Harrogate Spring Flower Show was a great success again this year wowing visitors with displays galore.It also took a step back to the days of dolly tubs and ration books in a special tribute to the Dig for Victory campaign that mobilised an army of grow your own gardeners.
As part of the celebrations for this year’s 70th anniversary of VE Day, a Victory Allotment was prepared and displayed at the show by members of the Leeds and District Gardeners’ Federation.
Complete with Anderson shelter, dolly tubs, rabbit run, and poultry ark, the allotment captured an era that saw allotments spring up on every spare patch of land, including public parks, school playing fields and even the Tower of London.
An estimated 3 million tons of food was produced by 1.5 million allotment holders, who were charged with the task of saving Britain from starvation by the Government’s 1940 Dig for Victory campaign.
In addition to scouring attics and garden sheds for original World War II artefacts, members of the federation had also researched the type of plants grown during the war, to ensure an authentic atmosphere for their 12m x 8m allotment.
Show Director Nick Smith said: “The Dig for Victory Campaign inspired generations of grow your own gardeners and was a crucial part of the home front war effort, producing around 10% of the UK’s food.
“The team from Leeds Allotment Federation did a fantastic job in re-creating an authentic World War II plot celebrating both the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe and the achievement of millions of gardeners, who helped to feed the country during the conflict.”
Other VE Day celebrations at the spring show included spectacular plant nursery displays with the theme This is your hour, paying tribute to the victory speech made on 8 May 1945 by Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Local schoolchildren also exhibited their work as part of a challenge to choose a ration book recipe and grow the produce needed to make the dish.