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GROW to Garden Up: new events for gardening gurus

by

Phil Hirst

Phil Hirst took gold at RHS Tatton Park Flower Show and is creating an NGS themed garden for Garden Up

June is the month for garden shows to reach their apogee and there are a number of new ones to pack into your busy show schedule as you seek inspiration for your own balcony or border.

From feverfew to foxgloves, from hardy herbaceous to heucheras, there is good news  for gardeners seeking specialist nurseries  offering rare and interesting plants and expert advice on how to grow them, with new plant fairs set to take place in  London and Borde Hill Garden, Sussex  next month.

Amongst the 100  exhibitors at the new London ‘GROW’ event will be:  Crug Farm Plants who mount annual expeditions to the Far East and Central and Southern America in search of the unusual and who will have plants hitherto unseen on sale; Plantagogo the national collection holders for Heucheras; Hooksgreen Herbs Staffordshire with their medicinal plants, including 23 varieties of mint; and Glendon Nursery, Northamptonshire offering decorative foliage  plants whether silvery, spotted, striped or filigree. There will also be four show gardens, exhibitors stalls, talks and workshops throughout the event designed to encourage city gardeners to make the most of their plots.

The new Plant Finders’ Fair at Borde Hill Garden will also offer the opportunity to buy from and talk to nurserymen and independent specialist growers with exhibitors including Salvia nursery Dysons, rare plant specialists Evolution Plants and Edulis  with their incredible edibles and ornamentals. This plant fair has a carefully selected range of garden paraphernalia stalls, with an emphasis on hand-crafted work including basket-ware, wood and iron work too.There will also be Borde Hill’s 17 acres of formal gardens to explore together with the UK’s largest private collection of ‘champion trees’.

Borde Hill

At the other end of the country, the brand new ‘Garden Up’  at Sheffield Botanical Gardens is also planned for June and with its emphasis on a design –led artistic approach to gardening is intended to underline Sheffield’s ‘greenest city’ label. Local universities, schools, businesses, artists are all signed up to the two-day event which encourages partnership working and innovation whether it be through the show gardens, botanical art, sculpture, flower arranging or any of the other wide-ranging activities on offer. Organiser Richard Nicolle promises, “Sheffield will really have seen nothing like it before!”

And with a new twist for an old favourite, Irish rock pools, explosions of colour in orange, yellow and blue, Mark Rothko and the ebb and flow of the seasons form the inspiration for the four BBC Gardeners’ World Live Metamorphosis competition winners; this unique challenge for garden designers requires them to innovate with a prescribed list of materials and show what is possible for the amateur gardener. The winning gardens will be on display at the show in June with their creators anxiously awaiting the verdict of the show garden judges. And younger visitors are not forgotten with a new ‘Hanging Baskets of Birmingham’ event for schools to be judged by ‘The Big Allotment Challenge’s’ Jim Buttress.

GROW London takes place 20-22nd June 2014 on Hampstead Heath, London. Adult advance tickets £10. £16 on the door. Concessions available www.growlondon.com

Plant Finders’ Fair at Borde Hill Garden West Sussex takes place 27-29 June 2014 10am -5pm Entry £10 www.plantfindersfair.co.uk

Garden Up at Sheffield Botanical Garden takes place 7-8 th June 2014  from 10am to 6pm . Advance tickets £6 or pay on entry www.gardenup.org

BBC Gardeners’ World Live 2014 takes place 12-15th June at NEC, Birmingham. Advance ticket prices start at £22.50 www.bbcgardenersworldlive.com

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