BBC Gardeners’ World Live drew to a close on 18 June with 90,000 visitors flocking to the NEC in Birmingham.
Keen gardeners from across the UK enjoyed more than 30 inspiring Show Gardens and Beautiful Borders, the ever-spectacular Floral Marquee, summer gardening advice from BBC Gardeners’ World TV presenters and Magazine editors, leading plant experts, designers and gardening influencers, plant and garden shopping, food, drink and entertainment.
The Show’s Gold award winning headline show garden, A Garden Fit for a King, designed by Paul Stone to mark HM The King’s Coronation and celebrate his sustainable gardening principles, will live on. Species of plants used in the garden which are suitable for pollinators and butterflies will be donated to The Prince’s Foundation.
Paul Stone said: “The King’s love of gardening and his message to trust in nature is without question, so it’s a privilege that so much of this very special garden will form part of The Prince’s Foundation legacy. I felt the biggest tribute I could give in celebration of the Coronation was to credit the King’s specific contribution to the renovation of the Highgrove Gardens and the resulting impact on the gardening community.”
Emily Cherrington, director of The Prince’s Foundation, said: “Alongside delivery of our education and training programmes, The Prince’s Foundation’s raison d’etre is to manage beautiful and inspirational places to visit for the local community and visitors from further afield. We are so grateful to the team at BBC Gardeners’ World Live for their generous donation that will undoubtedly add greatly to the biodiversity and variety of plantlife that is so important to the expert gardens teams at each of these locations.”
Following the presentation of headline awards for Best Show Garden (Newson Health Menopause Garden), Best Construction Landscaper (Liz Earle Beauty Co.’s Botanical Show Garden), Best Beautiful Border (Claire Morrell) and the Peter Seabrook Award for Best New Plant at BBC Gardeners’ World Live (Rose Peter’s Persica, Wharton’s Roses), further awards were announced on the final day of the show. Winner of the Show Garden People’s Choice Award was The Secret Homestead, an edible show garden designed by Lucy Hutchings (@shegrowsveg). The Cure Leukaemia Beth’s Sunflower Garden was given a Special Award for Community Endeavour.
The Visitors’ Choice for Best New Plant at BBC Gardeners’ World Live was Trollius Full Moon, introduced by Allensmore Nurseries and bred by Syngenta. Visitors were enchanted by its beautiful, large, cup-shaped cream-coloured semi-double blooms on tall stems emerging from clumps of mid-green leaves. Breeders from around the world took part in the new Hot Off The Potting Bench feature, and with some amazing plants to choose from, the vote was very close. Runners up for Visitors’ Choice were Rose Peter’s Persica (Whartons Roses), Hydrangea serrata Euphoria Pink (bred in Japan by Osco Garden Bv, introduced by Thompson & Morgan), Sunflower Red Desire (Burpee Seeds) and Nemesia Melody Morello Ice (Kerley & Co/Hayloft).
Winners of the Health for Life School Wheelbarrow Competition were Somerville Primary School (Primary), Victoria School (Secondary), and Fordbridge Primary School (People’s Choice), with all schools located in Birmingham. Best APL Avenue Competition Garden was Path of Renewal designed by David Negus (The 3D Gardener), a show garden featuring reclaimed industrial materials.
One visitor was so impressed by one of the Association of Professional Landscapers’ competition show gardens in APL Avenue that they bought it! Designed by Joshua Fenton from Fenton Gardens in Kent, the SubAqua garden featured a seating area suspended above a large pond. Several of the show gardens and Beautiful Borders are also being relocated to new homes with charities and community organisations, including Cornwall Hospice Care (Fontana Garden), the Wildlife Trust centre at Parkridge (Urban Oasis), Birmingham Hospice (Where there’s a willow) and Rookery Gardens mental health service (Wander and Wonder).
Rachel Poletti-Gadd, Portfolio Director – Gardening Division at Immediate Live, organisers of BBC Gardeners’ World Events, said: “It’s been fantastic to be back at the NEC for BBC Gardeners’ World Live again this year with a show that was packed with inspiration, achievable ideas, and plants a-plenty. We love seeing the joy on peoples’ faces as they explore the show, and were particularly excited to launch some exciting new features this year, like the Hot Off the Potting Bench new plants display in the Floral Marquee, the Peter Seabrook Award for Best New Plant, the We Grow Stage, Tool Shed Talks, and expanded House Plant Hub. We continue to plan exciting new elements every year and look forward to welcoming visitors back again in 2024.”
BBC Gardeners’ World Live returns to the NEC on 13 – 16 June 2024. The BBC Gardeners’ World Autumn Fair, in association with English Heritage, takes place at Audley End House and Gardens in Essex from 1 – 3 September 2023. The BBC Gardeners’ World Spring Fair returns to Beaulieu in Hampshire on 3 – 5 May 2024.
Tickets available for the BBC Gardeners’ World Autumn Fair are available at www.bbcgardenersworldfair.com. Transaction fee applies.
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