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NEC Birmingham Gardener's World


Has anyone else been to the Gardener’s World show at the NEC in Birmingham?
Due to my OH having a minor guilt about the start of the new fishing season he decided to treat me to a visit to the show. He is not a gardener so it was probably purgatory for him to even be there, but he admired the flowers and bought and carried things!
I didn’t take the camera so there will be no photo’s on this blog, but maybe someone else will provide some. I decided that the amount of people about it would be pretty hopeless trying to get decent photo’s.
As it turned out it was of course packed and every other person seemed to have one of those little trolleys dragging along behind them – without them looking to see where it actually was.
The show was of course beautiful, the flowers stupendous and the gardens delightful. Lots to look at and stalls to browse and want lists to compile.
Watching Gardeners World tonight (we managed to avoid the cameras, setting up and wires on the day) it’s amazing how much bigger all the gardens looked – the camera never lies they say – but perhaps it elongates a bit?
It was better in a way to see it on television as you could see everything closer up, less crowded and get a better overall picture. So if you don’t get to go, don’t feel to bad, on TV you got to see a lot of it without the squash.
Not that I am knocking the experience, the day was lovely and I did come home with a few plants.
It will be interesting to see what other people thought of it.

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Glad you enjoyed your day, and survived being squashed. Was enjoyable watching Gardeners World from the comfort of an armchair, well I have been working in the garden most of the day!

16 Jun, 2017


Hi honeysuckle, you summed it up well it was pretty busy, me and hubby just kept looking at each other as people just stopped in there tracks in front of you not considering someone might actually be behind them!! And I went to look at the Ruins garden and two ladies were standing talking on a narrow bridge over the pond so you couldn't get past, lol for fear of falling in. Very much enjoyed all the gardens and displays though and the singers outside The Polkadots. We always take a trolley but yes you do have to dodge those as well, I got a woman's foot the one year and just caught mine on one this year, always wear sturdy shoes lol. ;-) what did you buy ?

17 Jun, 2017


Thanks Siris, I think your day's gardening and the viewing from the armchair was a good idea. The journey there was fraught in places where delays caused OH to expound on other driver's bad driving, cutting in and lack of brake lights on some cars, not a patient person I'm afraid. Queues of course for teas etc., and to view the gardens. Came home with memories of immaculate flowers to a weedy garden which could have done with an extra day spent on it, but you've got to have a break sometimes haven't you?

17 Jun, 2017


I know what you mean about the abrupt stops in front of you! Also those people who gave no consideration to how much room they were taking up and suddenly stopped with the trolley stretched out to the full extent behind them, taking up at least two spaces. Some poor chap with a wheelchair which he was trying to push was apologising to all and sundry and waiting for a gap to turn it round. I told him just to go for it, no-one seemed to be prepared to wait for a moment or two!
As for what I bought, a yellow Foxglove, I have loads of self seeded pinks, violets and whites, but no yellow and she said it seeded true to colour - we'll see! I told her off for leaving her money on the back of the stall within reach of everyone. she was on her own so couldn't keep and eye on it. She said she was used to being in the countryside (not that it's not got opportunists) and hadn't given it a thought, so put it on the floor.
Three small rockery plants Zaluzianskya ovata, Lindernia grandiflora a pretty blue and Pratia Pendunculata Alba a starry white. Now they just need a home until the pending rockery is done!
Sollya heterophylia, tiny blue bell flowers on a climber and a large pot of Thymus serpylium from a stall outside which OH said was better than the Thymes we have which he described as straggly!
I loved some of the grasses, but OH hates grasses so they are something to buy when he is not about.

17 Jun, 2017


Ooh sounds lovely, i have a couple of grasses but largish ones, stipa gigantea and two miscanthus (Ferrers osten and zebrinus) but they are well behaved, some can seed about cant they, happy planting:-))

17 Jun, 2017


Its a tricky one for me as I do love to see these show gardens, and it's great to be with a lot of other gardeners who are all as excited about plants as I am! But I hate crowds and that gets worse as I get older. So I tend to avoid big shows now. I have been to Chelsea three times and I doubt I will go again. I went to Hampton Court Flower Show once and that was a bigger space so you could find space to get away from the crowds, but not near the things you went to see which were just as crowded. I would like to go to Chatsworth, but probably NOT when the show is on. Once I went to the Scottish Gardens show at Ingleston and it took me three hours to get from Ingleston to the Road Bridge over the Forth. So I shan't be going back there again. And it definitely wasn't worth the effort. But I did thoroughly enjoy seeing GW live on GW last night and I recorded it so I can see it again. I'd rather be in my garden to be honest! :)

17 Jun, 2017


Well done Honeysuckle for sharing your - mixed(!) - experience. I enjoyed seeing the programme on television, but - like Karen - I hate crowds so no longer go to big shows. However, I have been to the RHS Spring show at Malvern which is a really lovely venue, and I would like to go to Chatsworth. I wonder if the built gardens will stay there??

17 Jun, 2017


Nice that you were able to go. It's different when you are actually in a place, than when you see it on the tv or in photos. You catch more of the spirit of it I think.

18 Jun, 2017


Thanks Karen and Sheila for your comments, you cheered me up no end! I wasn't sure whether I would be considered a miserable OAP if I said that I didn't like the crowds, OH doesn't either so he did really well, not being a gardener and not liking the crowds - real sacrifice!
I agree with you too Hywel it's nice to be amongst other lovers of plants, but you don't get to talk to them, only the stall holders who are only too keen (mostly) to pass on information about their plants.
We went to Hampton Court flower show too Karen, sticky bus ride that time, queues to get in, long walk and crowds and crowds, but the gardens were lovely away from the show and quite empty considering how many people were at the show. Another that we probably won't do again.

18 Jun, 2017've just reminded me. The day we went to Hampton Court we went on the train and it got stuck between stations. And it was a boiling hot day. And of course the train was jam packed and most of us standing like sardines in a tin. People on the train fainted! No, won't be doing that again!

18 Jun, 2017


I've never been to any garden shows, although I say to myself every year I will go to one this year! It's never happened. I agree with you though, I think you see more of the gardens on the tv as they are able to walk in the gardens and have 'front row seats'. The only thing you are missing is the atmosphere, but then again I don't like the crowds and have the equivalent of road rage!.

19 Jun, 2017


You made me laugh Karen, though I did feel sorry for you too, stuck on the train. Also reminded me we once went on a coach trip to Kew, the bus broke down 3/4 of the way there and we had a 3 hour wait for the replacement on the side of the road. A bus load of people sitting on the verge watching the cars go by, eating the food intended for the day at Kew. When it arrived it was too late to carry on, so we all got taken home again! We did get to go again another day though.
Lisa I like your idea of road rage, it does make your blood boil when people have no consideration for anyone else! I felt sorry for several people with wheelchairs who couldn't get adjacent to the stalls to see the plants properly and the person with them must have been a saint to not run inconsiderate people over. The atmosphere was good in it's way, the stands immaculate and inventive and the only thing you miss by watching it on TV is the opportunity to buy plants. Having said that many were expensive, which you can't blame the sellers, it must cost a fortune to have a stand there, then there is the time spent and cost of setting the stand up etc., so a hike in prices probably had to be made. I was amused to see people buying plants, such are annual grasses and the red poppies which are also annuals for the price you would normally pay for a perennial - still I suppose they would seed themselves hopefully.

19 Jun, 2017

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