CLEOPATRA herself is getting ready for a major event in North Yorkshire, as preparations for the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show get underway.

The Plants Of Pleasure exhibition at this year's event will explore 'love potions' and their floral ingredients, with the Egyptian Queen said to have used an elixir of rose petals to overwhelm her Roman admirers, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.

Nick Smith, show director, said: "Most people think of a love potion as something you would slip into your suitor’s food or drink, but perfume is an incredibly powerful influencer, particularly in the ancient world where life was not always very fragrant."

The love-themed display is designed and built in the Plant Nursery Pavilion by a group of Yorkshire flower growers promoting British cut flowers, while other plants of pleasure will include vines, depicted by Harewood-based florists Leafy Couture, and special chocolate garden created by Ripon designer Helen Hays, Harrogate landscaper Nick Fryer and Chef-Chocolatier Ashley McCarthy.

The event takes place at the Great Yorkshire Showground from September 14 to 16, with other attractions including a special bicentenary tribute to Humphry Repton, who coined the phrase ‘landscape gardener’, more than 5,000 autumn blooms, and a giant vegetable competition.

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