Skip to main content

Guess where I went on Wednesday - The Gardeners World Flower Show

On Wednesday my friend and I took the train from Rugby and visited Gardeners World Live in Birmingham.   This was my first visit to the show and my first train trip in I don't know how many years.  I was more excited about catching the train than I was about the show to be honest.  You're not going to believe this but my last train journey was on a steam train to go to my grandma's funeral.  How long is it since steams trains were functioning as part of British Rail?  Anyway I missed the hissing of the engine, the guard blowing his whistle and the clickety-clack, clickety-clack as the train chugged along.  The train we caught was so fast and so silent it was as though we weren't moving at all.  The only seats we could get faced the wrong way and looking out of the window made me feel a little queasy to start with.  The NEC provided a shuttle bus at the station - so the whole journey only took fifteen minutes from Rugby station to Birmingham NEC - fantastic.

Rain was forecast so we were loaded with raincoats and umbrellas, I also took a picnic which was pretty heavy, but the rain held off - the sun came out - and we sighed with relief.

As it was the first day it wasn't overcrowded and there was plenty of space around the gardens and stalls to be able to see everything.  The ubiquitous little pink trolleys for transporting your plants were everywhere, getting in everybody's way, running over your toes and cracking against your ankles. TUT.

There were only a handful of show gardens - mostly very contemporary showing off the hard landscaping
 The favourite flowers seemed to be white foxgloves and astrantias in most of the gardens, but this next one was the one I preferred
I loved the shed-cum-greenhouse with a green roof, pond, beehive, small veg plot and cottage garden flowers surrounded with a beech hedge.  Lovely.
The plant that I saw most people buying was this white one ORLAYA, an annual in the cow parsley family.  So delicate and pretty.  Just to let you know - I resisted buying any plants at all, I just don't have any room for anything else.  My friend came home with three plants and a tin cockerel ornament.

There was also the Good Food Show on, but by the middle of the afternoon we were getting tired of wandering about, so we didn't bother too much with it.  We did sit and listen to Cleve West give a talk about his book Our Plot - about his allotment garden - and after a final cup of tea we made our weary way back to the shuttle to take the train ride home.

It was an enjoyable day and  plant collectors and enthusiasts would have been in their element.  I am so glad I took a picnic with us as everything was so expensive, but we did lash out and buy some fish and chips for tea when we got back. 

Comments

  1. You were very restrained Elaine.. I have no willpower when it comes to plants. Glad you had a good day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I can't believe it myself - but there was nothing that leapt out at me and said 'buy me buy me'.

      Delete
  2. Looks a nice day out. I went a couple of times must be about 8 years ago now and I liked how you could buy plants (which you can't do at Chelsea). Glad you enjoyed the train journey too, maybe it won't be as long until your next one?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This show was all about buying plants but it seemed to me that all the stalls had more or less the same plants on offer.

      Delete
  3. That shed/greenhouse is beautiful. I love the green roof.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved it too - wouldn't mind one myself.

      Delete
  4. It was a gardeners World live where I first encountered black elder - sambucus nigra - all the gardens were using it in their bedding schemes so we bought one and it grew and grew and grew - certainly no bedding plant. We preferred the show when it was just GWL once the food and homes bit joined in the whole thing got too big really.

    As for steam trains we have been on several recently - my husbands passion at the moment!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The plants in the show gardens are all small so it doesn't really give you an idea of how big they will grow and how quickly they will outgrow their space - it's all a bit false really. There just wasn't enough time to go round everything but I guess some people just go to see one element of the show. We are hoping to go on a steam train on the Poppyland tour when we go to N.Norfolk at the end of the month - can't wait.

      Delete
    2. I think the gardeners who do show gardens should stick within the limits of what a good 'real-life' gardener could do otherwise it gives a false expectation when people see plants that naturally belong in different seasons all out together and everything flowering at once to give a chocolate box type image.

