Gardeners World Live 2017 – A look at the Show Gardens

The Show Gardens are one of the main features of Gardeners World Live. Take a look at my pick of this year’s beautiful designs.

Nostalgia played a big part in this year’s Gardeners World Live exhibition, as Gardeners World is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. There were reminders of the special occasion throughout the show, including this year’s Show Gardens.

The Anniversary Garden at Gardeners World Live 2017

The ‘Anniversary Garden’ was awarded a Gold Medal by the show judges, and looks back at some of the key trends of each of the last five decades. The 2000’s garden shows the current trend for making the garden an extension of the home. The water feature, structured planting and hard landscaping all look very familiar!

The 1990s section of The Anniversary Garden at Gardeners World Live 2017

Of course the 90s garden included decking, which programmes like Home Front in the Garden and Ground Force made popular. The planting also reflects 90s trends, with use of grasses to add texture to the garden.

A planter in the 1950s section of The Anniversary Garden at Gardeners World Live 2017Another section of the Anniversary Garden showcased the hard landscaping that became popular in the 1980s, complete with a built-in brick barbecue. Colourful borders and crazy paving featured in the garden from the 1970s. And there was also a more simple, functional garden as seen in the 1960s.

I loved the simple flowers in the 1960s garden, like this pretty planter. And that’s the most nostalgic style for me, it’s the style that I really remember from my own childhood.

Nostalgia also features heavily in the ‘Romance in the Ruins’ garden, which won a Gold Medal and Best Show Garden from the Gardeners World Live judges.

Romance In the Ruins, one of the show gardens at Gardeners World Live 2017

The design featured a ruined castle, rose-covered archways, and a secluded bench. It all comes together to give a very romantic feel. The garden also has two rows of planting, one which is full of pretty purple and white blooms, and a second area which is more wild and nature-friendly

Romance In the Ruins, one of the show gardens at Gardeners World Live 2017

I really love the combination of purple and white flowers, which seemed to be very popular at this year’s show. The combination featured in a lot of the Show Gardens, and one of my favourites was the CLIC Sargent Garden.

The CLIC Sargent garden, one of the show gardens at Gardeners World Live 2017

This was one of the gardens on the APL Avenue. These are smaller designs, around the size of the average domestic garden. They aim to give you ideas that you can take home and use in your own garden.

A secluded corner of The CLIC Sargent garden, one of the show gardens at Gardeners World Live 2017The CLIC Sargent garden was inspired by childhood memories of playing in the garden, and gives a feel of wonder and adventure. It really does give the feeling of being back in the past. I love the nostalgic feel of this design, which won a Silver-Merit award.

I also love the secluded table and bench, tucked away in a corner of the garden. This garden felt most like one that I’d like to recreate at home. I especially loved the lavender that lined the pathway, and the pretty purple and white planting.

Maybe the crazy paving of the 1970s is due for a revival?

 

A lavender lined crazy paving path in The CLIC Sargent garden, one of the show gardens at Gardeners World Live 2017

More purple planting featured in the MS Society ‘A Journey to Hope’ Garden.  This garden had more of a relaxed, wildflower feel to it, and aims to raise awareness of MS through symbolic features.

The MS Society 'A Journey to Hope' Garden, one of the show gardens at Gardeners World Live 2017

The garden features a ‘bridge of diagnosis’ which is held up by helping hands. Ceramic stumps and thistle-type ornamentals represent the chronic pain that people living with MS experience. And there is also a cave-pod where people can get together and share their experiences. This represents the work of the MS Society. The ‘Journey of Hope’ garden also received a Silver-Merit from the Gardeners World Live judges.

At the show, former Gardeners World presenter Alan Titchmarsh made the point that our gardens are a part of the environment that we can directly influence. We can easily create an environment that is nature-friendly while still being an extension of our own home. This was another popular theme in the Show Gardens at this year’s exhibition.

'Wetland Plants - The Idea of Wilderness' Garden, one of the show gardens at Gardeners World Live 2017

‘Wetland Plants – The Idea of Wilderness’ Garden was a great example of this. It combines innovative ideas to give a garden that allows you share your space with nature. The decking has hidden back recliners that convert the small seating area into an area for relaxing. And the modern bench has a second function as a bug habitat.

'Wetland Plants - The Idea of Wilderness' Garden, one of the show gardens at Gardeners World Live 2017

Moss graffiti is used on the walls as an eco-friendly art installation. Meanwhile the other half of the garden is given over to attracting wildlife.

Wildlife planting in 'Wetland Plants - The Idea of Wilderness' Garden, one of the show gardens at Gardeners World Live 2017

I love the planting on this side of the garden, especially the gorgeous ‘Ladybird’ poppies which are always a favourite of mine.

Wildflower planting in 'Wetland Plants - The Idea of Wilderness' Garden, one of the show gardens at Gardeners World Live 2017

Sometimes it can be hard to make wildflower planting look natural in a show garden, but I think it’s used to great effect here. This garden won a well-deserved Gold medal from the judges.

An insect hotel in the 'Living In Sync' garden, one of the show gardens at Gardeners World Live 2017But if you don’t think you can give over your whole garden to a nature friendly design, you can still incorporate some of the ideas into your garden at home.

The ‘Living in Sync’ garden is packed full of nature-friendly ideas, like this insect hotel. You could easily add something like this to your own garden to help the wildlife in the area.

And the ‘Bee and Butterfly’ Garden is a great example of how gardens can be attractive, functional and also attract wildlife.

'The Bee and Butterfly Garden', one of the show gardens at Gardeners World Live 2017

I love the colour combination of purple and grey in the hard landscaping.  The flowing water, varied planting and insect nesting towers create a haven for birds, bees and other insects.

'The Bee and Butterfly Garden', one of the show gardens at Gardeners World Live 2017

But equally, they also create an environment that is relaxing for humans as well. This really looks like a garden that would be ideal for summer evening relaxing. It was part of the APL Avenue, and is full of ideas that you could use in your own garden. The Gardeners World judges awarded this design a Silver-Merit.

And for something completely different to finish with, how about ‘It’s not Just About the Beard…’

'It's Not Just About The Beard', one of the show gardens at Gardeners World Live 2017

This garden is also part of the APL Avenue, and won a Gold medal. It’s designed for a city-living couple who want to be able to entertain at home. Reclaimed materials are combined with urban greenery to create a garden for private relaxing as well as social entertaining.

'It's Not Just About The Beard', one of the show gardens at Gardeners World Live 2017

An impressive BBQ and gin bar complete the design. It looks like the perfect place to entertain friends in a relaxed environment.

Click here to find out more about the gardens at Gardeners World Live 2017, and let me know your favourites in the comments below.

Don’t forget to check back to see my picks from the Floral Marquee and the Good Food Show Summer 2017.

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