Thursday, 16 June 2011

Gardener's World Live Report - Part 2

I was really unsure how Amy would react to a whole day at a gardening event, and I am really pleased to say that she absoutely loved it as much as I did. The whole enjoyment of the day was helped by the favourable conditions. Nobody wants to be looking around the show gardens when it is really gloomy and raining at the bucket load. So thankfully the skies were relatively clear in the morning, and it was a bit overcast in the morning. The only time that the heavens opened was when we were walking back to the car with armfuls of newly acquired bits and bobs, typical. I'd rather it rain as we were leaving rather than as we walking around the amazing show gardens.

The Royal Horticultural Society and the Gardener's World team did an amazing job of allocating the gold, silver and bronze medals to all of the exhibited show gardens. However, we had our own personal favourites too. We are going to share with you our top five gardens from the show. There were some outstanding 'displays' too, but you will see in part 3 of our report where we draw the line between 'show gardens' and 'displays'

In reverse order....


Heart Healthy Garden designed by Paul Baines and John Woods Nurseries is inspired by healthy and pro-active lifestyles. The garden was sponsored by 'Flora Pro-active' and had a very modern and comfortable feel to it. The main features of the garden were the georgeous seating arrangements and this gentle pool on one side. This garden was a real celebrity hot spot, we spotted lots of famous people browsing this particular garden.


They say you always remember the first and the last and this is true in the case of 'The Edible Classroom' by Hannah Genders as it was the first garden we saw at the show. Hannah is a local desinger and her last show garden which was for received a gold medal at the Malvern show is permanently on display at a local farm shop. 'The Edible Classroom' is a burning desire to roll out a nation wide use of allotments and growing spaces in schools. This show garden was a real novelty with fruit and vegetables being grown in old style desks and the show garden had chickens too. The ladies were a real hit....


Bronze medal time now. Our third favourite garden was the 'Grow Your Own' garden which was also the 'Grow Your Own' stage. There were many talks on growing fruit and vegetables during the day, and we attended one hosted by Alan Titchmarsh. The garden had two stunning green houses, and a row of delightful raised beds with some great demonstrations of companion planting and natural pest avoidance techniques. The varities displayed were very colourful, with sunny yellow courgettes, red cabbage and purple runner beans.


Our silver award goes to a garden which for me would be idealic. Each night before we go to bed, we are currently watching an episode per night of the Good Life TV series from the 70s. This garden really did look like it belonged to Tom and Barbara. It had a georgeous light blue chicken coop with a white fenced area for them to free-range in. It also had a WBC bee hive in the middle of 8 or so apple trees. At the end of the garden was a small vegetable patch. The garden was perfect. It was quite romantic in a really odd way. I just loved everything about it. If that was my garden I would be so proud. It is not the most practical thing, but being self-sufficient is not always practical. If you had an allotment in conjunction with this garden then you really could be on your way to self-sufficiency. Delightful!

1st - Gold Medal

This garden called 'Gorilla's Plight' was compiled by Birmingham City Council. It was simply amazing. People were on their mobile phones saying 'it's like something we've never seen before' and 'it's breathtaking'. To be perfectly honest it was all of those things. We can give it the prize of 'Our-good-life Top Garden' but you really need to see this garden to believe it. There was so much going on, you didn't know where to look at any one time. A huge waterfall and pond was incorporated in to the centre of the garden, and the exotic foliage was breathtaking. There were recycled metal animals too, including Gorillas (obviously) and turtles and beetles. This was the most deserving winner. Not only a RHS Gold medal, but ours too. Congratulations!!


You can probably see some sort of theme in our selections. Fruit, vegetables and growing your own! After all this is what we are all about, and this is why our blog exists, so it is only fitting that these were the gardens we enjoyed the most and took the most from. The other mini theme was water, Amy loves water features and anything to do with water in gardens. She could be the next Charlie Dimmock! In reality there was no chance of anybody beating 'Gorilla's Plight' it was unbelievable, so she didn't need to twist my arm on that one. But we agreed that 'Healthy Heart Garden' did fit in with 'Our-good-life' theme as we do strive to be healthier and more pro-active in everything we do. The Cabbages for Classrooms idea is lovely, I remember that anything to do with gardening in science at school really made my academic year more worthwhile. Beehives and Chicken Coops were really 'in' at this years show. I remember that in the past only ornamental chickens and beehives have been used, but now there are real hens, cockerels and buzzing bees in 'live hives'. This must be a good sign of the population's trends...

We have so many photos and annecdotes to share, so I will be busy writing the next installment during the day and it will be published at 5pm, so be sure to check back.

Thanks for taking the time to read our blog.

Have a great day!


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