Scotland’s national festival of flowers celebrates its 20th anniversary, May 31-June 2
To mark two decades of bringing plants, design ideas, new products and expert advice to gardeners, Gardening Scotland is celebrating by having a garden party theme.
The highlight will be an entertaining space with an Italian glass cocktail bar, an outdoor kitchen and a Secret Gin Garden, serving up freshly-mixed cocktails.
The outdoor party space has been created by garden designer Lynn Hill, working with the CED Stone Group, and it’s her third show garden for Gardening Scotland.
Lynn said: “Plants are a vital part of the garden, but we want to show that gardens are also places to have fun, so we’ve mixed rustic elements such as Caithness stone with Santiago porcelain paving, which is very modern.
Glass cocktail bar
“The glass cocktail bar has been made by Rosso Dotto, the kitchen is by Grillo and the backdrop is made from corten steel screens with floral cut-outs.”
At the entrance to the garden, there will be a vortex in slate, created by renowned Scottish sculptor, James Parker.
The garden will be built by Root One East, GM Land Solutions and Endrick Landscapes, BALI and Ashlea.
As well as Gardening Scotland cocktails, The Secret Gin Garden, created by Edinburgh nursery, The Secret Herb Garden, will also be serving up colour-changing Old Curiosity gins, including flavours such as Apothecary Rose and Lavender & Echinacea, made with botanicals grown at its nursery outside of Edinburgh.
Growing on a shoestring
A recycled, low-impact garden, with lots of ideas for recycling and growing food on a shoestring and in small spaces, will be created by the RHS.
There will be top tips from gardening expert and broadcaster Martin Fish while daily workshops will include growing vegetables in containers and making edible kokedamas – Japanese hanging moss balls packed with herbs.
The RHS will also be running a Pop-up Gardens competition, with schools, colleges and community groups tasked to design and build a mini show garden to celebrate this year’s Greening Great Britain themes of wildlife, people and environment.
Among them will be Glasgow School of Art, whose Edible Resource Barter Machine will be based on a vending machine designed for communal student living and using recycled packaging materials to grow fruits, salads and herbs.
Calderside Academy will be creating a garden to tackle depression and anxiety and Blooming Inverkip will be planting up their garden with species loved by butterflies.
Thanks to a new service run by Lothian Motorcoaches, visitors can travel direct to the showground, from 19 locations across Scotland.
Prices start at £25 and coaches have air conditioning, reclining seats and free Wi-Fi. The six routes are:
- Heather Route: Aberdeen, Dundee Perth
- Foxglove Route: Coatbridge, Airdrie, Cumbernauld
- Thistle Route: St Andrews, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline
- Rowan Route: Stirling, Falkirk
- Rose Route: Ayr, Kilmarnock, East Kilbride, Hamilton
- Bluebell Route: Greenock, Paisley, Glasgow
Travel and ticket packages are available online at www.gardeningscotland.com/travel-packages/.
Other show features
- Floral Pavilion: top nurseries from across the UK
- Plant Village
- Show Gardens
- College Street: filled with design ideas for front gardens
- Theatre will with demonstrations and gardeners’ Q&A sessions
- Craft Pavilion: exhibitors selling gardening tools and outdoor living accessories
- A Big Back Garden with games and activities for all the family.
Gardener of the Year
Two top gardening titles will be unveiled at the show – Gardener of the Year which is open to anyone, from professionals to allotmenteers. The Young Gardener of the Year title is for under 21s.
Winners will each receive £200 worth of gardening gift vouchers from Caulders Garden Centres.
- Date: Friday, 31 May until Sunday, 2 June
- Opening hours: 10am-5pm. Advance ticket holders can access the Show from 9.45am
- Location: Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh.
- Parking: There is ample car parking available which costs £5.
- Disabled visitors: There is a forward car park for disabled badge holders at the north gate entrance, which is AA signposted. Mobility scooters and wheelchairs are available for hire, book online in advance here.
- For more information and to book tickets, travel and afternoon teas, visit www.gardeningscotland.com.