Home and Garden, UK Travel
Gardeners World Live 2017 – The Floral Marquee
No visit to Gardeners World Live would be complete without a look around the Floral Marquee. And this year the flowers on display were as stunning as ever. There was a celebratory flavour to the Floral Marquee at this year’s Gardeners World Live exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham. The TV show is marking its 50th birthday this year, and while the Show Gardens had a nostalgic feel, the Floral Marquee was definitely in party-mode. As soon as I entered the marquee, my eyes were immediately drawn to this fabulous display from Primose Hall Nursery. Their peonies are always gorgeous, and for this year’s stand they piled them up into a massive birthday cake. The effect was amazing, and it definitely drew a crowd. I think it took me about 5 minutes to get this shot because everyone wanted to stop and smell the gorgeous blooms! Other stands also had celebration-themed displays, and I really loved these delicate chair decorations. Wouldn’t they just be perfect for a summer wedding? I love the pretty mix of different flowers and the purples, pinks and whites. That’s a colour scheme that I noticed a lot in this year’s Show Gardens as well. Other stands went for more of a show of colour in their displays… Just like this beautiful display of Dianthus from Calamazag Plant Nursery. Now, I have to admit that pinks aren’t a flower that I often think of buying. But I really loved the way Calamazag used them in big blousey bunches – gorgeous! And other stands went down the nostalgia route. Pennard Plants took a look back at the Gardeners World judges through the years. The Floral Marquee does tend to be dominated by the floral displays, as you’d expect. So it was really good to see plenty of interest in the heritage and heirloom vegetable seeds on sale on this stand. I’ve dabbled in veg growing in the past, and it’s definitely something that I’d like to try again. I was really interested in the ‘Rose Hut’ section of the marquee. Although David Austin Roses weren’t present (they had a stand in the main hall), there were plenty of other growers with lots to tempt rose fans. One of my favourites was this stunning ‘Hot Chocolate’ rose on the Harkness Roses stand. Harkness Roses are one of my favourite rose nurseries, and they always have some beautiful varieties on display. I love the smokey red-brown colour of these floribunda roses. They’re very eye catching! Unfortunately though, they aren’t highly scented – I think I wanted them to smell as sweet and tempting as they look. But this beauty made up for it… This is ‘Chandos Beauty‘, which was also on the Harkness Roses stand. It’s very highly scented and looks stunning as well. I could definitely imagine filling a corner of the garden with these roses – it would be a wonderful place to sit. In fact something like this, on the Peter Beales stand, is just the sort of thing I was imagining. A pretty corner, filled with scented roses, a little bistro set and a glass of wine… Floribunda roses were really catching my eye at this year’s Gardeners World Live. Although they don’t have much scent, they produce masses of flowers and give a lot of colour to a garden. They also tend to be more hardy and easier to grow than Hybrid Tea Roses. This gorgeous bloom is ‘Naomi’, which I spotted on the Pococks Roses stand. Other flowers caught my eye on my way around the marquee as well. I mean, you couldn’t really miss this huge pyramid of lilies! As well as looking amazing, the scent from a display like this is quite intoxicating. I absolutely love it! I used to grow quite a lot of lilies in our garden before Charlie joined our family two years ago. But as lily bulbs are toxic to dogs, I decided that it was too great a risk to take. My favourite flower at the moment is definitely the peony. I just love the soft romantic look of the flowers, and their delicious scent. So I made a bee-line to the Cath’s Garden Plants stand, because their display is always one of my favourites. Peonies never last very long once the buds have opened, so it must be very difficult to time this kind of display just right. This peony was also on the Cath’s Flowers stand – such a stunning colour! This is Peony Instituteur Doriat, and it was definitely one of my favourites at this year’s show. And my final pick from this year’s Gardener’s World Live Floral Marquee is this Zantedeschia from the Brighter Blooms stand. Although I’ve never had much luck growing Zantedeschia, I always make sure to visit the Brighter Blooms stand to see their latest varieties. It’s the darker flowers that usually catch my eye, and I really love the structural shape and dramatic colour of this Zantedeschia ‘Dubai Nights‘.