Thursday, 16 June 2011

Gardener's World Live Report - Part 3

I hope you enjoyed reading parts 1 and 2 of this report. If you haven't seen them yet, then they should be directly under this post on the home page.

I mentioned in Part 2 that beehives and chickens featured prominently throughout the show. Not only was there a large presence in the show gardens and displays, but there were plenty of stalls inside that were selling or advertising related products etc.

This stand was by the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA).

It really is a step in the right direction for promoting the hobby, it was one of the most bespoke and outstanding pieces in the whole hall. As you will all probably know, numbers of honey bees around the world are in serious decline following outbreaks of viruses and bacteria that thrive on healthy colonies. This stand really went the extra mile. There were many beekeepers on hand partaking in different activities. Some were taking apart hives and demonstrating to potential newbies. There were other beekeepers demonstrating candle making, which is something we hope to do soon and there were others manning stalls with honey and beekeeping products. There was a display hive too. It is basically a glass window with two brood frames in so that people can see how the bees go about their business. It is always interesting to see the bees even though we have our own, but because Amy doesn't go near the hive (yet!) it was great for her to see them up close. They also had 2 bee hives in the outside area with live beekeeping demonstrations taking place throughout the day. It did make me laugh how clever they were bringing two hives and plonking them in the middle of the show gardens. Think of all that amazing honey they will get now!

Before we move on, we will take a look back at the other gardens or displays with beehives on them.

This was one of the edible patches designed by local schools and charities.

This show garden was called 'Working with nature' it was a very tranquil looking garden.

There was also the show garden which we awarded the 'Our-good-life' silver medal.

Well, I suppose you are all bee-hived out. Well, here is a selection of gardens and displays which were based on the 'grow your own' theme.

The above display by 'Robinson's seeds and plants' was a breathaking mass of colour and texture. It was different from most other displays because it was a display of harvested vegetables and  fruits rather than growing plants. It still scooped a Gold Medal, and we bought the lovely Filius Blue chilli pepper plant which was photographed in Part 1 from here. You can also see the 'Turk's Turban' squash in the bottom left corner, we bought one of these plants too because Amy was amazed with the shape and colour of them. The plant has now been planted in the squash and pumpkin bed. They had this display of beans too, I am very envious of them...

This next garden was very vintage. It had a cute little chicken coop/adapted rabbit hutch in the foreground and the whole plot was in 4 segments with the greenhouse in the centre. I thought the 'Dig for Victory' post was a really nice touch. This garden had lots of good information published on small placards strategically placed throughout the garden. Great idea!

In the past I've been to talks by Paul Kelly, James Martin, Jimmy Doherty and Carol Klein. But this year we went to see good old Alan Titchmarsh doing a talk about growing your own veg. Amy wasn't keen on the idea, but I dragged her by the hair all the way to the stage. (joke). She did buckle and came along, and we were both surprised at how funny he actually is and his whole talk was adapted around growing in smaller spaces which was very relevant for us. He did a questions and answers session at the end, which was good of him. The picture doesn't show a lot other than Alan and some stranger's heads...

We got a bit closer to good old Monty though who was filming for Friday's show...

Anyway, away from the gardeners and back to the gardens. Or displays as like to call this next lot.

The UK Bonsai society always make me laugh. People queue up to talk to the experts and their conversation always goes like this.

Person: ''I had a bonsai tree''
UK Bonsai Expert: ''..and it died''

It always makes me laugh at loud, the same thing happened again yesterday and Amy gave me a nudge in the side. The bonsai trees on display always look amazing, like minature pieces of precious woodland. But, if you have ever owned a bonsai tree like I have, they die, and fast. I've had four or five bonsai trees in the past and not a single one lasted more than two weeks. As soon as one leaf falls off the whole lot seems to go, the conditions your provide are always too hot, or too cold, too sheltered or not sheltered enough, too much light, or not enough! No matter what book I have read or what I have done, the same result is always impending doom. What sort of witchcraft and wizardry do they use to nurture these beauties....

Amazing aren't they!

Well, I have to admit that I am pretty bad when it comes to flowers, my knowledge is not as extensive as my knowledge of fruit and vegetable growing. I often forget the names of the flowers like with the following displays which are actually rather beautiful...

I can just about say that either side of these flowers there are some alliums. But I'm not sure what these are. I like the white and pink ones near the top.

Here are some more outstanding flower displays..

Some foxgloves...

Amy liked the display by the company that provided the trees for the Royal Wedding on April 29th. A couple of the trees from the wedding were on display...

I have been writing this post since 9:30 am and it is now 11:39 am. Time flies. There are a lot more photos left, so I am going to do a fourth part to this report called 'Best of the Rest' It will got live at 9am tomorrow Friday for those of you who are interested.

We had such a good day, I really envy all of those people who have been today too. Can't wait for next years show, Amy did joke that we should do a show garden because she recons I could do a better job than some of them.. Don't even want to think about all of the work that goes in to that!

I really thankyou for your support once again.



  1. Great posts - thank you! We are going tomorrow, so exciting!

  2. Have a great time Rachel - I know you will! :0)

  3. Enjoyed this post.

    I'm not a flower person , but the "foxgloves" are lupins. How do you get mature bean pods at this time of year? - the must come from Australia! Nice to see Monty exists in the real world.


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