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BBC Gardener's World celebrate 50 years at Birmingham NEC - with pictures

By Rebecca Stanley | Entertainment | Published:

BBC Gardeners' World returns once more with BBC Good Food Show to Birmingham's NEC, for what promises to be the best show yet.

2017 marks 50 years of BBC2's Gardener's world, with presenters past and present attending the show such as Alan Titchmarsh, Carol Klein, Joe Swift, Mark Lane, Nick Bailey, Adam Frost and Monty Don among others.

Other attractions at the show include the Gardener's World themed Beautiful Borders, a variety of intricately crafted show gardens, a feature garden showing how gardening has changed over the past five decades and more.

This year's show gardens celebrated the amazing history and the changing trends in gardening - blended with innovative new ideas and a selection of unbelievable materials designed to showcase the gardeners' own particular skills and talents.

Show Gardens in 2017 including gardens from Wyevale Garden Centres, Tesco, and the Multiple Sclerosis Society, plus five APL Avenue Show Gardens, twelve Beautiful Borders and the much-anticipated feature gardens celebrating fifty years of BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World, Paul Stone’s The Nostalgia Garden and The Anniversary Garden by Professor David Stevens.

Each of the gardens were judged by an expert panel including Kate Gould, Diarmuid Gavin, Anita Foy, Chris Harrop and Helen Wood in a Best in Show awards ceremony held on Wednesday, June 14 in the events' Floral Marquee.

Mike Baldwin of Derby College teamed up with The Multiple Sclerosis Society to create the beautiful The Journey to Hope Garden. The garden represents the journey of MS sufferers, using planting to reflect the stages of diagnosis and the effects of this neurological disease. Planting and colour is used to represent a variety of emotions, all centred around a calming biophilia retreat - a safe area for reflection and mindfulness.

The Journey To Hope Garden was presented with a Silver Merit award at the Best In Show ceremony with The Nostalgia Garden, A Brief History of Modern Gardens, Living Gardebs 'It's Not Just About The Beard...' in APL Avenue and Big Fish Landscapes 'Wetland Plants - The Idea of Wilderness' Garden taking home the gold.

Landform Consultants mastermind Mark Gregory presented the award, stating that he "greatly admired the persistence and tenacity" on show.

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The Nostalgia Garden, designed by Paul Stone, looks back at how things were in the garden fifty years ago including a humpback bridge, views down a bubbling stream, the first Flymo mover, a typical period garage and even a classic 1960's Mini Cooper.

A Brief History of Modern Gardens designed by Professor David Stevens and Peter Dowle, explores how the past fifty years has probably seen a greater change in gardens than ever before.

This is shown through five gardens spanning five decades from the 1960's covering changing planting styles, materials, patterns, design knowledge and more.

Other highlights in the Show Gardens includes that of the bright and colourful GreenThumb: With a Twist garden, the edible Tesco 'Every Little Helps' Garden and the Serentiy Garden - who were all present Silver Awards.

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The Best APL garden was awarded to Living Gardens 'It's Not Just About The Beard' that adopted an industrial, hipster theme with bold reclaimed materials, it's very own bar and BBQ.

Best Construction was awarded to Lanwarne Landscapes 'Contemporary Vee and Butterfly' Garden which strived to be both attractive to wildlife and relaxing, incorporating a varied plant scheme, insect nesting towers and flowing water.

Best in Show was awarded to Claudia De Yong, the designer behind Wyevale Garden Centres: Romance in the Ruins which combined the dilapidation of rising turrets with the innovation of garden design.

To celebrate fifty years of Gardener's World, the theme for this year's Beautiful Borders was '50 Years of Gardener's World', with designs inspired by everything from favourite episodes to favourite presenters.

Gardener's Eden, Forward and Back and ...And Action! Were all awarded gold medals, with ...And Action! Taking away Best In Show.

The border celebrates the moments when Gardener's World was filmed and aired, with a nod to the planting fashions of the 1960's.

Gardener's Eden took away Best Theme as it focused on the glasshouse, a regular feature on Gardener's World.

Walsall's Shire Oak Academy took part in the Small Gardens category with their ‘Taste the Incredible Edibles’ garden. With a focus on healthy living, colours and fragrance - this garden is so good you can taste it, and took away a Silver Merit.

Worcester's Chadsgrove School paid homage to author Beatrix Potter with 'The Life and Time of Miss Potter garden. A central railway planter signifies her emotional journey through life eith a tree at the end of her journey celebrating the publication of her first book.

As part of the celebrations Gardeners' World, the event are looking for the plant which has had the biggest impact on gardens over the past 50 years with the winner being named the Golden Jubilee Plant.

Then, as presenter Monty Don said, "the result will be announced at our big anniversary bash at BBC Gardeners' World Live this June".

The winner will be unveiled by Mary Berry on screen as part of a one hour anniversary programme, airing Friday 16 June.

As well as all of these feature gardens, visitors to the show will also be treated to an array of stalls, experts offering gardening advice, presenter talks throughout the day, live BBC TV Filming and the chance to try a slice of the exclusive Gardener's World birthday cake made my Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain.

There will also be live music each day, a vintage tea tent, face painting, bird feeder making and Father’s Day card workshops, craft sessions, picnics, street food, Pimm’s and fizz.

Ticket holders to BBC Gardeners’ World Live will also get free access to the BBC Good Food Show and under 18s go completely free at the weekend.

To find out more information or book tickets, head to www.bbcgardenersworldlive.com.

Rebecca Stanley

By Rebecca Stanley
@becci_native

Entertainment journalist for Native Monster, Express & Star & Shropshire Star. Contact me: rebecca.stanley@nativemonster.co.uk

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