Gardeners' World Live 2018
Last year we didn't attend this show as we went to the disastrous RHS Chatsworth Show. You will notice I didn't blog about that visit because frankly I had nothing positive to say.
This was our 5th visit to GWL and we thoroughly enjoyed it, spending a record 4 hours at the event soaking up the sights and sounds. I am sure we will return in the future too.
My heart sank when I read a tweet from Monty Don that he wasn't going to be in attendance on the day we were there. He had been the day before and was going the day after, well thats just rude. However, the lack of horticultural royalty did not detract from our enjoyment as we wheeled our trusty green Trug around the NEC arena grounds in the sunshine with our lovely friend M.
We are always on the lookout for a bargain or something unusual and although we did not purchase any, this delightful item caught our attention, can't think why.
Also an ornamental Chinese rhubarb (Rheum palmatum) which formed part of a display caught my eye. A bit of bartering with a store-holder mean't that it was mine. Knowing they are ideal for clay soil I knew exactly where it was going to be placed in the garden. Right down the bottom near the pond in dappled shade. Hopefully there it will reach its 2.5 metre width and height potential.
The gardening charity Thrive had a great presence at the show too with a wooden purple tree in the shape of their logo. There is a Thrive sight near to us too and if I had more free time and energy I would love to volunteer for them.
Getting to GWL early (in fact we were on-site having coffee 30 minutes before the gates were open) mean't that we could do two important things before the crowds descended. These were viewing the show gardens and having a mince around the floral tent.
Our favourite show garden was this one which formed part of the BBC Gardeners' World Live Young Landscapers' Competition. This design came from Jacob Botting and Laurence Senior from Bespoke Outdoor Spaces in Norfolk. We loved its simplicity and the earthy natural feel around the central sculpture. Whilst not a fan of straight lines in the garden, the soft planting scheme and the dappled shade disguised the formality of the space well inviting us in to sit with a cocktail and enjoy the secluded spot.
This design was nice too and must have been sponsored by Habitats home accessories line. We liked the masculine dark lines in the structures providing height to the otherwise simple planting design. All looking fabulous against the backdrop of that brilliant blue sky.
Other aspects of the show that caught our eyes were these sheep which made me wonder if plastic grass has its place in the garden even if only as pink farmyard animals.