BBC Gardeners’ World Live 2017 preview

Golden anniversary celebration of TV show

Anniversary Garden
Anniversary Garden vignettes by decade from Prof David Stevens

Gardeners' World LiveBBC Gardeners’ World Live is going to be extra special this year, with Gardeners’ World celebrating its 50th anniversary.

A Golden Jubilee-style summer garden party will be the theme, with presenters past and present Monty Don, Carol Klein, Joe Swift, Adam Frost, Frances Tophill, Flo Headlam, Nick Bailey, Peter Seabrook, Diarmuid Gavin, Alan Titchmarsh and Toby Buckland appearing with expert tips and gardening anecdotes.

BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World team film at the show on Thursday as part of their much anticipated one-hour anniversary programme airing Friday, June 16.

The show’s Golden Jubilee Plant will be chosen on Thursday, with Mary Berry announcing the winner on air the following day.

Gardeners' World Live
Enjoying last year’s Gardeners’ World Live

The Changing Face of Gardening feature displays all the nominations plus historical tools and memorabilia from the programme.

Explore the styles of the past half century in the Nostalgia Garden, a vintage garden scene from the 60s when Gardeners’ World first hit our screens, and the Anniversary Garden with vignettes of the trends of the last five decades.

You’ll also see presenters past and present in their flower form, including Monty Don, Alan Titchmarsh, Carol Klein, Geoffrey Smith, Geoff Hamilton, Peter Seabrook and Rachel de Thame in the Nostalgia Garden and in the Beautiful Borders.

Harkness Roses, with Roses UK, launch the new rose Gardeners’ Gold – a golden cultivar available to buy from Harkness Roses as part of the Rose Festival in the Floral Marquee.


Show Gardens

The Nostalgia Garden
The Nostalgia Garden illustration by Paul Stone

This year, there are five Show Gardens and five APL Avenue Show Gardens, plus Beautiful Borders and two feature gardens celebrating 50 years of BBC2’s Gardeners’ World – Paul Stone’s The Nostalgia Garden and The Anniversary Garden by Professor David Stevens.

The Tesco Every Little Helps Garden, designed by Owen Morgan, Mosaic Gardens
An interactive garden which will offer lots of help and inspire you to grow flowers and vegetables in small spaces and containers.

The MS Society Journey To Hope Garden, designed and built by Derby College
The garden represents coming to terms with an MS diagnosis. The bridge represents the point of diagnosis, with its structure showing the often hidden support of many who help sufferers. The planting after the bridge of spiky plants represents intense pain. The pod is a retreat where a circle of support can meet to heal and re-energise.

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Serenity, designed by Andy Tudbury, Halcyon Days Garden Design
The calmness of the planting and ripples on the pool bring a feeling of serenity. It’s a garden to bring a feeling of peacefulness, as you leave the worries of the day behind and absorb the spirit of the garden.

Wyevale Garden Centre’s Show Garden, designed by Claudia de Yong Designs
The design evokes scent, romantic creativity and elements. Visitors can walk through and take home inspiration for their own gardens.

GreenThumb’s With a Twist Garden, designed by Pip Probert GreenThumb
This feature garden, from the UK’s largest lawn care specialist, has been developed in collaboration with renowned garden designer Pip Probert.


APL Avenue Competition Gardens

The Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) Avenue Competition Gardens are designed to be inspirational, aspirational and achievable. Packed with great ideas these gardens include designs for a family, an urban couple and one for hipsters!

With a front or small back garden theme, the gardens are inspirational and relatable. The winning contractors and designers are:

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The Artemis Landscapes Living in Sync Garden, designed by Viv Seccombe, contractor Artemis Landscapes, sponsors Neal’s Yard
A front garden for a professional, urban couple. Features include wildlife-friendly planting, sculptural bug towers, functional bin, and bicycle storage made from sustainable wood and recycled paving. The wide plant borders are surrounded by embedded recycled bottles which give flashes of jewelled colour.

Big Fish Landscapes Garden, designed by Cherry Carmen, Cherry Blossom Landscapes, contractor: Big Fish Landscapes
A back garden for a middle-aged couple looking to upgrade their garden to match their renovated house. They would like a space that looks like art through their glass sliding doors. The decking area converts into lounge chairs, while a moss graffiti wall is a wildlife-friendly way to introduce art into the garden. A tree and pergola create a bird-friendly canopy and privacy.

