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Gardeners' World Live highlights


by James Alexander-Sinclair

Gardeners' World Live is not, and has no desire to be, like the Chelsea Flower Show. There are no enormously expensive show gardens, no conspicuous champagne consumption and very few people wearing flowery hats.


Urban Retreat garden at Gardeners' World Live 2009Gardeners' World Live is not, and has no desire to be, like the Chelsea Flower Show. There are no enormously expensive show gardens, no conspicuous champagne consumption and very few people wearing flowery hats.

Instead it is a much more down-to-earth show, and still jam packed with fantastic nurseries selling mountains of plants, as well as inspirational gardens and lots of chances to get advice from knowledgeable people.

I have been lucky enough to have a quick wander around the show before the crowds arrive and the following are my highlights:

The winner of a gold medal and best Small Garden in Show is  a designer called Paul Titcomb (who lives near me in Northamptonshire). Paul's garden is a neatly designed Urban Retreat that he has largely built himself from plants and hard landscape materials that he has begged and borrowed.

I am not a manic vegetable grower (my wife is in charge of our kitchen gardening) but there is a very strong vegetable presence at the show. Tucked away down the end of the showground are three small gardens that I enjoyed. In particular a very clean-lined modern vegetable garden, Urban Veg, designed by Rene Humphrey and Christopher Parry. It's not just their first show garden but their first garden ever.

Bigger, but along the same lines, is Credit Munch by Birmingham City Council. It is a lush and overflowing vegetable garden with extra plants placed for the benefit of visiting insects and assorted wildlife.

Another gold medal-winning garden was the unbelievably colourful TENA  Active Living Garden designed by Yvonne Matthews. Based around a bright blue pavilion there are vibrant pink roses, red peonies, blue salvias and pretty much every other colour under the rainbow.

David Domoney is a perennial exhibitor at RHS Shows (I think he has done about 23 in the past eight years) and he is here again with the Bayer Garden which uses a strange medley of objects as planters. There is a car, a lot of old tyres and even some generously proportioned underwear. It may not be a terribly accomplished design but it made me smile.

You can make your own choices by coming along to the show or looking at our picture gallery on this website, and voting for your favourite garden. I am here all week hosting the Gardeners' World Celebrity Theatre so drop by and say hello. I am joined by such luminaries as Monty Don, Joe Swift, Carol Klein, Pippa Greenwood and Adam Pasco. Come and get your questions answered.



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Talkback: Gardeners' World Live highlights
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Gardeners' World Web User 10/06/2009 at 14:56

please could somebody tell me where and when is the show on i live in dublin

Gardeners' World Web User 10/06/2009 at 15:29

http://www.bbcgardenersworldlive.com/

Gardeners' World Web User 11/06/2009 at 10:02

i went to chelsea for the first time this year,the show gardens were of an outstanding quality,but my favourite for value of plant shopping will always be malvern

Gardeners' World Web User 11/06/2009 at 18:29

i have been to gardeners world live today, i was shooted at as they were filming and i took a picture woops sorry toby. saw the digin van was amazing in the the rhs hall, so much talent bought some nice plants see you all there next year

Gardeners' World Web User 11/06/2009 at 21:23

WOW !! First time visit Weds 10.06.09. Very impressed with all, well done for the planning of all the gardens. Definately go next year (s).

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