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BBC Gardeners' World Live - June 2006
Some of the most respected names in UK horticulture are celebrating today at the news that a record number of prestigious Royal Horticultural Society Gold Awards have been granted by judges at BBC Gardeners’ World Live 2006. The show, which open Wednesday 14th June at the NEC, Birmingham, is Britain’s biggest hands-on gardening show for gardening enthusiasts. The RHS Awards are highly coveted accolades by garden designers representing horticultural standards of excellence.
In the hotly contested Show Garden category, four gardens were victorious in scooping a RHS Gold award. Winners include the Best Show Garden for Reaseheath College’s educational creation ‘The Plot’ that focuses on healthy living for children and building awareness of the origins of food. Tracey Foster collected the Best Small Garden award for her ‘Sea Hear’ garden that transports you to a windswept beach through a synthesis of sensory, seaside landscape.
Anthea Guthrie’s ‘Cunard Mayflower Garden’ was voted the Most Creative Garden and spotlights the exchange of plants between Britain and the East Coast of America in the early 17th century. It features a one-to-one scale model of the illustrious Mayflower vessel. Fellow Gold RHS winner Gill Oliver is celebrating a 100% Gold Award success rate for the second consecutive year with ‘The Y-Fronts’. The y-shaped garden aims to help busy, young families get their five-a-day by promoting variety and superior flavour on the convenience of your doorstop.
As well as selecting veterans of the horticultural industry for awards, the RHS judges also meted out awards to relative newcomers, in what was said to be one of the most difficult judging decisions in the show’s history. Two of Diarmuid Gavin’s Garden School students have proven just how much they have learnt from him during only five months in 2005. Silver Flora award winner, Celia Preston presents ‘The Cereal Garden’ - a Mediterranean styled garden to familiarise people with crops that feed them daily such as wheat, barley and oats whilst introducing the aesthetic appeal of cereals. Fellow student and winner Lee Bestal has triumphed with a Bronze Flora award. ‘A Room with a View’ his first solo garden creation ever, provides a place to entertain and relax with an inventive circular decked area that revolves to give everyone a complete view of the garden.
Silver Gilt Awards went to eight Show Gardens, including ‘Land Art’ by Alan Gardner, a challenging creation harnessing the power of shifting landscapes with Zen-like sand cones. ‘Grow Wild to Know Wild’ by Plantlife International celebrates some of Britain’s most endangered native flora in all its glory in a modern and contemporary setting that challenges the traditional view of a wildlife garden. Designer Beverly Johnson was awarded a Silver-Gilt Flora Award for the British Heart Foundation’s ‘Inner Peace’ garden which highlights the prevalence of heart disease as Britain’s number one killer. The garden provides a tranquil and reflective space away from the hectic pace of modern living.
Bob Sweet, RHS Judging Organiser says, “It has been an exceptional year for BBC Gardeners’ World Live. The exhibitors have truly staged magnificent displays this year and have beaten all previous records. The standard of show gardens underlines the importance of the show in the gardening calendar. The gardens range from those that enhance the outdoor lifestyle to those that are good fun. A number of the gardens echo new trends in the use of herbs and vegetables while others offer innovative and stunning solutions that maximise limited space.”
This year’s show has the distinction of achieving a total count of four RHS Gold Awards, eight Silver-Gilt Flora Awards and twelve Silver Flora Awards distributed throughout all the Show Gardens.
Visitors to BBC Gardeners’ World Live 2006 can see the winning Show Gardens and Small Gardens until Sunday 18th June from 9am – 6pm daily at The NEC, Birmingham.