Saturday, 5 June 2010

Gardening Inspiration Aplenty

Did you watch the TV coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show? Or even better, did you actually visit the event in person? I religiously watched the programmes every evening last week, and I've been inspired to start filling a little notebook with ideas for our new garden: plants I want to grow, features I'd like to incorporate, views I'd love to create. (I've been having a browse of the BBC website and they have an amazing selection of photos downloaded by visitors to the show; capturing lots of little details that you missed when just watching the TV pictures.)

(Photo: Jane Benge)

I particularly liked the Laurent Perrier Garden (above) by Tom Stuart-Smith; it appeals to me in so many ways. I love the idea of meandering along a pathway with rich planting either side, opening up into a sunny seating area rather like a woodland clearing. I've always liked big gardens that incorporate small gardens of different styles (Newby Hall is a favourite), so the relaxed planting style of the woodland walk contrasting with the area of more formal topiary and reflective pool is something I'd like to try. And the limited colour palette looks so relaxing, using plants with lots of movement and texture to create interest; however, I love bright colours in the garden too so I think I'm going to have themed 'cool' and 'warm' areas - and I'll try to be more selective than I have in our present garden which has a slightly more eclectic mix!

(Photo: Kendra O'Shea)

The M & G Garden (above) by Roger Platts was on a similar theme: a garden full of tiered planting and lovely old brick paths giving a real feeling of enclosure and a 'secret world' setting, with a gorgeous formal pool and seating area. I'm definitely going to have at least one water feature in our new garden; we really enjoy watching the birds and frogs splashing about in the wildlife pond we have at present, but I'd love to build a more formal feature too.

See? I've got it all planned out already. Hmmm, all I need now is the new garden...

I didn't get to Chelsea, but Mam and I are off to the RHS Show at Tatton Park in July and I'm very excited! We've been to Tatton before, and to the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, and loved every minute of it. Of course this year I'm hoping that I'll be well on the way to having a new garden by then so it will be all the more inspiring. I took a tonne of photos on previous visits and I'm sure this year will be no exception!

(Photo: BBC Tyne)

And the week after the Tatton show is our very own Gateshead Summer Flower Show. There aren't the huge show gardens that the big RHS events have, but a lot of nurseries and associations build beautiful smaller displays and gardens, and of course there's a huge array of plants, furniture and gardening paraphenalia to buy, as well as a craft marquee and farmers' market (link to blog post about last year's show). Gateshead Council will be recreating their Silver medal winning Chelsea garden there too. The Active and Healthy Gateshead Garden (above) celebrates the Great North Run and the Great North Forest, with the main part of the design being a 1/9th scale replica of the Tyne Bridge and 55,000 viola heads - one for each runner! (Click on the link to find out about the garden's design, its history, planting plan, and a fab time lapse sequence of the Chelsea garden being constructed.)

So, there's definitely a lot of inspiration around at the minute. Are you planning any changes to your garden this year? Growing any new plants? As our dear gardening guru Alan would say: 'Whatever the weather this weekend - enjoy your garden!'

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  1. hi, I went to the Chelsea flower show, it was fabulous. if you go to my blog you will see the (loads of) pictures I took

  2. Oh the UK and gardens. I have to watch the BBC more often. xx

  3. I went this year, last year I watched it on the box and by the end of the week wanted to go and look at all the gardens I had fallen in love with. I took lots of pictures for inspiration. I loved the Norwegian garden best when I was there it was just beautiful. You should definitely go next year. I have never been to Tatton, sounds good...x


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