Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 468

Flower Shows


Hello Everyone



Welcome to the ninth anniversary of my blog!!!

A very interesting discussion took place this week in the Rocky Bay Primary School.


Miss Pringle wanted to talk to her class about something very important.


The mayor of Rocky Bay had made a decision to start a new project to bring tourists in to town in the middle of the summer.


He had decided to set up the Rocky Bay Flower Show and he had asked the teachers at the school to ask their children if they would like to create a stand for the school.


Miss Pringle suggested that the children might like to bring in any houseplants they had and write out all their needs in their best handwriting on a label to be displayed next to the pot.  lt would be really great if the plants were ones they had grown themselves from seed or cuttings.  There was plenty of time to get ready for the show.


But the children had a better idea.


They wanted to design their own show garden!


After all, children are very good at having ideas, and they are very good at drawing pictures.


Miss Pringle agreed and said she would have to have a long think about the idea and discuss it with the mayor.


ln the end, it was decided; the children’s garden would go ahead! 


The children were very excited.


Their garden would be a small garden full of bee-friendly plants. 


The whole garden would be square.


There would be a space to place a couple of chairs in the middle for people to sit in the sunshine.  This place would be flat and shaped like a bee.


The rest of the garden, around the flat place, would be a large flower bed full of bee-friendly flowers.   There would be an entrance at the front so that you could walk into the middle of it.


Every child in the school that wanted to take part would plant up one pot of annual flowers.  This could easily be done with seeds.


Captain Jack and l would lay down the centre of the garden using gravel and mark out the edges of the garden with tiny walls.


We would put soil inside the walls and the children could transfer their flowers from the pots to the ground.  lt would need a lot of planning, but we really thought that if everyone pulled together we could pull it off!



Of course, there are lots of flower shows held around the country.


The most famous ones are run by the RHS; which stands for Royal Horticultural Society.  lt is a charity that encourages people to grow things and is especially interested in getting young people into gardening.  They have been holding shows since 1833.


The RHS show calendar starts with shows at Cardiff in the south of Wales and in Malvern in the west of England.


Their most famous show is the RHS Chelsea Flower Show; known as the most prestigious flower show in the world.  New breeds of plants are often launched to the public here.


lt is held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London right next to the River Thames.  The Royal Hospital is an important place where ex-military service men, and nowadays, women as well, live in their retirement. 


They wear bright red coats and black hats and are very easy to spot if they are mingling with the crowd.  They are important people.  lt was once a crime punishable by hanging to impersonate a Chelsea Pensioner! 


The show has been held here every year since 1913 – apart from gaps during the two world wars and the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.  The show was held virtually online in May 2020 with displays, demonstrations and school gardening clubs for the whole world to see.


ln 1926, the show was held a week late due to the General Strike.


ln the beginning, large rock gardens were popular large displays, but nowadays lots of modern materials are used to build the hard landscaping of the gardens.  Many garden designs set trends.  Plants on show come in and out of fashion.  ln recent years, looking after the environment has become a fashionable theme.


At the show, there is The Great Pavilion full of stands showing different plants at the peak of perfection.  Growers show off their wares and give advice.  Some of them have things to sell or at least leaflets with contact details.


The stands might have one kind of plant like: roses or cacti or irises or bonsai trees; or they might have a selection of plants for growing in certain conditions like bogs or shady woodland.  There are beautiful displays to see but the smells are wonderful too.


The strange thing about the show is that you can see plants that usually bloom in early spring along side plants that normally bloom in summer. 


This happens because the growers that supply the plants interfere with the plants’ natural growing cycles.  The plants can be kept in cold storage to arrest their growth or given lots of warmth and light in artificial conditions to bring their flowering season forward.  Not every attempt at this is a success – some plants have to be left behind and substituted.


Everyone is very serious about what they do; and when plans go wrong it is very stressful for them.


There are superb vegetable stands in the Great Pavilion too.


Then there are show gardens of three categories.


The biggest gardens are the Large Show Gardens on a walkway called Main Avenue.  These gardens are very expensive to build and are often sponsored by businesses or charities as a kind of advertising. 


There are also Artisan Gardens and Urban Gardens and other displays like balcony gardens.  An artisan is a person who is skilled at a certain art of craft and probably earns their living by selling things they have made.  Their wares are made by hand in traditional ways.


Then there are more gardens that are modern or interactive or full of movement.  Many of the gardens are what they call conceptual – that means they are designed tell a story.  They talk about things like modern slavery or illness, for example, to try and make visitors more aware of these things.


Many gardens are designed with children in mind.  They are gardens that can be explored and played in. They can be gardens that encourage children to grow things they can eat.


All of these gardens take months to plan – sometimes years.  The designers can be British or from abroad.  The gardens can look typically English or look like they are in another country like: France or Japan or Morocco or South Africa.


All the gardens are judged and sometimes given a medal.  The top prize is a gold medal but it is not like the Olympics – in theory everyone could get a gold medal; otherwise it is possible that nobody might get a medal at all!  But this is very unlikely to happen.


