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Prize-Winning Gardens at BBC Gardeners' World Live 2017

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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Designers' creations on show at top horticultural event
Nostalgia is everywhere at this year's BBC Gardener's World Live at Birmingham NEC as the show marks the 50th anniversary of BBC Television's Gardeners' World.

The theme is reflected in the two gold medal-winning headline show gardens, The Nostalgia Garden and The Anniversary Garden.

Paul Stone designed The Nostalgia Garden as a wistful scene from the past 50 years, with a garden nursery shop, village store and period garage, complete with a Mini Cooper and tractor. The garden has a humpback bridge and bubbling stream – and even a Flymo lawnmower which first went on sale 50 years ago. Plants used include those named after Gardeners' World presenters.

BBC Gardeners World Live, Birmingham NEC, Gardens, Monty Don, BBC Good Food Show, Medal winning show gardens
Looking back: The Nostalgia Garden


The Anniversary Garden is the creation of Prof David Stevens. It is a series of five individual gardens, each representing a decade from the 1960s to the 2000s. The evolution of different styles of gardening can be seen, with some horticultural fashions popularised and influenced by Gardeners' World itself.

The two headline show gardens were not in competition so the Best in Show Award went to the gold medal-winning Romance in the Ruins, sponsored by Wyevale Garden Centres. Designed by Claudia de Yong, the garden features a courtyard full of scented plants, two tumbledown turrets in the style of an old castle and a small pond. A rose-covered pergola takes centre stage.

BBC Gardeners World Live, Birmingham NEC, Gardens, Monty Don, BBC Good Food Show, Medal winning show gardens
Best in show: Romance in the Ruins


The APL (Association of Professional Landscapers) Avenue is a series of gardens about the size of a suburban plot and is designed to show what can be achieved in a small space. Two gold medals were awarded – to Living Gardens' 'It's Not Just About The Beard' and Big Fish Landscapes' 'Wetland Plants – The Idea of Wilderness'.

It's Not Just About The Beard, which was named Best APL Garden, is dubbed The Hipster Garden due to its use of reclaimed materials to create a social entertaining space. The main feature is a floating lounging platform with a wood burner and beanbags, creating space to entertain, party and relax. An outdoor bar made from reclaimed materials, along with a place to grow fruit and vegetables, creates a quirky functional area. The industrial theme is surrounded by rich green foliage with splashes of colour and trees for privacy.

BBC Gardeners World Live, Birmingham NEC, Gardens, Monty Don, BBC Good Food Show, Medal winning show gardens
Hipsters: It's Not Just About The Beard


Wetland Plants – The Idea of Wilderness Garden shows that sharing space with nature does not mean having a lacklustre garden. Incorporating multi-use features results in a beautiful area that encourages biodiversity. The innovative decking area converts into lounge chairs, a perfect viewing platform. A moss graffiti wall is a natural and wildlife-friendly way to introduce art into the garden and to spruce up a plain wall. Architectural log piles attract mammals, bees and insects and a large tree and pergola create a bird friendly canopy and privacy.

In the Small Gardens section, a gold medal was awarded to Split Screen, designed by Lamport Gardening Academy. It contrasts the formal garden design of the 1960s with the more naturalistic gardens of today.

This year's Beautiful Borders category is all about looking back on the history of Gardeners' World and includes subjects such as Nigel the Dog (presenter Monty Don's pet pooch), The Magnolias (a homage to former presenter Percy Thrower's garden) and Full Circle, which connects former host Geoff Hamilton with current contributor Adam Frost.

BBC Gardeners World Live, Birmingham NEC, Gardens, Monty Don, BBC Good Food Show, Medal winning show gardens
Man's best friend: Monty Don at the Nigel the Dog border


Gold medals were awarded to Forward & Back, designed by Justine Wood, Gardener's Eden, created by Tee Robertson and Level III students at Oaklands College, and ...and Action!, designed by Kate Savill.

The Best Border in the Show was won by ...and Action! which incorporates film and film reels alongside 1960s-style planting, while the Best Interpretation award went to Gardener's Eden which includes statues of Nigel and Nellie, Monty Don's golden retrievers.

BBC Gardeners World Live, Birmingham NEC, Gardens, Monty Don, BBC Good Food Show, Medal winning show gardens
Best Interpretation: Nigel in Gardener's Eden


Forward & Back features bottle walls containing gardening tips and advice from Gardeners' World presenters.

BBC Gardeners World Live, Birmingham NEC, Gardens, Monty Don, BBC Good Food Show, Medal winning show gardens
Winner: Designer Justine Wood celebrates gold for Forward & Back


Gardeners' World Live runs daily from June 15 – 18. On the day before the opening the current Gardeners' World presenters and contributors gathered for a golden anniversary celebration. They met at a specially planted commemorative flower bed containing 75,000 ageratum and marigold plants. Happy birthday, Gardeners' World!

BBC Gardeners World Live, Birmingham NEC, Gardens, Monty Don, BBC Good Food Show, Medal winning show gardens
Meet the team: Gardeners' World presenters marking the programme's anniversary


Read more about what to see at the show here. A ticket to BBC Gardeners' World Live allows access to the neighbouring BBC Good Food Show. Read more about that show here.
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Why? Gorgeous gold medal-winning gardens
When: June 15 - 18, 2017
Phone: 0844 581 1340
Where: National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham
Cost: From £23.50
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