The new at the 183-year-old event, is a dedicated demonstration marquee, which will host a Gardeners Question Time activity with gardener, TV Presenter and author Toby Buckland, as well as cookery presentations The old is the return of a military band after an absence of some years – the combined bands of 150 Logistics Regiment and the Army Medical Services will give several performances and round off both days with a moving finale.
The Wessex Highlanders Pipes and Drums will supplement the bands on Saturday, while other music will be provided by Taunton Concert Band, Somerset Hills Ladies Chorus, Panatical steel band, Lazy River and Big Blue Baboon bands.
And borrowing an idea from Chelsea Flower Show, Taunton will offer its own interpretation of a Chelsea Lawn where patrons can rest their legs between displays and enjoy the music with Pimm’s and strawberries.
Chairman Bob Homeshaw said the show is bigger and better than ever and the showground will be extended into Wilton Lands.
He added: “Like all good gardeners we’re confident that hard work over the winter months will produce a bumper harvest in the summer and this year’s show is no different.
“The return of a military band heralds a bigger show packed with colour and activity for all ages.”
The programme of activities also include The Owl Man from Britain’s Got Talent, Inch Perfect motorcycle agility team, Avon and Somerset Police dog display and David Seamark’s sheepdogs.
A children’s activity area will feature pottery making and weaving, a climbing tower and parachute games, while the Food Hall, in a larger tent this year, will showcase the region’s best produce.
Prize money has been increased to attract top horticultural exhibitors and amateur competitors in the competition marquee and the number of exhibitors has risen this year.
Designer Gardens will offer ideas for amateurs, who can register their entries in the wide range of competition classes up until the Monday before the show – full details are on line at www.tauntonfs.co.uk where you can also buy your ticket in advance at a discount.
FACTFILE: *There are 312 competition classes, including 43 children’s categories.
*Prize money totals nearly £5,000, along with gold, silver or bronze awards and 52 cups and trophies.
*You can follow Taunton Flower Show on Twitter @tauntonfs and www.facebook.com/tauntonfs *The shown opens on Friday, August 1 from 10.30am to 7pm and on Saturday, August 2 from 10am to 6pm.
*Tickets are £12 on Friday and £10 on Saturday, with under 17s free when accompanied by a paying adult. There’s a 10% discount on tickets bought in advance from Taunton Tourist Information Centre or on-line.
*No dogs apart from assistance dogs are allowed in the showground.