Hall and Weston Park. On May 11, it was the turn of the National Memorial Arboretum, which gave visitors to the Plant Hunters' Fair an opportunity to explore the beautiful landscape of the grounds and some of the 370 plus memorials before looking at the various plants on show between 10am and 4pm.

Plant Hunters' Fair
There was plenty on offer at the Plant Hunters' Fair

The Plant Hunters' Fair gave visitors the opportunity to be inspired about their own garden, as well as receive specialist advice from nursery experts, including Royal Horticultural Society medallists and national collection holders, and, of course, browse and purchase plants to take away for themselves. The various stall-holders who were attracted to the Arboretum ranged from succulent and Acer specialists to an artisan plant support company. It seemed as though there were traditionally grown plants for every type of garden. Entry to the Plant Hunters' Fair was free, which is in keeping with the policy of the organisers to keep prices low, or free, so garden lovers are able to pick up some plants without breaking the bank.

Plant Hunters' Fair
Plants of all shapes and colours

A spokesman said: "Our fairs are hosted by the most beautiful and most prestigious gardens in our region and we have arranged reduced rates at most. These fairs make a wonderful day out full of inspiring ideas for people to take back with them to their own garden. We have brilliant line-ups for every fair. All our nurseries are proper growers and able to give accurate information based on their real experience. You will find RHS medallists and National Collection Holders, keen plants people, designers and artisans. Above all, people who love plants and are passionate about what they grow."

National Memorial Arboretum
The fair was appropriately held close to the Land Army Girls memorial at the Arboretum

Added the spokesman: "Every line up of nurseries is selected and planned to ensure each stall is different with its own unique specialty. We go for quality and diversity rather than packing in lots of look-alike stalls. Finding top-quality nurseries is not easy, we invest a lot of time and effort in selecting the best from the rest."

Plant Hunters' Fairs
Green-fingered visitors flocked to the Arboretum

Further Plant Hunters' Fairs are earmarked at locations across the country until the end of the summer, with an event on Sunday 8 September at Weston Park in Shifnal, Shropshire. For information about all forthcoming fairs please visit
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Why? A Chance For Green-Fingered Gardeners To Go Wild
When: May 11
Where: National Memorial Arboretum, Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire DE13 7AR
Cost: Free entry
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