The organisers at Gardening Scotland must be thrilled to see another beautiful day for their show which opened yesterday and runs over the weekend. I popped along yesterday and found plants spilling out all over the place…
Fun exhibits that attract attention are always popular for the camera. Oops... but be careful with your camera here if you visit... click on the photo it will enlarge and you’ll see why.
Garden Shows are a great place for ideas for your garden no matter what your interest or level. I am always drawn to structures and how they have been made. I also like to see areas that provide shade too as I feel that’s an important consideration with the changes in our weather.
Creative use of space, fun to be in and practical too sounds like a great recipe for a garden… just throw in some veggies and you’re set! Yes, the 'growing your own' message is kicking in now.
Just how creative could you be with a space one metre square? Some gardens used the vertical space too and many had a message to share too... one included the credit crunch. More veggies anyone?
Gardening Scotland have been running this very popular Pallet Garden Challenge for a few years now. It showcases work by amateur garden clubs, horticultural societies and clubs. I am delighted that it now extends to schools and colleges too. I would guess a great deal of discussion goes on over this tiny space which continues with the visitors!
Perhaps a word to the Show though… it gets a bit crowded around these gardens… maybe they could increase the width of the isles for walking through them.
One area ‘The Living Garden’ was created by the Garden for Life Forum. This is a partnership bringing together health, conservation and environmental charities with Scottish Natural Heritage and The Scottish Government.
I’d really recommend a walk around these types of stands at any garden show. I picked up a number of leaflets on encouraging wildlife to the garden and discovered organisations I was unfamiliar with. I enjoyed a good chat or two here and asked a few questions too. I’ll come back to some of these in a future posting with supporting links.
The centre of this space drew visitors in… quite literally. There was a labyrinth garden to inspire your own pathway to discovery. The theme was the ‘Pathway to Health’. Visitors were invited to walk through the garden to experience close up the beauty and diversity of plants which contribute to our health and well-being. I fully support this message.
Ah… but hey what great idea here to find a reuse for these familiar large blue bags! More veggies anyone? This definitely got visitors wandering over to take a look at what was going on here… well done!
Show gardens can sometimes be a bit disappointing to the visitor looking for inspiration and are not always to everyone’s taste. Oh but... I do feel for the designers standing there as we sometimes comment quite bluntly beside them not noticing they are there! They have put in so much time and expense into their gardens, intending to tell a story or to share a message, but when there are crowds around them often we are all guilty of moving on too quickly.
That in mind, I would always suggest you look at a garden from all sides (I always consider this in my own) as there is often ideas you can take home with you. The very small pool in this garden below caught my eye. I liked the natural edges and thought of Liz (fellow garden blogger) who is looking to add water to her garden. Click to enlarge the photo.
How about this, Liz? We’ve seen troughs used for water before but I like the way the gravel was used slopping at each end with deeper water in the middle. This would be great for wildlife to get in and out and depending on size you could have a larger shallow area at one end where birds could bath and drink. That would be nice to watch don’t you think?
At first glance I loved the wild planting around but in this case taking longer to look at this garden from different angles I changed my mind on it… sorry. Too much going on for me…great idea with the troughs though!
A river of blue pansies flowing under a bridge caught my eye here… and many stood admiring the wonderfully colourful blooms here too! It is great that as gardeners we all have different tastes and appreciation for plants, plantings, colour and design. Sorry… this wasn’t to mine. However, I would never say I was completely set in my ways in the plants I use as I am forever changing things around in my own garden. Ah… but just the same as a new gardener at a show I still go with eyes looking for that ‘wow’ factor albeit a plant or a feature :-D
Imagine a Scottish Pipe Band playing in the sunshine outside the Floral Hall. Music session over and they marched neatly off… while we marched inside! This is always my favourite place at any garden show. This is where I look for inspiration and usually the place I will purchase any plants through seeing them in displays here.
Grand displays just draw you towards them and I appreciate plants here that never make it into my garden or house. I see them for their beauty and the pride that the grower has. All except one that is… I can’t stand Fushia’s! Yep… I do know they are loved by so many too… sorry. How about some very nice veggies instead?
