This weekend we visited Gardeners’ World Live at the NEC in Birmingham. This was our first visit to a garden show of this scale and so we were unsure about what to expect.
My first thought upon entering the main hall was that I was impressed with the volume of stands however upon looking more closely most of them were trade stands selling all manner of things, a lot unrelated to gardening!
Things improved considerably upon entering the RHS Floral Marquee. What an amazing sight! I have to say that we were really impressed by the scale of the stands put on by the various associations and nurseries.
Just a small part of Birmingham City Councils award-winning display
Lilies in all their splendor
The show gardens outside were impressive and gave lots of inspiration as many featured a lot of vegetable growing. It’s at time like this that it would be nice to have a small compact garden. To recreate a garden with this much impact over half an acre would certainly be beyond our budget!
The Water Wise Garden by Brett Hardy
Coming Out To Play? by Adam Frost
For us the highlights were:
The displays in the floral marquee for sheer impressiveness
The show gardens for inspiration
The lows of the show were:
The sheer volume of people made it difficult to view the show gardens
In our opinion too many non relevant trade stands
The pull along trolleys – our ankles suffered!
The main highlight for me though was seeing my gardening hero Monty Don. The presenter of Gardeners’ World and a self-taught gardener, he gave a frank and insightful talk on the filming of Gardeners World which takes place in his own garden. Having seen and heard him live I can only say that I admire him even more!
In all we had a great day out and spoke to some interesting people who are passionate about what they do, however I’m not sure we would visit again. We felt that the commercial element outweighed the horticultural aspect of the show. Some people would find the shopping a great benefit and judging by the amount of trolleys piled high with plants and garden accessories many did but for us we felt the amount of information available was overwhelmed by the trade aspect.
So will we being going next year? Probably not – I think that this garden sums it nicely…….
I’d rather be in the garden by Helen Stewart