These are small plots but marked under similar exacting criteria to exhibition gardens at all the big flower shows and some were very much show standard - just smaller! Design and construction is mostly by groups of students or small landscape companies and is an excellent and affordable entry to the show world. We awarded two Golds, four Silver Gilts, four Silvers and three Bronze. None of them were below these standards, so we didn't have to give any 'No Awards' as they are called.
The top award and a well deserved Gold Medal, went to 'Beating the Doldrums', a planting scheme based on sailing with wonderful waving grasses, sympathetic planting and some great seaside props. One could just imagine a sailing enthusiast constructing a garden like this in a small city centre plot to remind of happy weekends away sailing.
|Beating the Doldrums|
|Beating the Doldrums|
|Beating the doldrums|
|Smoke and Mirrors - do you see the mirror amongst the climbers?|
|Smoke and Mirrors|
Amongst the Silver Gilts, 'Light the Blue Touch Paper' is a brave attempt to portray fireworks over rooftops using plants. 'Opposites Detract' expresses the serious concern of many at funding cuts for local parks. Whilst the dereliction on one side is sharply contrasted with the clipped culture on the other, it is a pity that the positive had to be illustrated with such an awful example of summer bedding. 'Surrender' portrays' the decline of an abandoned garden as nature takes over. 'There's Sense in that' illustrates how the senses can incorporated into a garden with colour, scent, movement and sound. Whilst generally well designed, this scheme was spoilt by three poor trees placed in a row along the plot.
|Light the Blue Touch Paper|
|Opposites Detract - awful colour scheme!|
|Opposites Detract - great detail here|
|There's sense in that|
'The Secret Gardener' was lovely idea (or maybe a true story) about a small beautifully maintained parterre discovered in the midst of a ruined and derelict garden. Sadly there wasn't enough contrast between cultivated and neglected, and insufficient colour. Silver's were also awarded to the colourful 'Don't Worry - BEE Happy', 'Glass-Flower Stone' and 'No Ball Games'.
|The Secret Gardener - so many possibilities|
|Don't Worry - BEE Happy - judges didn't like the symmetrical and spotty planting|
|Glass Flower Stone - the glass sculpture is out of the picture - horrible!|
|No balls games - nice prop but didn't really tell the story|
|Peter Rabbit - more colour needed|
|Everything stops for Tea - too much bare soil|
|Upsy Daisy - more daisies needed!|
Whilst some of the beds could do with improvement and there were lost opportunities, the overall standard was impressive and there is lots for the visitor to see and some great ideas to take home!