      Delete
  5. This sounds like a lovely day. My Goodness - that is a long time since you travelled by train. The old steam trains sound so romantic! I would be drawn to the cottage gardens, too - so I think that would also be my favourite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't remember the last time I went on a double decker bus either - I know cars are convenient but they aren't as much fun.

      Delete
  6. That will have been a lovely day out withbyour friend and I can imagine the train was most interesting. These flower shows are often so artificial and commercial and those pink trolleys, haha.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree about the shows but they do give you a chance to see plants that you wouldn't otherwise come across and also plenty of inspiration to take home with you.

      Delete
  7. Oh how wonderful. I need one of those pink trolleys. LOL! I love the white foxtails and cottage gardens. I am not to enthused about too much hard landscaping but there is more of it here at the shows too. Where the money is these days I assume. :) I do really like the greenhouse and green roof though. I have never been on a train so I would have been more excited about that right along with you. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a pleasant way to spend a day for a change and the train trip was certainly exciting for me (it doesn't take much to make me happy) - lol.

      Delete
  8. I usually see the show on TV, with people dragging these trollies around stuffed with plants, I can’t understand how you managed to resist buying anything! But it must be a great inspiration going to something like that, I remember when I used to go to Chelsea Flower Show, many years ago, I always came home with lots of ideas (and a few plants!)
    Have a great week-end, take care, Helene.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have been two or three times and really enjoyed it but havent been for a few years. I prefer gardens to be gardens and the show gardens that are mostly about landscaping for me arent proper gardens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think I would necessarily go again Anne but I am glad I went just to see what it was like.

      Delete
  10. Oh wow I wuold love to go to this. And taking the train there sounds like it would even make it more awesome :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I really enjoyed it Keith

      Delete
    2. I wish we had trains where I live. I've always wanted to ride one!

      Delete
  11. Sounds like you had a lovely day out. I would have preferred the garden you liked with the pond and beehive, too:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rosie - I agree, I don't like gardens that are too over-designed but something that you can translate in your own garden when you get back home.

      Delete
  12. It sounds, and looks, like you had a really good day.
    I like the look of that shed/greenhouse and the garden that it's in.
    I've got the Cleve West book which I think is excellent so guess that his talk was well worth listening to.
    Flighty xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He actually seemed very shy Flighty - I don't think he was comfortable with public speaking - I am sure he prefers being at his allotment rather than standing talking about it.

      Delete
  13. Good grief!!! You SERIOUSLY haven't been on a train since the steam trains????? Amazing! I think train journey on a steam train to go to my grandma's funeral deserves a post in itself!

    Hahahahaha....I laughed out loud about those pink trolleys causing carnage, reminds me of my luggage in airports, lethal I am!!!

    I watch that programme love to go, it looks wonderful, some fantastic plants and lots of ideas. I especially love the living shed roof....mmmmmm....may try that.

    Food always costs a bomb at these events doesn't it? I'm glad you took a picnic and that the rain held off, and what a wonderful way to round the day off with the fish and chips! Smashin!!! xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think you've gone one better than a greef roof - you have a green trampoline - now that's much more original.

    ReplyDelete
  15. You managed to get some fantastic photos. I think I would have bought a cow parsley plant. I have the weed all over my garden and really like it in the unmanaged areas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would look great in a wild meadow situation - maybe I'll try it from seed if I can find any.

      Delete
  16. I do like that white Foxglove and Astrantia combination. Sounds like a great day out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree it was a good combination of plants.

      Delete
  17. You really need to use trains more... I always use the train if I want to go to London, and recently have discovered the joys of the Pendolino, London to Liverpool in under 2 hours! And you can knit on the way, now that's better than driving up the motorway!

    And Eurostar opens up a whole new world without having to queue in the airport, marvellous!

    Glad you had a good day, I'm growing Ammi this year - I think it's another on trend cow parsley cousoin.