There are floristry displays and competitions.  There are displays set up by council parks and gardens departments.


There are stands where you can buy the latest gadgets and tools.  There is garden furniture and there are hammocks and hanging chairs.  There are refreshments. 


There are very expensive statues for sale and things that anyone can afford.


But there are never any garden gnomes!


They are not allowed in.



There are always plenty of bees through.  They fly in over the boundary trees to help themselves to pollen and nectar from all the flowers.  They don’t need to buy a ticket – they just help themselves!


The show takes place towards the end of May. 


The show gardens take weeks to build and the Great Pavilion takes days to fill.  Everything has to be ready by Sunday night – ready for the show to open on Monday.


People work very hard; sometimes through the night, and they get very tired.


There are big diggers and lots of men and women working on site beforehand and if there is bad weather, the job becomes even more difficult.


Sometimes large, full-grown trees are placed in gardens.  They have to be brought in on the back of lorries and lifted into big holes that have been dug out for them by cranes.


Each plant has been carefully chosen from a nursery well in advance of the show and is carefully placed in position to look like it has been there for ages.


On Monday, the Royal Family comes to visit. 


Queen Elizabeth ll, like her mother before her, was very interested in gardens.  She first came with her parents and sister. The Queen only missed a few shows in the whole of her reign.  King Charles lll is also very interested in gardening and so is Queen Camilla.


Three members of the Royal family have helped to design gardens at Chelsea over the years.


There are lots of celebrities and press photographers looking at all the exhibits on Monday as well.  There are also lots of people in strange costumes that vie for attention.  The tickets on this day are very expensive,


Tuesday is medals day.  Some people are pleased with what they are awarded and some are disappointed; most are emotional because they are so tired from the stress they have been under and the long hours they have worked.  The designers get the awards but there have been many builders and landscape architects that have worked hard to build the garden too.


There are also further awards later in the week like Best Construction, Best Large Show Garden, Best Artisan Garden that are handed out in addition to the medals. 


There is also a BBC RHS People’s Choice Award which is voted for by the public, many of whom watch the show on television.  Gardening is a national pastime and gardening shows have big audiences.


On Saturday, a bell rings and it is time for the visitors to get a chance to buy plants and other garden ornaments from the stands and gardens.


People loaded with shopping exit the gates to go home. 


You will see taxis with tall flowers poking out of their windows; you will see people trying to manoeuvre trolleys of plants onto underground trains, you will see people with huge shopping bags full of flowers struggle onto buses.


Other people just go home with lots of ideas and plans for their own gardens. 


The Chelsea Flower Show is known for cutting-edge (most modern) fashion in garden design.  Many of the gardens are very grand with large gates and escarpments of rock.  They have streams and waterfalls and even sea waves.  They can have tall towers and stone cottages.


There can be a fashion theme that is obvious some years; like purple alliums or yellow lupins or white flowers only, but of course when people grow things in their own garden they always choose what they like.


What is not sold off, is dismantled, which is a sad job for some.


Some show gardens are dismantled and rebuilt in another place.  They can be permanently homed in parks or hospital grounds for people to enjoy for years to come.


And then there are more RHS shows to come around the country.


At the beginning of June, there is RHS Chatsworth in the grounds of Chatsworth House and at the beginning of July there is the Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival.


The show at Hampton Court by the River Thames is called the largest annual flower show on Earth.  lt covers 34 acres of ground.


The show is held at the hottest time of the year and closes Sunday night giving people who have to go to school or work in the week a chance to attend.


There are show gardens and The Floral Marquee.  There are talks and demonstrations and lots of things to buy too.


The last show of the show season is at Tatton Park in Cheshire in the north of England in mid-July.  The show is surrounded by beautiful parkland with mature trees and fallow deer.  The show was 25 years old last year.


The plants here are often different from those in the spring shows as we move into high summer.


lt is a horticultural show combined with a traditional county show.  There are farm animals like chickens and sheep.  Champion growers bring produce to a competition held in The Summer Vegetable and Fruit Pavilion.


There are three categories of show garden.  These gardens often show a design of garden that anyone might like to build behind their house.


There is a Young Designer Competition where young professional garden designers work with landscape gardeners to build show gardens. 


lf you want tickets for any of these shows there are details on how to get them online.


At one time gardens from these shows were usually demolished at the end of the show which was a bit heart-breaking for the designers but in recent times when people are trying not to create waste it has become the trend to ship these gardens off to another place.


They may end up in a school, hospital or park for small or large communities to enjoy.


They have a new life after the show.



lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.


Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam





Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bob:  Did you know that having a gnome in your garden brings you good luck?


Bill:  No?


Bob:  Yes, it is a little gnome fact!



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

Links may be used to



Picture Gallery


LG Eco-City Garden designed by Hay-Joung Hwang


Alliums belong to the onion family




Queen Elizabeth II at the 2018 Chelsea Flower Show

(The Independent)







This week, Miss Pringle gave her class another idioms puzzle to work out.

