Legacy show garden puts the pedal to the metal

17 April 2014

The Harrogate Spring Flower Show (24 – 27 April 2014) is celebrating pedals as well as petals in the run up to the Yorkshire start of the Grand Départ.

Putting their best foot forward among this year’s spring show gardens will be three very special ‘cyclists’ hoping to make a lasting impression on the future of the sport in the region.

Harrogate Borough Council will be creating a garden to celebrate the Yorkshire Grand Départ as it comes through the Harrogate district.  It will feature a sculpture of three life-sized metal cyclists set against the backdrop of a traditional Yorkshire landscape.

Forged and fabricated by North East metal sculptor Graham Anderton, from New Marske, near Redcar, the cyclists represent three different aspects of cycling to reflect the wealth of opportunity for the sport in the region and celebrate the lasting legacy of the race.

A former engineer, Graham (61) turned his hobby into a new career as a metal sculptor six years ago and has been a finalist in the national Craft & Design Magazine Awards two years running. Each sculpture has taken about a month to create and, after the show, will receive a protective galvanised coating to help them stand the test of time.

The 6m x 8m show garden is being designed and built by Harrogate Borough Council’s Parks Team and, after the spring flower show, it will find a permanent home in the nearby town of Knaresborough.

With a number of race-themed displays and activities planned, Harrogate Spring Flower Show is part of the 100 day cultural Yorkshire Festival, organised to celebrate the world famous cycling event.

Show Director Nick Smith said: The Yorkshire Grand Départ is already having a huge influence and will doubtless leave a legacy, both for the sport of cycling and for the region as a whole. We are delighted to be showcasing a garden that will become a permanent reminder of the occasion and to be part of the celebrations leading up to one of the biggest sporting events in the world.

North East metal sculptor Graham Anderton
North East metal sculptor Graham Anderton

Lynne Mee, Tour de France Communications Manager for Harrogate Borough Council, said: The Harrogate area will be right at the heart of the Grand Départ, which presents a fantastic opportunity to highlight all that the region has to offer and, in particular, to promote cycling throughout the borough. The garden will serve as a lasting and beautiful tribute to the event’s legacy for both residents and visitors, and there is no better place to launch it than the UK’s top gardening event.

Harrogate Spring Flower Show, last year rated Britain’s best gardening event by Which?, is staged at the Great Yorkshire Showground. In addition to the popular show gardens, this year’s event will feature fantastic displays by over 100 leading plant nurseries, many following the theme ‘On your bike and pedal!’.

The spring show also hosts the UK’s biggest exhibition of flower arranging and floristry, with this year’s classes featuring titles like ‘Vive le vélo’ and ‘On your bike’. One of a new series of community Pocket Gardens will also promote the launch of a special gardener’s guide to the race routes through Yorkshire, called the Tour de Plants.

Activities for children will include sowing seeds to help turn Yorkshire yellow for the Grand Départ and there is bound to be a French flavour among the demonstrations in this year’s Plot to Pot Cookery Theatre.

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