Gardeners' World Live Garden Show Guide

Discover the best gardens from BBC Gardeners' World Live 2023

Explore a blooming paradise of horticultural wonders and green inspirations. In this blog post, we delve into the enchanting world of BBC Gardeners' World Live 2023, where floral marvels, innovative designs, and gardening expertise converge. As one of the most anticipated events on the gardening calendar, this year's exhibition promises to captivate enthusiasts and green-thumbed visitors alike. Join us as we take a virtual stroll through the breathtaking gardens, uncovering the latest trends, awe-inspiring displays, and expert tips that will ignite your passion for gardening and leave you with a renewed appreciation for the beauty and creativity that blooms in every corner of this spectacular event.

Liz Earle Beauty Co’s Botanical Show Garden

At BBC Gardeners' World Live this year, The Liz Earle Beauty Co.'s Botanical Show Garden embraces the therapeutic potential of plants to enhance feelings of wellbeing. Created by the accomplished and Platinum Award-winning garden and landscape designer, Lucy Bravington, this garden showcases an array of perennial plants that are key ingredients in various Liz Earle Beauty Co. products, including echinacea, rosemary, and lavender. Renowned ethnobotanist, James Wong, will provide valuable insights into the potent properties of these plants during his daily appearances in the Show Garden. At the heart of the garden lies a captivating sculpture, drawing inspiration from the brand's coastal home and the Fibonacci spiral, symbolizing the effectiveness and efficacy of Liz Earle Beauty Co. products.
Awarded: Gold and Best Construction Landscaper UK.
Designed by: Lucy Bravington

The Chic Garden Getaway

The chic garden getaway is a stunning and serene space designed to offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Vibrant blooms welcome you, creating a holiday-like ambiance. As you explore further, you'll find a variety of features, including a soothing water feature, a chic pergola for entertaining, and an outdoor kitchen and production area, all connected by a winding garden path.
This garden is the perfect destination to unwind, recharge, and connect with nature, whether you're hosting guests or seeking a quiet retreat for yourself. Designed on an 8m x 9m plot, it proves that even small spaces can be impactful. The hard landscaping features an elegant mix of creams, corten steel, and green, with a herringbone pathway connecting the different garden "rooms." The outdoor kitchen and BBQ zone include corten steel accents and a classy green ceramic splashback, while a bespoke shelving unit holds herbs and utensils for culinary creations. Nearby, an oak sleeper veg bed allows you to grow your own vegetables, providing fresh produce for your meals.
On the right-hand side, a relaxing sitting area provides a peaceful getaway for both adults and children. A turf patch offers space for kids to play, read, or enjoy a tepee, while nature-friendly elements like a birdhouse and a still water feature attract birds and insects. On the opposite side, beautiful planting borders create a tranquil atmosphere for adults to enjoy, with benches and egg chairs for comfortable relaxation.
The garden's warm colour theme features purples, pinks, apricots, and greens, while scented flowers, evergreens, and herbs like thyme, oregano, and sage add diversity to the borders. Birch and fruit trees provide shade and spring colours, and contemporary double slatted fencing ensures privacy throughout the garden. This charming space is a place to savour nature, share delicious meals, and create lasting memories within the comfort of your own backyard.
Awarded Silver
Designed by: Katerina Kantalis Garden Design;
Built by: New Look Landscapes Ltd.
Sponsored by: EnviroBuild

The Fontana Garden

Spearheaded by 92-year-old Derek Bishop, this garden is a testament to his lifelong dream of contributing to a show garden. Having created his own breath taking 14-acre garden in SE Cornwall, Derek commissioned award-winning designer Kim Parish to craft a space that celebrates the rich variety of planting possibilities found within Cornwall. After the show's conclusion, this thoughtful garden will be gifted to Cornwall Hospice Care, an organization dedicated to offering specialized care to end-of-life patients. This generous act will provide a valuable and comforting resource for patients, their families, and staff during challenging times.
Awarded Silver Merit
Designed by Kim Parish

