Thursday 14 June 2012

Gardeners World live Flower Show: adventures in Birmingham

Yesterday I was at the at Gardeners World Live at the NEC in Birmingham. In essence this is like a huge flower show but has the advantage of having them tv gardener folks from off telly being around. More importantly it is also a great opportunity to buy plants.

Loaded up and ready to go!
Having plated the majority of stuff that I had in pots, I could justify busying as many new plants as I wanted, and even bought one of them weely plant carrier things, which I have resisted for years, but was actually very helpful for carrying heavy purchases and tripping up older people.

I felt the show better than last year, as the show gardens were of a higher quality. Still not as good as you would expect at Chelsea of Hampton Court, but better than they were. The floral marquee was of course my favourite as it was crammed with nurseries, all with good displays and loads of plants to choose from.

The plant avenues in the main arena were also great to buy stuff from, but they were really just nurseries piling things high to sell cheap, but very helpful for getting some filler plants like Musa ensete to pad out the holes.
Bit in the main arena where the regular sellers were, it was all getting a bit bandito in search of sales...

TV folk were all around creating a bit of a scrum when they were filming (see above). I saw Alan Titmarsh, James Sinclair, Jo Swift Rachel de Thame, and Carol Klein....sadly I didnt get a chance to say hi, however I did hang out with some of the tv crew who came down in October who were having long and busy days.

It was good to hear them talk, Mr Titmarsh was particulalry engaging although he was a little taken aback when a lady from the audience asked 'Alan, can you tell me when I should prune my bush'

Everyone needs a bit of odd conceptualism...I rather liked this (perhaps it bows to my royal ambitions) but thought it would look good as part of landscaping a roundabout

Need I say more?

This plants name is 'Silybum' I had to take a picture to show that Helen wasnt making it up

interesting arid garden...I liked the wood sticking up at the back

windy walls

I liked this for the tanks used as mini ponds

Again nice use of verticle wood

Generally Im not a fan of the fuchia, apart from a brief obsession in my teens. I do howver like this Thalia type and bought a few as I think they can add to the tropical look

There was a Datura/Brugmansia stand however I must say I wasnt a fan of the doubles, they just look a bit blousy. I like their wild tropical jungleness...these seem a bit park displan

Giant restio

I wish I could grow ferns better (one day perhaps I will if I get an automatic watering system) this one was from Hawaii and very Jurassic Park

Pretty un named thing

This is to remind me that the one I bought last year will look better than it does at the moment!

Plantbase is one of my new favourite nurseries as he just had odd wild looking jungly things....

I bought one of these which should be a wild monster, although it will be cut down by frost,  along with a 'dead mans fingers' plant

I also bought a Eucalyptus which I plan on keeping pollarded for good young growth which is different from the adult foliage

Desert to Jungle also had a good stand with all the tropical favourites, I bought a Schleffera from them


  1. Great photos! Looks like there's a great selection of nice plants on display (and for sale) and the show gardens you've featured looks good too (ok, maybe not the car). Funny you mentioned about the Brugmansia, sentiments the same...

    We couldn't make it this year, hopefully we will next year.

  2. I was disapointed with the Brugmansias as Im a fan of B sanguinea, just not these frilly things...

  3. We where there Wednesday too. I saw, Allan, Monty and Jo Swift. I would like a Schleffera but was told it was a shade loving plant, which would be hopeless in my garden. In all honesty due a the fact we where having to mind the neighbours dogs, we didn't arrive till early afternoon which really didn't leave alot of time. but it was definately quiet in the afternoon.

  4. lovely preview thanks, and great photos