BBC Gardeners' World Live Wednesday 11 June to 15 June 2008 NEC Birmingham

11-15 June, The NEC, Birmingham

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The extremely successful association between The Royal Horticultural Society and BBC Gardeners’ World Live continues this year with the presentation of some spectacular features.  The show which takes place at The NEC, Birmingham between 11 and 15 June has been home to truly breathtaking RHS displays for many years and this year will be no exception.

In the RHS Floral Marquee sponsored by Renault more than 100 nurseries will be displaying their very best and most unusual varieties in the hope of winning a coveted RHS medal.  From violas, delphiniums and Scottish woodland plants to sweetpeas, chrysanthemums and vegetables displayed in pots, the Marquee will be a riot of colour and interest with the winners proudly displaying their medals.

Outside in the Show Garden area, the RHS will be bringing an eclectic mix of garden design, ranging from outrageously theatrical to slick, contemporary lines, as well as the more traditional styles.  The sustainable gardens demonstrate just how easy it is to incorporate clever ideas without compromising on beauty.  The educational gardens stimulate the mind whereas the edible gardens stimulate the tastebuds!  There truly is something for everyone, fresh inspirational ideas created by new enthusiastic designers as well as some of the more familiar faces. 

Designed to appeal to children and adults alike, an exclusive Narnia Garden will be created, inspired by the new Disney film “The Chronicles of Narnia – Prince Caspian” which is due out at the end of June.  Here we will see a very different Narnia than was depicted in the last film.  No longer a frozen place, Narnia becomes a warm and magical summer woodland at the hands of Marney Hall, the garden designer. 

The Bradstone garden based on the theme of “The Good Life” will be created by competition winner Heather Appleton, with the support of award-winning garden designer Sarah Eberle.  The garden is inspired by Alan Bennet’s quotation “life is like a tin of sardines, we’re all looking for the key” and features a multitude of thought provoking and sustainable ideas, as well as some quirky ones.  Look out for the playful sardine water feature and canal – if you look hard enough you will spot a hidden meaning!  Other novel ideas include the salad growing bar, vegetable baskets and a living shed roof.  Heather won this chance to see her garden design come alive in a competition run by Bradstone.  Another competition run by NS&I will see the creation of three winning designs in the Grow Your Own area of Gardeners’ World Live.  Andy Tudbury, Claire Potter and Peter Stevens have all met the challenge of finding a creative way to grow vegetables in a small space in a sustainable way and will be sharing their secrets with visitors.  A public vote will take place at the show to select the overall winner of this competition – so don’t forget to vote for your favourite!

Unique and unusual is the hallmark of the garden that has been designed by Kings Heath Horticultural College to raise awareness of the plight of wildebeest in the Nairobi National Park.  Each year the annual migration of the animals from Tanzania to Nairobi is getting more difficult as the Nairobi National Park becomes surrounded by urban and industrial areas.  Using a theatrical style, the garden will feature metal sculptures to represent the animals and a building to represent the urbanisation.

Anna Dempsey’s show garden “The Potting Shed” provides a humorous take on a rococo fantasy, designed to revolutionise and recognise garden design as an art form.  She will be attempting to transform a dull shed into a masterpiece, complete with chandelier, chaise longue and living walls. The planting outside depicts an air of tranquillity and formality and is a stark contrast to the chaotic interior.  With such wide ranging themes and ideas, Judges from the RHS will have a challenging task to award medals for the best gardens.

Elsewhere in the show a brand new addition is the ‘RHS Orchid House’ including gold-medal winning exhibitors, vibrant, colourful displays, potting demonstrations and talks on everything you could possibly need to know to grow and keep orchids.  Urban Salads will show two feature gardens, a traditional, practical English design and a light, fragrant Italian space demonstrating how easy it is to be healthy and grow your own with maximum output and minimum space.

In association with the RSPB, a Homes for Wildlife area will inspire visitors to make their gardens a better place for birds, insects and other types of wild animals, while children will be the target for the Next Generation of Gardeners feature.  This will aim to engage children from a young age in all sorts of hands on gardening activities.  The Garden Explorer Passports will have children involved in a gardening hunt around the show and the RHS School Gardening campaign will be spreading their message to encourage schools to participate.

Other features will include; an impressive lettuce mosaic showing a range of colour, leaf shape, maturities and plant sizes; floristry displays depicting the world in plants, alongside demonstrations and talks from The British Florists Association; an exploration of the principles of sustainability in the garden by Wolverhampton College;  stunning futuristic displays of fruit, flowers, vegetables and plants from UK Horticulture; a rose display championing the ever popular flower and an educational garden display from The National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens.

Whether you are seeking inspiration for your garden, the opportunity to gain in depth knowledge on a particular subject, become more aware of environmental gardening issues or simply enjoy an entertaining day out, there will be plenty of exciting content at BBC Gardeners’ World Live, presented in association with The Royal Horticultural Society.

Tickets for BBC Gardeners’ World Live are available to buy now.  Full details of pricing and price packages are available on the website or by telephoning the ticket hotline on 0870 040 0371.  All tickets to BBC Gardeners’ World Live also allow admission to all areas of the BBC Summer Festival, including the BBC Good Food Show Summer, Good Homes and Countryfile magazine areas.

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Emma Barttelot - The Painted Garden
Emma Barttelot - The Painted Garden
Emma B Brings a Taste of Tuscany to the Midlands With The Painted Garden at BBC Gardeners’ World Live Having cut her teeth at the RHS Malvern Spring Show and assisted on the...
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