IF YOU are lucky enough to be in Pembrokeshire, I suggest a trip to Picton Castle for the Welsh Open Championship Show and Gardening Fayre next weekend. Organised by the Pembrokeshire Horticultural society, the event hosts the Open Welsh Championships for carnations and pinks, chrysanthemums, gladioli, roses, cacti, cut flowers, coleus, orchids, ferns, pot plants and vegetables, making it a mecca for serious Welsh exhibitors. There will also be competitive classes for arts and crafts and 100 trader stands. The 40-acre grounds are open to the public; there is mature woodland, with some fine exotic trees, as well as a highly regarded walled garden. The show runs from 7 to 9 August (1pm-7pm on Friday; 10am-7pm on Saturday; 10am-5pm on Sunday). Admission costs pounds 1.50 and Picton Castle (01437 751326) is five miles south-east of Haverfordwest.
Every year, at this time, the Royal Horticultural Society comes to the rescue of harassed parents who live near its gardens at Wisley in Surrey. The "family fortnight" runs from today until 16 August and children can try a variety of garden-based activities and workshops, including botanical art workshops, flower-arranging and sculpture workshops. Youngsters can also follow a garden trail, learn about making mazes and about the lives of creepy-crawlies, or just listen to storytelling.
For details of what is going on, contact Nicky Pickett at the RHS Garden at Wisley (01483 224234).
Anyone who takes along this article can get one free ticket into the garden throughout the family fortnight, except on Sundays when Wisley is open to RHS members only.