Do you know what these all these phrases with a food theme mean?


  1. to put all one’s eggs in one basket
  2. to be as cool as a cucumber
  3. variety is the spice of life
  4. the best thing since sliced bread
  5. to be cheesed off
  6. to take something with a pinch of salt
  7. to be a piece of cake
  8. to be in a pickle
  9. to butter someone up
  10. to get egg on one’s face
  11. not someone’s cup of tea
  12. food for thought
  13. a couch potato
  14. to sell like hot cakes
  15. to be in a stew
  16. to be the salt of the earth
  17. to be on the bread line
  18. to use your loaf
  19. there is no point crying over spilt milk
  20. the icing on the cake










Quick Quiz


These things can be bad for plants.  Can you work out what they are?


  1. F _ _ _ t     and     s _ _ w
  2. H _ _ h     w _ _ _ s
  3. P _ _ _ s     and     d _ _ _ _ _ _ s
  4. M _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ s
  5. O _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ g






lt’s the Weekend!




If the pattern looks too difficult for you, use garter stitch in place of the patterned panels.

You might want to write the pattern out and tick a row off when you have done it so that you can keep track of where you are.

The skirt and sleeves of this suit are a snug fit so if you have tight tension you may want to add a stitch or two to your casting on to make sure that little fingers won’t have trouble dressing the doll with the suit.

The white top can be found on Blog Post 390.



Using 4mm knitting needles and green dk yarn cast on 16 stitches

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Knit 16 rows of stocking stitch

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Cast off



Using 4mm knitting needles and green dk yarn cast on 10 stitches

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Knit 2 rows of stocking stitch







1 S K P K P K P K K K

2 S K P K P K P K P K

3 S K P K P K P K K K

4 S K P K P K P K P K

5 S P K P K P K P K K

6 S K K P K P K P K P

7 S P K P K P K P K K

8 S K K P K P K P K P



Knit 1 row

Knit 2 purl 8

Repeat last 2 rows 4 times

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Cast off



Using 4mm knitting needles and green dk yarn cast on 10 stitches

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Knit 2 rows of stocking stitch







1 S K K P K P K P K P

2 S P K P K P K P K K

3 S K K P K P K P K P

4 S P K P K P K P K K

5 S K P K P K P K P K

6 S K P K P K P K K K

7 S K P K P K P K P K

8 S K P K P K P K K K



Knit 1 row

Purl 8 knit 2

Repeat last 2 rows 4 times

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Cast off



Using 4mm knitting needles and green dk yarn cast on 10 stitches

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Knit 18 rows of stocking stitch

Cast off



Using 4mm knitting needles and green dk yarn cast on 25 stitches

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Knit 16 rows of stocking stitch

Change to 3¾mm knitting needles

Knit 4 rows of 1×1 rib

Cast off



  1. Using over-sew stitching and with right sides together – sew side back seam of skirt
  2. Sew jacket shoulder seams
  3. Sew the tops of the sleeves to the shoulders
  4. Sew under sleeve and side seams



Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand



Answers to the News Desk Quiz


  1. To put all one’s eggs in one basket – to put all your efforts and resources into on place, if you lose anything, you will lose everything
  2. to be as cool as a cucumber – to be calm and collected
  3. variety is the spice of life – doing different things in life means it won’t get boring
  4. the best thing since sliced bread – a good new idea
  5. to be cheesed off – to be bored and exasperated
  6. to take something with a pinch of salt – to not believe what you are being told
  7. to be a piece of cake – easy
  8. to be in a pickle – to be in a mess, to have problems
  9. to butter someone up – to flatter someone to get something out of them
  10. to get egg on one’s face – to be humiliated
  11. not someone’s cup of tea – not to their taste
  12. food for thought – something that requires thinking about or is very interesting
  13. a couch potato – someone who does not take much exercise
  14. to sell like hot cakes – to sell well
  15. to be in a stew – to be confused and worried and upset
  16. to be the salt of the earth – a decent person
  17. to be on the bread line – poor
  18. use your loaf – think carefully (loaf of bread = head – [is London slang])
  19. there is no point crying over spilt milk – you can’t change the past so don’t get upset about it
  20. the icing on the cake – something even better on top of something that is already good




Quick Quiz Answers


  1. Frost and snow – plants can be taken inside for the winter or wrapped in straw or horticultural fleece
  2. High winds – gardens can be protected by fences or hedges and tall plants can be propped up with stakes
  3. Pests and diseases – you need to keep watch on your plants to see if they have problems, encouraging birds into your garden can help control pests
  4. Microclimates – things like frost pockets, deep shade, baking sun can be the wrong situation for some plants
  5. Overcrowding – you need to have airflow between plants otherwise you can get mildew; water needs to get to the soil so that it get to the roots of the plants. 


lt is better to use a no dig policy and mulch to keep weeds away than chemicals.  lf you make your own compost, you can save a lot of money.


Parks can be places for people and nature

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