The Beauty in Small Spaces

This imaginative show garden offers three distinct garden styles, thoughtfully interconnected in their design and visual language. With a vision to cater to all visitors, regardless of their outdoor space, whether it's a courtyard, balcony, front or back garden, this design seamlessly connects various outdoor areas or incorporates small elements into existing spaces. Thoughtful placement of openings provides multiple viewpoints, enticing visitors to explore the garden from different angles.
Utilizing easily available materials like existing paving, reclaimed bricks, and concrete blocks, the design showcases budget-friendly options that can be repurposed from home or resale sites. Its straightforward construction allows for cost-effective implementation. Warm-coloured materials blend harmoniously with the chosen planting palette. The garden takes into account the changing climate, promoting strong root growth in plants through the use of a sustainable gravel substrate, which buffers against temperature extremes and can include a variable mix of recycled construction waste.
Set against a sun-drenched backdrop, the garden features trees that provide comforting dappled shade in each area. The planting selection includes split and divide varieties, enabling light planting in the first year and flourishing by the third year, allowing plants to be shared with neighbours and fostering a community of gardeners. All plants are commonly available and well-suited for easy maintenance in the UK's growing conditions. The soft and comfortable colour palette incorporates the Pantone 2023 Colour of the Year, thoughtfully curated to blend effortlessly with traditional and modern housing styles, both indoors and outdoors.
Awarded Gold,
Designed by TJ Kennedy and Kerianne Fitzpatrick

SubAqua Garden

Subaqua is a design that revolves around the concept of incorporating water features in limited garden space. Recognizing that many people are unable to dedicate extensive areas to large ponds, Subaqua offers a solution that brings tranquillity and benefits to local wildlife. A sub grill rill running alongside the path establishes a sense of connection and serenity throughout the garden, accompanied by the soothing sound of water cascading down the waterfall between two distinct areas.
The seating area outside the garden room or office is ingeniously suspended above a pond, serving dual purposes of providing a comfortable seating space while maximizing the area for wildlife and planting. A captivating aspect of this concept is that some of the planted species will grow through the gratings, allowing the uppermost parts of aquatic plants to be admired in an extraordinary setting, one rarely experienced.
Embracing the idea of duality continues with the species-rich lawn, which offers a balance between fulfilling the desire for open space while promoting biodiversity. By showcasing a lawn that is not a meticulously manicured monoculture, Subaqua encourages a change in public perception regarding lawns and their role in supporting wildlife.
Awarded Silver Merit
Designed by Joshua Fenton, Fenton Gardens Ltd

Newson Health Menopause Garden

The Newson Health Menopause Garden will feature interactive "symptom stations" that delve into different aspects of menopause and perimenopause. Experts and clinicians will be available to provide valuable information and advice on topics such as diet and nutrition, the benefits of gardening, exercise, mindfulness, and mental wellbeing. Designed by Ruth Gwynn, co-designer of Frances Tophill's Platinum Award-winning and 'Best In Show' Show Garden at last year's BBC Gardeners' World Live, the garden will incorporate visually enriching plants, creating a tranquil atmosphere. Visitors can find areas for relaxation, yoga, and outdoor cooking. After the event, Newson Health plans to relocate elements of the Menopause Garden to various local communities.
Awarded platinum and Best Show Garden
Designed by Ruth Gwynn

The Garden Organic Backyard Biodiversity Garden

The garden boasts sustainable zones that prioritize wildlife conservation and combat climate change, featuring:
Water-saving solutions: A permeable pathway divides the show garden, comprising gravel between honeycomb paving filled with herbs, offering a natural drainage system and habitats. Drought-tolerant plants fill a dry, gravel garden, including silver-leaved perennials and grasses. The water butt is ingeniously equipped with a planter on top, maximizing growing space and acting as a sponge. The Backyard Biodiversity Garden incorporates clay irrigation pots, buried in beds and filled with water, providing a slow-release water source at the roots.
Nurturing nature: The garden challenges conventional views of weeds, surrounding a pond with beneficial plants like dead nettles and dandelions. A nearby short flower lawn blooms with red clover and trefoil, demonstrating how colourful and scented conventional lawns can attract insects. Low lavender and British native hedges, along with bug hotels and log piles, provide ample shelter.
Sustainable planting: A perennial vegetable bed showcases low-maintenance, long-lasting plants that reduce the need for external purchases and extend harvests. Skirret, yacon, and oca are among the tasty tubers, accompanied by globe and Jerusalem artichokes, and Egyptian walking onions that regrow annually from tiny clusters of bulbils. Fruit bushes like blackcurrant, gooseberry, and raspberry not only offer bountiful harvests for desserts but also serve as a delightful treat for birds.
Designed by Emma O’Neill, Garden Organic