    I bet you enjoyed the fish and chips! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't get out and about as much as you Celia, but it certainly opened my eyes as to just how many people used the train - it certainly did take the stress out of travelling.

      Delete
  18. Wow...that sounds wonderful. I love going to these shows. What a wonderful day1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There were lots of plants to buy but some were really expensive - for example a Pot Marigold was £4.00 - which is ludicrous - it means that all those I have planted out this year add up to about £100 - but I expect some people would be daft enought to pay that price - I am sure a 'real' gardener wouldn't entertain paying that much for something that is so easy to grow from seed.

      Delete
  19. Sounds like you had a lovely day out and so glad you enjoyed it and your train trip. I've been a couple of times there but not for a while. It was big enough then so if it now has a food show too sounds exhausting! I liked the fact that you can go and listen to talks by some gardeners, I'd have enjoyed hearing Cleve West. I liked the garden you highlighted, I'm like you like the more traditional garden with the hard landscaping taking a back seat. The plants are the stars.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was very tiring Annie but we kept having a bit of a sit and a cuppa to help revive us and we chatted to other visitors - everyone was very friendly, but gardeners generally are on the whole.

      Delete
  20. A train journey and fish and chips for tea, delightful. I have yet to see those ugly pink things on our pacific shores. They look like ankle busters.
    I have given up going to the large shows-the gardens look out of place in some huge exhibition hall and I start feeling sorry them.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

the rise of the apple and the fall of the oak ...

Sunday
Early morning.  We drove down to the lake for a stroll in the autumn sunshine; the air was chilled in the shadows but the sun was bright.  The water level was still very low; we have had hardly any rain for weeks.  On the spit of land a gaggle of Canada geese preening and resting.  The water still and calm.

 We walked further along the lane, and there just around the bend, my favourite oak tree; a lopsided old thing with winky-wonky branches.  But all was not well.  The trunk had split and there was a gut-wrenching open wound.
 
I loved that old tree and always take a photograph of it when we are down there; a kind of tradition.




Now, half the tree lying on the ground - only fit for firewood - such a shame - I felt really sad.


Monday
Spent the morning pruning the Amelanchier which had outgrown its space.  My neighbour came round with foxglove self-seeders which I planted beneath it now that there is some room.  I have finally come to the end of the garden restoration project -…

Down to Earth ...

A nothing much happened kind of week.  Mostly it rained and rained and rained.  The sun burst through for short periods then hid behind the clouds and it rained again.  The garden is flattened and battered and a soggy mess.  We have had the heating on it has been so chilly - even my pet sheep had their hats and scarves on.


On Monday electricians came and fitted an earthing device.  On Tuesday a different electrician came and earthed us (our earthing spike had deteriorated - whatever that is) - apparently new regs said it had to be done before the house could be signed off as completed.  The electrician also fitted the new ceiling lights to replace the water damaged ones.


And a new desk has been installed to replace the water damaged one.


Next week all the carpets are going to be fitted and voila - we're done.  Hurrah!

Meanwhile back at the ranch - every time the sun came out I rushed into the garden to take some pics of the least damaged flowers.


The view from the kitchen window

the sweet calm sunshine of September ...

" It was a morning of ground mist, yellow sunshine, and high rifts of blue, white-cloud-dappled sky.  The leaves were still thick on the trees, but de-spangled gossamer threads hung on the bushes and the shrill little cries of unrest of the swallows skimming the green open spaces of the park told of  autumn and change." ~ Flora Thompson


September has been a very productive month for me. I have worked hard in the garden with a feeling of racing against time; although, in truth, there is plenty of time to do everything - I just wanted to get it done while the weather was good, so much more pleasant working outside when it is a little warmer, rather than having to wrap up in coats and boots to get it all done.  I have planted every last bulb that I possess; those I saved from last year; those I bought this year; every piece of ground and every container has been put to use - if I don't get a good display in spring then something has gone seriously wrong.


Gardening fo…