Gardening Scotland 2011, June 3-5

Photos below of the ‘Best in Show’ Garden at Gardening Scotland taken last year suggest Garden Shows are just for Gardeners. However, just as there is variety in blooms at a show there is also a variety of exhibitors. There are often play areas for children too so they can be a family day out.

Yes, there are usually floral halls or marques with plant groups and nurseries but there are usually food stalls and demonstrations there too and not all are local either.

However, from experience, if you are a gardener going armed with a notebook, camera and children it’s good to have another adult with you to reduce restlessness in the troops 😉

Looking back to images from a visit to Gardening Scotland 2009 you can see there are some fun things to catch the attention of people of all ages. However, for the gardener that is going for inspiration there is much to be found at a Garden Show.

‘Reinforcing Nature’ was the Gardening Scotland 2011 Gold Medal & Best in Show. Carolyn Grohmann of Secret Gardens was the garden designer and it was built by Water Gems. I loved this garden. It was my favourite and getting close to take photos was a tad tricky. I could looked at this garden for ages. Let’s walk around it…

I loved the planting, use of materials, shapes, rhythm and that cave style seating area on water with wildflowers overhead. Oh yes… and I loved the structure going through the water too. Can you just imagine this with a sunset and the fire pit glowing… wonderful 🙂

Looking for information on this garden, a year on, my searching took me to Carolyn’s website:

“Sam Lowndes of Water Gems formulated the intricate and sensitive design of the garden last autumn. It then took five months to prepare the four and a half tonne Rebar structure which had to be craned onto an articulated lorry and escorted to the showground by police outriders.”

Like me, I’m sure other Gardeners will be very interested in more details of the planting companions:

“The use of a biodiverse wildflower matting in the garden was complimented by drifts of Stipa tenuifolia, Astrantia major Ruby, Ranunculus aconitum ‘Pleniflorus’ and Geranium sylvaticum ‘Mayflower’. Rodgersia pinnata ‘Superba’ combined with Carex buchananii, testacea and comans ‘Bronze’ to mimic the colours of the Rebar while one of the most popular borders of the garden contained a dreamy mix of Paeonia Claire de Lune, Sanguisorba and Salvia nemerosa ‘Caradonna’. The excellent quality of the plants themselves was down to the skill and experience of fellow exhibitor, Billy Caruthers of Binny Plants, who supplied the plants.”

I’d like to add that Binny Plants really has a wonderful selection of plants if you are able to visit the nursery. It’s been a while since I’ve been there but I’ve nice memories of visits when my daughters were younger. Owner, Billy is very chatty and knowledgeable. Alternatively, you can also buy plants from Binny online.

“Carolyn explains, ‘I used the wildflower matting to problem-solve some of the trickier surfaces in the garden and then selected the cultivated plants to mimic the wildflower effect. Overall, though, it was the meticulous attention to detail and a true sense of team spirit which made this show garden so particularly special.’”

I’m looking forward to my visit to Gardening Scotland 2011 and wish you a good visit if you are going. You can find travel details here. I’m also looking forward to a particular Springwatch event at the weekend – this will be a first for me! Perhaps I should be giving this a mention now but all will be revealed – after the event 🙂


If you’d like to view like some live cams on nature here in the UK the cams on BBC Springwatch (that is running on BBC2 at present and for the next three weeks) you can. It appears that the tech guys have made it so! You’ll find a picture link at the top of my blog sidebar but if you are reading this from a reader then go here. The live cams run daily from 4am-Midnight UK time. Enjoy 🙂

Next time… some Springwatch from my garden 🙂

This post was written by Shirley for https://www.shirlsgardenwatch.co.uk/

7 thoughts on “Gardening Scotland 2011, June 3-5

  1. This garden is outstanding Shirl. I can't wait to see what will catch your eye this year. It will really have to be good to top this one.

  2. Looking forward to seeing more of Gardening Scotland on Beechgrove Gardens next Monday.

    The gardens look lovely not as gimmicky as some of the Chelsea ones.

  3. Interesting view of the garden shows, Shirl, but I especially thank you for the link to the BBC web cams. Other BBC or any tv programmes are not possible to view in Europe (view again only legally works in the UK) so this was great thank you. Christina

  4. Hello everyone, thanks for your comments 🙂

    Lisa, isn’t it just? I had a job walking away. Sadly my visit yesterday didn’t really find a garden that I felt the same about. Lovely plantings though which I’ll post another time 🙂

    Giga, it was a wonderful garden 🙂

    Sue, Oh dear – hope you didn’t miss the programme. It was on during Friday here. I agree, the gardens are not quite as gimmicky but I’ll be honest in saying sometimes they do lack something too. Nothing this year really caught my eye long enough. I’ve been to both Chelsea & Tatton Park Shows and would like to see Gardening Scotland up a gear or two. However, I guess cost is a factor 🙂

    Patsi, interesting. I would have thought all garden shows had outside show gardens – especially in the US. I didn’t realise your shows were during winter. That must brighten the gardener’s heart then. Delighted you enjoyed the garden 🙂

    Christina, delighted you like the garden but…. Thrilled you can view the live cams. I was hoping someone would give me feedback on that to see if it was really working… brilliant! Enjoy 🙂

  5. I was really disappointed with the show gardens as I said on my post. I felt that they are not a patch on past years. Looking at your lovely photos I feel that is right.
    The floral tent, however was as seductive as ever.

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