The Ayr Flower Show is able to thrive thanks to strong support from our partners in Scotland and the wider UK. Our partners allow the show, which has a national vision and makes a local impact, to survive since it no longer receives public funding.
The Ayr Flower Show is now fully supported through direct donations, grants and corporate sponsorships and is now proudly sustainable while being mutually beneficial to our partners. Our records from last year show that the show generated £1.3 million pounds for the local community. As we work in partnership to encourage all ages to find out more about horticulture, we are hopeful that future years will see increased visitor numbers. Together with our partners, we create marketing with cross-promotional elements to generate sales to those 30,000+ visiting the show each year. These are our four partners:
Royal Horticultural Society
As the world’s leading gardening charity, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has a strong reputation for excellence, quality and trust. With help from the RHS, the Ayr Flower Show has been inspired to improve in areas where the RHS has already gained experience. Their involvement has informed the Ayr Flower Show organisers how best to encourage new visitors and a broader demographic. The work has been a success as visitor numbers increase year on year. We may not yet have the 2 million visitors that visit the RHS Flower Show at Chelsea Hospital, London, but we are seeing numbers rise, with younger people increasingly submitting entries to one or more competition.
It is thanks to the RHS that the Ayr Flower Show has been able to welcome adults and children with disabilities to take part in the competitions that take place over the weekend. In addition, thanks to the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, many of our volunteers have taken on new roles in the community, inspiring and supporting schools to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills and boost their development. Already we have seen some of the children submit entries to the junior competitions and this is talent that we aim to encourage throughout the year with the continued help of our partners.
The Daily Record
The Daily Record is a Scottish newspaper based in Glasgow that covers news in the Ayrshire region. It is published six days a week, and its sister paper is the Sunday Mail. As part of Trinity Mirror, it has a close kinship with the British-based Daily Mirror, with major stories of British significance being reported in both titles.
The Daily Record provides The Ayr Flower Show with a significant amount of publicity prior to the weekend and over the weekend itself. With several trophies to be won across a range of competitions, it is always good to see The Daily Record at the event to record the results for posterity, both on their online site and in print. The Ayr Flower Fair has proven to be a mutually beneficial partnership in that the paper raises its online profile at a time when the numbers of readers of print news are falling nationally.
Scottish Association of Flower Arrangement Societies
The Scottish Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (SAFAS) is one of twenty one areas of the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS). There are currently 88 affiliated Clubs in SAFAS, which includes four Contemporary Design Groups. There is a SAFAS in Troon, but we see members at the Flower Show from many different groups, with many winning first prize.
Founded in 1956, SAFAS members have included Gold Medal winners at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. SAFAS works to encourage and support floral art and design. At the Ayr Flower Show SAFAS offer workshops in all types of flower arranging. SAFAS also encourages young people with two junior clubs already and plans for more in the future. This is something that the Ayr Flower Show is keen to support.
The organisers of the Ayr Flower Show are grateful that SAFAS members are able to share their love of flowers and plants to demonstrate their decorative and creative values. Their exhibitions and competition entries have pushed others to try new trends. SAFAS also encourages the conservation of rare and endangered flower and plant species.
Flowers from the Farm
Flowers from the Farm was founded in 2011 and is a not-for-profit network run and administered solely by volunteers. It is currently a small, but strong, organisation with most members being sole traders in the farming, small-holder or gardening business. Their aim, similar to The Ayr Flower Show and hence the partnership, is to use their knowledge and experience in horticulture and floristry to grow and present flowers that are not usually seen on sale.
From Cornwall to the Orkney Islands, including Ayrshire, these artisan flower farmers are growing old favourites as well as trying out new varieties. Some of these flowers are those that are included in the Ayr Flower Show competitions, including Sweet Peas and Dahlias among others. Member of Flowers from the Farm can be seen at the show, but they have also teamed up with local florists and shops to sell their blooms, and online retail florists are available to take orders. These flowers are not just available at the height of summer, though we see these at Ayr, but scented Narcissi are available in October and tulips from Lincolnshire in time for Christmas, with winter flowers available during the shortest days.
The Ayr Flower Show is a one of the regional shows where members of Flowers from the Farm are encouraged to come together, to build displays at the show, to hold workshops to improve not only the members skills, but other people at the show, some of whom could be potential new members. Becoming involved with Flowers from the Farm has given the Ayr Flower Show organisers a chance to meet like-minded people, some of whom have become new work colleagues and most have become new friends.