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Health and Wellbeing at BBC Gardeners' World Live Special Edition at Birmingham NEC

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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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Discover the power of plants
Health and wellbeing are centre stage at this year's BBC Gardeners' World Live Special Edition, with a series of features showcasing how gardens and gardening make us feel good.

Appearing later in the gardening calendar than usual, the outdoor edition of the show at Birmingham's NEC runs from Thursday August 26 to Sunday August 29, 2021.

BBC Gardeners' World Live 2021 Special Edition, Birmingham NEC, Monty Don, Adam Frost, Carol Klein, Toby Buckland, Gardening, Health and Wellbeing

A new feature from Lexus will offer visitors a chance to experience the wonder of Shinrin-Yoku. This Japanese term, meaning 'Forest Bathing', explores how immersion in nature can benefit overall wellbeing by lowering stress levels.

A new feature in the Floral Marquee, the House of Plants, will show how houseplants can uplift and transform indoor rooms to stylish effect. Designer Samantha Theakstone and indoor gardening expert Joe Bagley of @ukhouseplants will offer advice every day. With varieties known to improve wellbeing, this feature will be a striking place full of space-savvy and creative ways to display houseplants and inspiration to make homes greener places, with no space left un-adorned.

Showcase garden, Nature's Resilience, designed by Surrey-based Moska Design and Yorkshire-based Seedsology, will celebrate the power of plants to heal, calm, awaken the senses, spark imagination and bring joy. The colourful garden will be jam-packed with plants offering a host of therapeutic properties for the mind, body and soul.

BBC Gardeners' World Live 2021 Special Edition, Birmingham NEC, Monty Don, Adam Frost, Carol Klein, Toby Buckland, Gardening, Health and Wellbeing

Talks on the My Gardeners' World Stage from Adam Frost, Monty Don and Carol Klein will also touch on how gardening has played a significant role in our wellbeing, in particular over the past 18 months.

Daily Gardening for Health and Wellbeing sessions, hosted by David Hurrion and garden designer David Stevens, will look at how garden design, and gardening, can be of huge benefit to physical and mental health at any age and stage of life.They will consider how the colour green can have a calming and relaxing influence on mood and talk about how gardening is the ultimate in mindfulness, allowing gardeners to consider and concentrate on simple activities that use different parts of the brain. The pair will cover how manual dexterity and balance can be refined and used for motor skills and therapeutic benefit, as well as ways in which gardening and plants can stimulate memories and benefit the brain.

This year's show will include more than 20 Beautiful Borders. Each exhibit will be a bountiful celebration of the power of flowers, embodying wellbeing in different guises be it the medicinal power of plants, the healing power of gardening or the way gardens soothe the senses.

BBC Gardeners' World Live 2021 Special Edition, Birmingham NEC, Monty Don, Adam Frost, Carol Klein, Toby Buckland, Gardening, Health and Wellbeing

Beautiful Borders highlights include:

The Health and Relaxation Border, by Chris Sellars, which will showcase the physical and mental health benefits offered by plants. This design is underpinned by slate landscaping and complemented by a serene white flower theme with graceful architectural plants, medicinal herb planters, vertical alpines and a water feature.

In Momento, by Cath Fletcher, is a garden of summer exuberance, featuring impulse plant selections to match the gardener's mood and be 'in the moment'. This reflects the power of plants, flowers and gardening to be a fun, indulgent and experimental experience. Primarily requiring full sun and good drainage, the plants are a mixture of hardy, and those requiring protection or overwintering indoors.

Blooming Apothecary, by Christine Mulinder, refers to the ancient form of dispensing medicines for ailments. Many of these recipes used flowering plants that can still be found in abundance in hedgerows. This border celebrates apothecary by showcasing flowering garden plants that have the power to heal and support wellbeing.

Seed to Flower, by Jayne Probyn, is inspired by Oak Tree Farm Rural project in Staffordshire. Adults with learning difficulties have a caring and nurturing experience through the growing of plants and flowers. For some, the project gives a purposeful occupation, while for others gaining of new skills provides a route to sheltered employment. Their involvement with flowers offers stimulation of fragrance and colours, the excitement of seeing things grow and the interaction of wildlife. In addition, their work is valued by those who come to buy their cut flowers.

The Power of Flowers is Everything, by Lynn Cordall, aims to show that even in a small space the power of flowers can enclose and provide an escape from the busy world while taking care of many species. All of the plants chosen for the border have wellbeing-boosting properties, from helping to heal (physically and emotionally) to providing food for bees, butterflies and moths. Calming the senses through colour with a soft blue/purple palette and soothing sounds of rustling grasses and buzzing bees will be brought to the fore. The designer asks visitors to consider: what would we all do without flowers?

BBC Gardeners' World Live 2021 Special Edition, Birmingham NEC, Monty Don, Adam Frost, Carol Klein, Toby Buckland, Gardening, Health and Wellbeing

In addition to a wealth of wellbeing features, shoppers will find an array of beautiful blooms and perfect plants to browse and buy from quality nurseries in the Floral Marquee and Plant Village.
There will be mood-boosting toe-tapping entertainment at The Bandstand, with plenty of tasty treats to enjoy in the pop-up BBC Good Food Market.

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Why? Special edition of the popular annual event
When: August 26 - 29, 2021
Where: National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham
Cost: 20
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