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Prize-winning Gardens at BBC Gardeners' World Live 2015

Home > Birmingham > Exhibitions | Family | Gardening | Gardens | Outdoor
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 create stunning show plots at Birmingham NEC
For a blooming grand day out head to Birmingham NEC where BBC Gardeners' World Live and BBC Good Food Summer are providing a value for money double header show.

BBC Gardeners' World Live, Birmingham NEC

When you arrive make your way to the show gardens – especially the ones that have won RHS gold awards.

Before the show opened I had a sneak preview of the winners of three categories: Lifestyle Gardens, Metamorphosis Gardens and Beautiful Borders.

The Lifestyle section is new this year and asks designers to produce a garden for a particular client.

The prize for Best Garden was won by Neil Sutcliffe for his Sociability design. His brief was for a space that wowed at the weekend without the work during the week.

BBC Gardeners' World Live, Birmingham NEC
Sociability: Neil Sutcliffe in his winning garden

His gold medal-winning garden is low maintenance and has combined areas for cooking, dining and relaxing with friends. I like the way he has blended the modern technology of a state of the art barbecue and pizza oven with soft planting and a water feature.

BBC Gardeners' World Live, Birmingham NEC
Combination: Dining area among soft planting

It is Neil's second show garden – in 2013 he exhibited in Gardeners' World Live's Metamorphosis Garden category.

The other gold medal winner in this year's Lifestyle Gardens was Our Place by Paul Harris. You may recognise Paul as a finalist on the BBC TV programme The Great Chelsea Garden Challenge.

BBC Gardeners' World Live, Birmingham NEC
Our Place: A delighted Paul Harris with his gold medal award

Paul was tasked with creating a low budget garden for a young couple's first home which is near a busy railway line. The garden has a patio and small lawn, with a pergola, built from inexpensive wood, shaped to provide shade and deflect the noise from the trains. The planting is dense, with lots of colour and interest.

Paul says that for anyone willing to have a go at constructing a similar garden themselves the final bill would be around £5,000.

The Metamorphosis Show Garden competition challenges designers to be as innovative as possible using a set list of materials.

The top prize went to Lucinda Parish's The Flow Garden.

BBC Gardeners' World Live, Birmingham NEC
Cheers: The wine is flowing in Lucinda Parish's The Flow Garden

With a south facing aspect it is a sun trap and the planting reflects this. Designed for a young couple to enjoy over the summer the garden boasts benches which provide a welcome place to relax and enjoy the plants. The strong linear theme creates a dynamic space.

BBC Gardeners' World Live, Birmingham NEC
Slow Burn: Bridget Robinson and Sid Stratton

A gold medal was also awarded to first time exhibitors Bridget Robinson and Sid Stratton who graduated in Garden Design at Greenwich University. Their Slow Burn Garden was mainly sponsored by crowdfunding. It cleverly charts the progression of seasonal change, from lush spring planting to vibrant summer growth; autumn grasses to the drama of winter stems and muted colours.

The third best in show was awarded in the Beautiful Borders competition which this year had the theme of Industrial Heritage of the West Midlands.

The winner was Kareena Gardiner who is studying garden design at Brooksby Melton College in Leicestershire.

BBC Gardeners' World Live, Birmingham NEC
Steel: Kareena Gardiner and her prize-winning border garden

Inspired by steel shards from a ship seen in a breaker's yard, Kareena created Steel which features silver and rust coloured foliage plants surrounding metal points, with a rill representing a canal winding along the length of the border.

BBC Gardeners' World Live continues at Birmingham NEC until Sunday, June 14.

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Why? Great gardens, perfect plants, superb show.
When: June 11 - June 14, 2015
Phone: 0844 581 1340
Where: National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham
Cost: From £22.25
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