I was delighted to visit Gardening Scotland at the Royal Highland Centre this year to celebrate the 20th Birthday of the Scottish Gardening Show dedicated to outdoor living. The Show was packed with inspiration on plants, flowers, herbs and all manner of garden accessorising as well as offering future solutions to help increase the bee population and deal with rain run off in our gardens. Marry all that together with expert advice and a plant shoppers’ paradise and you really have ideal gardening day out!
On arrival at The Royal Highland Centre, the first garden I saw was The Otherness Garden, designed by Tom Angel of Angel Horticulture. I instantly fell in love with this garden primarily because I like to see show gardens model a framework to which we can all aspire and this particular garden could be recreated in any small, urban back garden. The garden was themed around managing mental illness and included delicate but hardy planting to symbolise hidden resilience despite feelings of fragility. Hostas, Salvia Caradonna, Foxgloves, Circeum and Box were some of the common plants used, plants which we may all have in our garden but seen here in fabulous planting combinations.
The other show garden which stood out was the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh’s Coffee Garden designed by Kirsty Wilson with its exquisite shades of chocolates and oranges in the planting. There were six different types of Heuchera, Iris Kent’s Pride, Geum Totally Tangerine, Digitalis purpurea Sutton’s Apricot, Acer palmatum Bloodgood, Aquilegia vulgaris William Guiness and Paeonia Coral Charm packed in the planting surrounding the Coffee Bean decking.
There were more fabulous planting combinations of Poppies, Lupins, Alliums, Catmint, Cosmos, Lavender, Chives and Scabiosa to see at the gardens from the students at South Lanarkshire College, both designed to be bee friendly gardens.
Inside the Floral Pavillion was just a feast for the senses with plant species of every description blooming at their very best on every stall!
There were lots of displays which highlighted recycling materials to use as planters and offered options for small space gardening.
It was great to see that Living Walls which were so on trend everywhere last year, were still featured in all their glory at this year’s Show. These are great options for those who have small gardens so they can make use of the vertical space
The Edible Resource Barter Machine designed by Glasgow School of Art really caught my eye both as a productive vertical wall, clever recycling system and social community initiative. This project aims to inspire students living in halls of residence grow low maintenance salads and herbs like mint, basil or coriander in recycled cans and tins, arranged like a vending machine style garden. Could this be the way forward in shared living spaces?
The other area which really impressed me was the range of front garden solutions designed by students from Scotland’s Horticultural Colleges – so much so, that I’ve had to put them in a separate post.
Gardening Scotland features more though than just show gardens and stunning planting combinations, it celebrates outdoor living and there was every kind of garden furniture permutation and enhancements on display as well as ideas for cooking and entertaining in your garden.
Despite the rain showers, Gardening Scotland was just a splendid gardening day out and I for one, cannot wait for next year’s Show although I’ll be clearing my car boot before I go in order to stuff in as many plants as physically possible! There are lots more pictures on The Pink Wheelbarrow’s Instagram feed if you’d like to see more!