Last weekend I went along to the Gardener’s World Live and Good Food Show Summer exhibitions at the NEC in Birmingham.
I was lucky enough to be given a press pass for the event, so I spent two days having a really good look around the shows. I went on my own on Thursday for the event’s opening day and then went back for another look on Saturday.
As you can imagine, I took masses of photos and I’ve ended up writing a whole series of posts from the event. CLICK HERE to read about the delicious goodies at the Good Food Show Summer, CLICK HERE to see my full review of the Show Gardens, and CLICK HERE to view my favourites from the Floral Marquee. Or read on to find out what were my show highlights:
The Show Gardens
With the weather forecast to be rather changeable, I thought it was probably a good idea to look at the outdoor part of the show first. My favourite out of the show gardens was The Green Connection, which was designed by Jean Wardrop & Alexandra Stevenson.
While it’s always impressive to see a show garden that is filled with new concepts and amazing architecture, this feels like the kind of garden that you could genuinely have at home. The planting is gorgeous, and I love the fact that there are little nooks and crannies for wildlife to hide away in.
I could just see myself relaxing in this garden for dinner or drinks on a summer’s evening, and the table cleverly lifts up to be stored in the pergola, giving space for children to play. This garden was awarded a Silver-Merit – I think it should have got Gold!
I also really liked The Life Changing Garden, designed by Deborah Stubbs and Amanda Field who are horticultural therapists at Thrive. It’s based upon the classic novel The Secret Garden, about a young girl whose parents die and who finds solace in a locked walled garden at her new home.
This garden had the kind of country garden planting that I really love at the moment, although I would have liked to have seen even more flowers in there if possible. This garden was awarded Silver by the Gardener’s World Live judges.
Later in the week I’ll have more photos and details from the Show Gardens and Beautiful Borders.
The Floral Marquee
When I walked into the Floral Marquee, I was immediately greeted by this gorgeous mountain of lilies from Harts Nursery in Cheshire. It was quite justifiably given a Platinum Award, the highest grade available now that this is no longer an RHS show.
Harts Nursery is a third generation family-run nursery, and I have bought lilies from them several times in the past. Their stand is always eye-catching, and the scent of the flowers is absolutely breathtaking!
This Dahlia was catching a lot of attention from passers-by and featured in the Gardener’s World TV show on Friday night. It’s called Dahlia Christopher Taylor, and it was so popular at the show that I wouldn’t be surprise if you find it hard to track down at the moment – definitely one to bookmark!
Also winning a well-deserved Platinum award was the South Staffordshire Bonsai Society, who had an excellent display of Bonsai trees and accent planting. I particularly loved this Chinese Juniper, using the Jin and Shari deadwood techniques.
It’s a shame that their stand was placed right by one of the massive pillars supporting the floral marquee. This spoiled the lines of their stand, but luckily the judges didn’t mark them down on their stand’s location!
Check back later in the week for my full write up from the Floral Marquee.
Good Food Show Summer
After covering every inch of the Gardener’s World Live exhibition, I was quite happy to head towards the food part of the event! A lot of my old favourites were at the Good Food Show Summer again this year, and I also found some new favourites. These gift subscriptions from Marvellous Mixes were very eye-catching, they would make an unusual gift and the samples were absolutely delicious as well.
I also really loved the food on the Port of Lancaster Smokehouse stand. came away from there with both the venison salami and chorizo, but it was the Smoked Salmon Terrine which I thought was their star product. I just wish I’d bought more of it, because the rest of the family agreed with me! Luckily they sell online…
And because I couldn’t resist buying a sweet treat as well, these gorgeous slices from Flapjackery were also a winner. My favourite was the Clotted Cream flavour, although the Cream Tea came a very close second!