Lecture Marquee

The Lecture Marquee at this year’s show has yet another interesting and varied programme of seven lectures/demonstrations running continuously from 10.30am to 4.30pm on both days. We start and end each day with the ever-popular show favourite of Flower Arranging given by our two experts from the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS).

In between these demonstrations, there will be a lecture given by our Celebrity Gardener, David Domoney, as well as Chris Smith, Ben Mayho and the Show’s very own Gardeners’ Question time so please have your horticultural questions ready. The compere for your questions will, once again, be Alan Wilding (ex Radio Shropshire).

Friday & Saturday Programme


Flower Arranging Purely For Pleasure
NAFAS Demonstrator *


Working With Willow
Ben Mayho


Cocktails From Your Garden
Chris Smith


Unusual Gardening Techniques
David Domoney


Gardeners’ Question Time
Panel: David Domoney, Margaret Thrower and Mike Hinton. Compere – Alan Wilding


Flower Arranging Purely For Pleasure
NAFAS Demonstrator*

* Donald Morgan – Friday
* Jane Pugh – Saturday

National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS):

Once again, we are delighted to welcome members of the Mercia and North Wales Area of NAFAS to present their wonderful demonstrations of flower arranging and it will be two of well known demonstrators, Jane Pugh and Donald Morgan who will be attending. NAFAS has been represented at the Show for many years and the demonstrations have proved to be a very popular attraction.

Donald will be giving his wonderful demonstrations with non-stop instructions on the Friday, and the award-winning Jane will be doing the same on the Saturday.

Note: Accessories for use in Flower Arranging will be available, on sale, immediately after each demonstration.

Ben Mayho

Ben is a basket maker and sculptor who works predominantly with willow to create both functional and artistic pieces. Whether it’s building in-situ hurdle fencing, making baskets for the home, or creating a show-stopping item for clients such as the National Trust, Ben is at home when working with sticks.

Chris Smith

Chris is a partner in Pennard Plants from Somerset. He has a long career in horticulture, he trained as a teacher but love of plants led to a career mainly in the retail sector of horticulture, working for Garden Centres for much of the time but finally establishing Pennard Plants in 2001 in a Victorian Walled Garden in Somerset.

Initially growing perennials and grasses, his long held interest in vegetables resulted in a shift to growing and exhibiting vegetables and edible plants as well as producing a range of Heritage and Heirloom vegetable seeds, now some 600 varieties strong. Pennard Plants exhibits at all major flower shows and has won Gold at many, including Chelsea and has been exhibiting at Shrewsbury Flower Show for the past 15 years, with displays of both Agapanthus and Edibles. The nursery still grows Agapanthus as the only ornamental crop.

The interest in edibles has grown so that not only vegetables are cultivated but fruit of all descriptions and many plants with edible parts be it leaves, fruit, flowers, roots and even bark! The plants come from many parts of the world and trialled at the Walled Garden before being offered for sale.

Pennard Plants will be exhibiting in the Quarry Marquee once again this year.

David Domoney

In this quick-fire talk, David goes through his favourite gardening hacks, collected during his highly successful 40 year career in horticulture. Learn how to water your garden with a broom, feed plants using bananas and brillo pads, keep your plants healthy with washing up liquid, vinegar and vodka, and how to stop slugs in their tracks without so much as looking at a tub of slug pellets. A fun-filled talk packed with practical advice, it will have the audience rummaging franticly in their bags for a pen and paper to note them all down.

Margaret Thrower

Margaret heralds from a rich history of horticulture. As the eldest daughter of the ‘Nation’s Head Gardeners’ Percy Thrower, her interest in plants and gardening was catalysed at a young age. She exhibited at the Shrewsbury Flower Show from the age of five, latterly continuing her father’s tradition of exhibiting the large fuchsia garden exhibit in the Quarry Marquee.

After training as a teacher, Margaret taught Rural Science for six years in Ludlow and Floral Art to further education students for over 18 years. After living in New York, she returned to assist her family in the running of Percy Thrower’s Gardening Centre in Shrewsbury.

Margaret continues to expand and share her horticultural knowledge as a Garden Judge for Oswestry and Nantwich, a Member of the Shrewsbury In Bloom Action Committee and can be heard featuring regularly on BBC Radio Shropshire’s Gardening Time.