National Exhibition Centre, June 2013
OK, so what stood out from the crowd this year? I’d have to say that for me, Wild Planting stood out from the rest this year, and thankfully so. I don't know if I'm alone in this, but as time goes by I'm looking for a simpler, more honest gardening style and wildflowers in a garden situation just seem the right way to go. This wasn’t the first garden show to feature planting on the wild side, but wildflowers were there in various show gardens swishing about in the breeze – and in most cases deservedly so.
When viewing critically, I have to say I feel garden shows should demand more structure - with management or 'design' being more visible - that way people who need to see control in a garden can also be satisfied, and landscapers can stay in work! Otherwise, comments from people who see these areas simply as unruly wild areas will continue, and wild flowers will continue to receive bad press. On the whole however, I'm glad to see the continued inclusion of native plants in show gardens, and hope their use is developed as time goes by to keep pace with design. Some of my wilder photo clips:
Another wild one, (although probably not championing the use of wildflowers,) was this lovely little plot by Craig Bailey called Opposites Detract, which intended to show the effect of cuts to parks funding. A very clever use of the central wall to divide a well managed and vibrant border in a typical park situation, from an un-managed and vandalised park. A stark message very effectively put across - loved it!
Hope to be back next year!