It’s always a treat to get a behind-the-scenes tour. This week I was lucky enough to be invited to the preview of Gardeners’ World Live. So I found myself wandering around the show gardens, instead of pressed up against the boundary ropes and fences surrounding them. Here’s a few highlights from my special day out.
My favourite garden was a wildflower haven with climbing roses galore. Claudia de Yong won gold and best show garden for her Romance in the Ruins
Castles,with their history and romance, inspired the design. I loved the ruins with trickling waterfall, wild roses, foxgloves and ferns. The pink spires at the base of the waterfall are purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria.
A rustic pergola was swathed in Albertine and Mortimer Sackler roses. Walking through the garden, the scent was so delicious on a hot sunny day. Salvia Love and Wishes is the focal point plant in the old stone urn in the centre. CED Stone supplied the Golden Amber pathway material- a self-compacting gravel. It makes a beautiful and affordable surface for cut flower gardens and veg plots.
One stand-out feature for me was the white Desdemona rose. Bred by David Austin, it is exquisitely beautiful with peachy pink buds opening to pure white blooms. It has a strong perfume and flowers until November. Grows to about 4ft and is disease resistant, plus the flowers cope with rain. The designer has used it as a low hedge underplanted with Nepeta Six Hills Giant.
I spotted vetches, yellow rattle, clover and crested dog’s tail grass in the wild flower turf. The focal point tree is Malus Rubra- brilliant for spring blossom, autumn crab apples, and attractive plum-coloured leaves all summer. The multi-stem tree used in the garden looks like a river birch, with peeling bark blending in with the colour of the ruins alongside.
Winning my prize for the garden I’d most want to roll up and take home – and providing the garden bench I would most like to recline on, a show garden with many elements worth “borrowing.” A triumph of great design and plant knowledge.
Contractors: Twigs Landscapes Design, Big Fish Landscapes
Sponsor: Wyevale Garden Centres
Supporters: Parkers Building Supplies,CED Stone, Home and Garden Ironworks, Woody Fox Willow, Hilliers, Rolawn.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my behind-the-scenes tour. If you are going to Gardeners’ World Live, let me know which gardens you love this year, and which is your favourite feature. There’s plenty to see…. and I haven’t even mentioned the floral marquee. That’s a wonderful place worthy of a blog post all on its own. More to follow!