Lanwarne Landscapes Garden, designed by Martin Lines, contractor: Lanwarne Landscapes, sponsors: London Stone, The Garden Trellis Co., Ternex, The Lapa Company, DB Renovations, Urban Planters, The Japan Garden Company, DEAMER Ltd
A back garden for a couple in their early thirties to complement their modern refurbished house and offer a private space for them to relax after work. The garden includes an outdoor kitchen and fire pit in granite and stainless steel, balanced by bee and butterfly-friendly planting along with pebble fountains. Low-level planting in pink, blue and white complements the fencing and pergola.

Living Gardens It’s Not Just About The Beard… Garden, designed by Peter Cowell and Monty Richardson, Living Gardens, contractor Living Gardens
A hipster back garden for a couple with no plans to settle down with children. An oasis of urban greenery, inspired by the industrial themed bars and clubs. The main feature is a floating lounging platform with a bespoke steel wood burner and beanbags. An outdoor bar made from reclaimed materials, along with a place to grow fruit and veg, creates a quirky functional area.

Pro-Gardens CLIC Sargent Garden, designed by Jamie Langlands, Pro-Gardens Ltd, contractor Pro-Gardens Ltd, supporting charity: CLIC Sargent who provide specialist support for young cancer patients and their families
A fantastical back garden for a young family. The dominant feature is the magical folly. A small enclosed patio and seating area are hidden behind a curved Carpinus hedge. An old path lined with lavender meanders towards the folly, passing colourful herbaceous planting and trees.


Other GWL highlights

Floral Marquee highlights

Joe Swift
Joe Swift at last year’s shoe
  • Barnsdale Gardens is to recreate its 50 years of Gardeners’ World exhibit from RHS Chelsea.
  • Pennard Plants will display fruit with heritage garden tools and pages of BBC books published by presenters during the past half century.
  • Primrose Hall Nursery is to create a birthday cake with three tiers of pastel peonies.
  • Lucy Chamberlain, gardening writer for The Guardian, heads up The Advice Desk.
  • Birmingham City Council recreates its display from RHS Chelsea, celebrating the work of local cartoonist Rowland Emett.

BBC Good Food Show

  • Every ticket includes entry to the BBC Good Food Show. See culinary heroes such as Mary Berry, Tom Kerridge and Michel Roux Jr at the Healthy Kitchen stage, plus book signings.
  • Look out for the street food area or create your own picnic from the foods on offer, which you can enjoy among the Show Gardens.

Fun for Families

  • Under 18s go free at the weekend (under fives free every day).
  • Live music including Polka Dots plus dancing with the Strictly Come Dancing compere.
  • The Bathgate sandpit, face painting, and craft activities.
  • The Skinny Jean Gardener runs children’s sessions on the VegTrug Grow Your Own Stage.
  • The Donkey Sanctuary.
  • Seed sowing with The Conservation Volunteers at their stand by Picnic Hill.
  • Pre-bookable crèche.

Stages highlights

  • The BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine editors demonstrate how to create containers, joined by guests including Alan Titchmarsh.
  • Learn techniques from the British Floristry Association at their dedicated stage, featuring hand-tied bouquets and table centrepieces.
  • The VegTrug Grow Your Own Stage includes demos from Rob Smith, Matt Biggs, and the Skinny Jeans Gardeners.
  • Jim Buttress hosts interviews and demos from specialist growers at the Demo Bench.

Getting there

Gardeners' World LiveGardeners’ World Live, NEC Birmingham, Thursday, June 15-Sunday, June 18, 9am-6pm.

By car: Pop B40 1NT in your sat nav. You’ll find the NEC signposted from all motorways and major routes. When you arrive at the NEC don’t follow your satnav – follow the Gardeners’ World Live signs. There are more than 16,500 parking spaces available and a free shuttle bus to the venue.

By train: The NEC is less than a 10-minute walk from Birmingham International Railway Station. If you’re travelling from further afield you may need to catch a connecting train at Birmingham New Street, which is less than a 15-minute journey away.

For more information, visit www.bbcgardenersworldlive.com.

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