Wander and Wonder Garden

Discover a tranquil retreat where exploration and escape intertwine. Meander along the path under the dappled shade, reminiscent of a serene streambed. Embrace the beauty of naturalistic planting that leads you to a secluded seating area, accompanied by a serene pool. This woodland sanctuary invites you to let your mind wander and indulge in wonderment.
Awarded Gold
Designed by Winterbourne House & Gardens RHS level 2 students

In the Pink Border Garden

Sue Kent's Beautiful Border at the show is a delightful blend of her passions: pink flowers, scented blooms, and painting. The border will be a fusion of bright pink and white, adorned with many fragrant flowers. In addition to the beautiful roses, perennials, and annuals, you'll find textural grasses that add depth and interest. The garden will also feature an artist's area and glass art, creating a captivating space for inspiration and creativity
Awarded Platinum
Designed by Sue Kentawarded

...and Breathe

The Border is thoughtfully crafted to provide a calming and mindful experience, both from afar and within its boundaries. It encourages a connection with nature, allowing one to focus on their breath and the soothing scents. The deliberate choice of soft colours and forms ensures a tranquil escape, free from overwhelming distractions, enabling true relaxation and rejuvenation.
Awarded Platinum and Best Beautiful Border
Designed by Claire Morrell

To the garden I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.

Shona's garden escape centers around the hands-on act of gardening itself. Stepping into the world she has crafted, she finds solace in tending to and nurturing her chosen plants, planting new additions, and discovering more about different plant species and their unique requirements. She takes pride in training and pruning, enhancing the beauty surrounding her. This garden represents a symbiotic relationship between Shona and her environment, as she nourishes the plants while they, in turn, bring her joy and fulfillment. It is a haven for the hands-on gardener, finding peace in getting their hands dirty, caring for their creation, and finding pure delight in the growth and prosperity of their cherished plants.
Awarded Gold
Designed by Shona Lockheart

A Shared Chrysalis Garden

This border serves as a safe and nurturing haven for butterflies and moths at every stage of their development, allowing them to thrive and flourish. Drawing inspiration from her own personal and professional growth, Rachel's design showcases the importance of finding a place to rest and recharge, akin to the needs of endangered butterfly and moth species. The carefully selected plants attract these beautiful creatures both during the day and night, and the border includes water features and resting spots. Various habitats cater to each stage of their development, providing a shared sanctuary for their well-being.
Awarded Gold
Designed by Rachel Wells of Hortulani

Strengthen your Body, Feed your Mind and Heal your Soul

Creating a garden offers unexpected nurturing for both the body and mind. This garden will feature a clear path leading to a majestic cloud tree, representing the gardener at the end of their journey, feeling replenished and empowered. Framing the cloud tree, a pull-up bar arch will allow users to escape the hustle of life and exercise amidst the beauty of nature. The vibrant, fragrant flowers and physical activity release endorphins, enhancing overall well-being. Ultimately, gardening is not solely about achieving a finished garden; it's about the profound well-being experienced while working harmoniously with nature.
Awarded Gold
Designed by Adam Marshall

Headline Show Garden: A Garden Fit for a King

The garden titled 'A Garden Fit for a King' presents an exquisite vision of future gardening. Commemorating the coronation year and honoring HM King Charles III's love for gardening and dedication to the environment, this magnificent space showcases sustainable initiatives implemented in the renowned gardens of Highgrove. Visitors will find inspiration in these environmentally conscious practices as they explore this beautiful and meaningful garden.
This captivating Show Garden draws inspiration from the Highgrove Arboretum, reflecting the ideology of the King. The design embraces a natural wildflower carpet, gracefully intertwined with the King's cherished trees like Magnolia, Beech, Acer, and Cherry. Paying tribute to the late HM The Queen's Coronation, the garden showcases a selection of the 70 plant varieties found in the commemorative wildflower meadow at Highgrove.
As visitors explore the garden, they'll find inspiration to create their own ecosystem at home, taking cues from the elements presented in this stunning display. The garden offers familiar touches reminiscent of Highgrove, complemented by an enchanting Bothy cottage crafted entirely from natural building materials, inviting visitors to meander through and become immersed in the garden's ambiance.
Awarded Gold
Designed by Paul Stone
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