Take a look at some the beautiful displays in the Floral Marquee at this year’s BBC Gardener’s World Live, from decorative herbs to dazzling Dahlias.
Heading into the Floral Marquee at BBC Gardener’s World Live is always a magical experience.
It’s filled with colourful blooms and heady fragrances, plus there’s always something new to learn.
I attend several gardening events each year, and so I’m always on the look out for growers and flowers that I haven’t spotted before. But it’s lovely to see some perennial favourites as well.
Here are some of my favourites sightings from this year’s BBC Gardener’s World Live – and not all of them are flowers!
Herbs and Violas
Newlands Nursery had a beautiful array of herbs and chillies on display, proving that culinary plants can absolutely be decorative as well.
The vivid purple flowers of this Thyme ‘Vey’ certainly caught my eye!
And these pretty purple flowers belong to Catmint ‘Six Hills Giant’. Cat owners might want to give this a miss, as planting it in your garden will probably drive your cats wild.
But did you know that bees see purple easier than other colours? This plant is a great addition to your garden if you want to help attract and support the local bee population.
Catmint can also be used in herbal tea – have you ever thought of growing your own herbal tea?
If so, then Newlands Nursery’s Grow your Own Tea Herbs kit would be ideal for you. It’s available from their website, and includes everyting you need to start growing your own herbal teas.
It would make a lovely gift as well!
The Newlands Nurseries stand also had a beautiful selection of violas on display. I love these cheery little flowers, this one is Viola ‘Jump Up Jonny’!
If you love orchids, then the Lawrence Hobbs Orchids stand was definitely the place to be.
I was amazed by the different types of orchid being exhibited, and love the tiny flowers on this Phaelenopsis Equestris.
I’ve been learning a little about orchids recently – more about that in a future post!
The British Florist Association stand may just have been the prettiest stand that I saw all day.
It was covered in beautiful floral arrangements which look stunning, and you could even have a go at making your own.
I’m hopeless at flower arranging (anyone fancy giving me a lesson?) but I may have a go at growing some flowers myself next year.
Sweet Peas are a simple flower to grow, and even I could handle popping a few in a ribbon tied jar to make a pretty arrangement.
The Brighter Blooms stand is always one of the stars of the Floral Marquee for me.
And even though they didn’t have any new varieties on show, visiting their stand was one of my show highlights again.
This is Zantedeschia ‘Morning Sun’ – that burnished orange flower looks stunning against the dark green foliage.
And this is one of my favourites, Zantedeschia ‘Memories’.
I may not have had any luck with growing Zantedeschia myself, but I’ll always love looking at the Brighter Blooms display.
A Perennial Show Favourite
The Demo Bench at BBC Gardeners’ World Live is always a popular attraction.
It features gardening experts talking with passion about the subject, and always draws big crowds.
But this crowd was particularly big – can you guess who they were waiting for?
Yes, Gardeners’ World presenter Monty Don was hugely popular, as he always is.
He kept the crowd enthralled with stories of life at Longmeadow and filming the BBC2 TV show. And of course he had tales to share about Nigel and naughty Nell, his beautiful golden retrievers, who are the real stars of the show!
Other speakers on the Demo Bench included Diarmuid Gavin who told some brilliant stories about his exploits at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
I’ve always admired his garden designs, and it was fascinating and very amusing to hear tales from ‘backstage’ at the show.
And Carol Klein was also out and about in the Floral Marquee, filming for the Friday night show.
If herbs can be decorative, just look at these gorgeous vegetables from the W Robinson & Son stand!
Growing vegetables for display is a skill in itself, and I think the colour of these peppers are just beautiful.
But as well as looking beautiful, these veg will all taste good as well. If you’ve ever fancied growing your own, why not pop over and take a look at the W Robinson & Son website.
They sell a wide range of vegetable seeds including heritage vegetables and herbs. Or if you don’t want to grow from seed, they have starter plants available as well.
You don’t need masses of room, and many varieties can even be grown in containers on a patio or balcony.
Cook’s Garden Centre were on-site with another romantic stand design, packed full of frothy hydrangea.
This is Hydrangea ‘Forever Blue’ which is a gorgeous mophead hydrangea that will flower from July to September.
And this is one of my personal favourites, Hydrangea ‘Fireworks Blue’.
Did you know that the colour of the bracts on a hydrangea depends on the type of soil that the plant is growing in?
Blue flowers grow on plants in acidic soils, neutral soil produces pale cream petals, and alkaline soils result in pink or purple flowers.
Dahlias by the dozen
I have to admit that I’ve never really thought of dahlias as one of my favourite flowers. But the National Dahlia Collection had an amazing stand at BBC Gardeners’ World Live 2018.
It was absolutely packed full of the most beautiful flowers, in a huge variety of shapes, sizes and colours. I’ve picked out a few of my favourites here.
This gorgeous specimen above is Dahlia ‘Dutch Carnival’ and I think its colours are just stunning!
While this Dahlia ‘Cornel’ has a totally different flower shape!
These rich red-velvet ball-shaped blooms are up to 4 inches across, and will last really well as cut flowers.
Or if you fancy a more delicate colour for your planting scheme, then this Dahlia ‘Raspberry Sorbet’ will fit the bill.
And Dahlia ‘Nagano’ has a totally different shape again. The variety of shapes and colours on the stand was quite amazing – I could never get bored of looking through this collection!
The National Dahlia Collection‘s Dahlia Garden is in Penzance, and opens to visitors from mid-July to the end of September.