Ideas and inspiration for gardens of all sizes can be found at BBC Gardeners’ World Live. Here are some of my favourites from this year’s show!
Last month’s BBC Gardeners World Live show was packed full of beautiful gardens and stunning blooms. And of course, it’s always the perfect place to get information and inspiration for your garden at home.
So although the weather wasn’t ideal on the day that I visited, I’ve picked out some of my favourites to share with you.
Edible and Decorative
Don’t worry, I’m not about to suggest that you should put a steam train in your back garden!
But the ‘Made in Birmingham’ garden drew masses of interest from visitors to the show. It features a vintage steam train and celebrates the industrial heritage of the West Midlands. The beautifully restored Pullman Dining Carriage, named ‘Eagle’, is part of the fleet at Vintage Trains‘ Tysley works.
This garden was designed by Paul Stone, and was awarded a Platinum Award and Best in Show from the show judges.
Within this garden there is an array of colourful blooms in a cut flower garden, alongside the station master’s allotment.
The carefully laid out allotment looks every bit as decorative as the cut flower garden. And you could easily incorporate some of these ideas into your garden at home.
Growing a cut flower garden means that you can enjoy the flowers as they grow, and also inside your home.
And you could even combine the two, and grow sweet pea flowers up a wigwam frame in your vegetable patch.
Every Little Helps
Or if space doesn’t allow for a full vegetable garden, you could grow vegetables in raised beds like these on the Tesco Every Little Helps garden.
This garden was absolutely packed full of ideas that would transfer very easily into your garden at home. These raised beds make sowing seeds and getting rid of weeds much easier. They’re also easier to tend if you have limited mobility.
And if you’re really short on space, don’t forget that salads and some veg will also grow easily in containers and planters.
I also love how they have combined an impressive olive tree with lavender and other flowers in this Mediterranean inspired areas. The raised bed also serves as seating in this instance.
Don’t forget that your garden can add an extra room to your house. Garden furniture is much more interesting than just wicker chairs these days.
I really love these comfy sofas and chairs that bring the indoors out into the garden, but there are great furniture ideas to suit any style of garden. For example, just imagine relaxing with a book and a cool drink in one of the range of hammocks from Tropilex – my idea of heaven!
This lovely garden also featured a pond full of water-loving plants, and a hidden wigwam for kids to play in behind the garden shed. The show judges gave this a Gold Award as well as naming it as Best Construction in the show.
Cooking and Eating Outside
But gardens aren’t just for eating outside, you can cook outside as well. When the weather is as hot as it has been this summer, the idea of cooking outside really appeals.
Whether you are firing up the BBQ or even cooking pizza in an outdoor oven, our changing climate will definitely be changing the way we cook and eat in the future.
I love the use of the table as a basil planter – can’t you just picture yourself picking a few leaves to go with some juicy tomatoes and fresh creamy mozzarella?
This garden by Timotay Landscapes was part of the APL Avenue at the show. The Association of Professional Landscapers challenge designers to come up with gardens that are full of creative ideas to make maximum use of the space available. The designs are inspiration and aspirational, but they’re achievable as well!
And I know I keep on about it, but don’t forget to plant lovely colourful flowers for the bees and butterflys to feed on as well!
The BBC Gardeners’ World Live judging panel gave this garden a Silver-Merit award.
Add Colour and Drama to your Garden
This was one of my favourite gardens at BBC Gardener’s World Live 2018. It was designed by Martin Wilson and created by Keyscape Gardens to transform the outside space of a Victorian terraced property.
This type of garden would typically be narrow and overlooked by neighbouring gardens. So the design gives a sense of privacy with hedging and fencing, while trees are used to make the space more intimate.
The dark colour of the fencing and arbour help to add drama to the garden, and a contrasting pop of colour comes from the seating set and planting.
The terrace and log burner create a perfect space for socialising, and the planting scheme is based on cool greens with pops of colour. I particularly love the use of the variagated leaves of the hosta to add light in a darker corner.
This garden won a Gold Award from the show judges.
Make the most of your space
And if the footprint of your garden is small, get creative and plant upwards!
I’ve seen quite a few living walls in show gardens this year, and this one looks particularly lush. The garden was designed and created by Conquest Creative Spaces, and has been designed to suit an older professional couple whose children have flown the nest.
It’s a low maintenance, multi-functional outdoor living space which includes a seating area with a fire pit, and a kitchen for outdoor cooking.
The garden has a boardwalk leading to the sunken firepit, and granite stepping stones within the lawned area. It certainly is a garden with elements to suit all seasons.
Creative Use of Space
And even if space is at a premium, it’s still possible to have a garden that works for both adults and children alike. This garden design from Peter Cowell at Living Gardens has been designed to cater for a family with young children who also enjoy socialising, relaxing and entertaining
The garden uses natural materials to create a peaceful feeling in the garden, and sections are created with sliding barn doors.
As with the garden above, there is a living wall which adds colour into the adults’ area of the garden.
Wild flower planting adds colour and also creates a great habitat for wildlife. I’m a big fan of this, and it’s reasonably easy to create and maintain.
And at the rear of the garden there is a dedicated play area with rope swing and play house. It’s perfect for kids to play away from the grown ups’ area.