So many stunning, perfectly grown plants can be seen at shows that perhaps we wouldn’t see anywhere else…
After the hot colours of the car with marigolds out in the sunshine how about a cool boatful of Agapanthus… very nice! It's great to get so much variety and imagination at Shows.
Ah… wait a minute this has to be the plant for me this year! It is many, many years since I’ve grown a Honeysuckle and never in my present garden. I can't believe it caught my attention!
Yesterday’s plant purchase wasn’t a Heuchera as I suspected it might be although one did catch my eye but I couldn’t see any for sale. Walking by the background trellis to a display of Clematis my eye was drawn to the Honeysuckle ‘Americana’ growing with a deep red Clematis. Yep… that was the one… although out of all the plants in the show including the plant sales outside I still cannot believe I took home a Honeysuckle! I’m sure the bees will appreciate its flowers and the birds any insects that find their way to it!
Other plantings caught my eye like the display below. I have always loved white flowers and am continuing to add very deep reds to my garden now too through flower and foliage. By the increase in plants in this colour being available to but now I am guessing a trend is coming here.
Pale yellows I have more considered and used away from my small but bright sunny front garden. This year I intend bringing some in there which I think could look very interesting. Colour is probably the quickest and most dramatic way to change the look of a garden. I would definitely recommend experimenting with it!
Blue, after green, is probably my most favourite colour in the garden. This began with the gentians many years ago and now continues with the Meconopsis and Brunnera Jack Frost. Gardening Scotland has always had displays that include Meconopsis and cameras are always to be found snapping around them.
Opening day and we did expect to see the odd film crew around although we did intend keeping well away from them! However, just as we passed a wonderful sea of Meconopsis that had sunlight streaming through it from above we spotted one.
We stepped back a bit and then heard a message through the speakers that a book launch about to happen any minute. We put two and two together. The lady started chatting to the camera although with the noise in the room we couldn't make her out from where we were standing.
We then spotted a board with a painting and a table, some paints and a water jar.
Was this the artist? I do wish now we had been close enough to hear what she was saying. I’ve tried searches on the website but to no avail. I’m emailed the press office as I am curious now.
I am wondering now if this is perhaps a family member launching a book by Rodella 'Della' Purves who died last year at age 62. My little bit of research suggest she was a Botanical artist and did paint Meconopsis. I like a good mystery so if anyone knows I would love to hear from you.
The shot above was what I was trying to get before the film camera was spotted! You can so see why an artist would want to paint this flower. I would love to have the skill for that. My drawing hand is well out of practice. Seeing the table with paints beside the plants definitely made me think about it though. Ah… for more hours in the day!
It’s another glorious day here… I hope it’s the same with you. If you’ve been or are going to this show I do hope you enjoy your visit. How about a bit of a challenge for any young children? Could they find the rest of the garden in the photo above? I have had fun setting many photo challenges for my daughters when they were young. It made for a good walk out for us all!
Last weekend through showers of rain I gave my front garden a bit of a makeover. Plants were lifted and moved, pots were emptied, refilled and relocated. More gravel topped up the exisiting mulch necessary to keep weeds down but more importantly to keep the plants from drying out as the sun can bake this part of my garden. Oh… and a new raised bed appeared in a space that little grew in before. A lot was basic maintenance but that’s it for the most of the summer. Just some pottering left to do now. Unfortunately we have limited space for a garden at the front due to parked cars but I do make the most of what I have and do enjoy it.
I’m off now to a shady spot in my back garden… but not to work today as its too warm for me! Perhaps I'll join the guinea pigs with a view across my Meconopsis flowers blowing in the gentle breeze. I’m going to get a coffee and take my daughter’s laptop out and do a bit more garden visiting round all the blogs I haven’t managed to visit recently while I watch and listen to the flurry of birds feeding or finding food for their young. See you soon!
Wishing you all a great weekend! Oh... out of interest... what lures you to a garden show?
All photos above were taken at Gardening Scotland on May 29th 2009.