Norfolk’s answer to the Chelsea Flower Show continues to be a big success for Creake Abbey

Potential customers browse amongst a mass of colourful plants. Picture: Peter Bird

Potential customers browse amongst a mass of colourful plants. Picture: Peter Bird - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of gardeners and stallholders headed to Creake Abbey's annual flower show on Saturday despite the menacing clouds and a brief but heavy downpour.

Attendees from across the region browsed over 30 stalls offering all manner of flowers, vegetables, exotic grasses and herbs at Creake Abbey's Plant Lovers Day.

One stall operated by Predator Plants in Rackheath was even selling carnivorous plants. The company is owned by flower enthusiast Steve Bunclark, who is believed to be one of the largest collectors of carnivorous plants in Norfolk and possibly the UK.

Another nursery from Norwich was selling olive trees, a plant that would traditionally be grown in the warm climates of the Mediterranean, indicating that the changes in the UK climate has allowed the growth of plants and vegetables that would normally only be grown on the continent.

Those looking for fresh vegetables were able to browse the huge selection offered by Swaffham's Escape Community Gardening project. The charity project that started off as a community allotment at Tumbler Hill, but has since expanded its activities to help individual gardeners and supported living homes.

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In total there was more than 30 specialty companies from places such as Nottinghamshire, Hertfordshire Cambridgeshire and Essex, who brought their own selections of plants, flowers, shrubs and trees. Norfolk companies were also represented, including Hoecraft Plants from Dereham and the Creake Plant Centre from South Creake.

The flower show has been dubbed Norfolk's answer to the Chelsea Flower Show and this weekend it celebrated its tenth anniversary. It has proven to be an increasingly popular event ever since the founder, Diana Brocklebank Scott, started it in 2008 to raise money for Wells Community Hospital, a charitable trust and independent hospital that serves Wells-next-the-sea.

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Ms Brocklebank Scott said: 'The Creake Abbey Plant Lovers' Day is fast becoming the preeminent specialist plant day for the region which is very exciting for our picturesque corner of north Norfolk. We're delighted to be able to donate £3,100 to Wells Community Hospital Trust. In the ten years we have organised Plant Lovers' Day we have raised over £20,000 for this wonderful cause.'

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