Gardeners World Live 2013

The 21st Gardeners World Live gets underway next week at Birminghams NEC Arena. It was originally launched in 1992 as part of the BBC TV series Gardeners’ World. The first shows were organised by the BBC but by 1996 a partnership was formed between the RHS and BBC to jointly run the event with the RHS organising all of the horticultural exhibits, includingn the Floral Marquee, Show Gardens, Birmingham Borders, Edible Patches, Horticultural Features (including Gardening for Wildlife), Plant Avenue, Ask the Experts and Seeds of Knowledge.

The show gardens are always a big draw for the crowds and this year the standards look to be as high as ever. Here is our guide to the gardens.

The Austerity Garden

Reflecting the current economic climate, the concept behind the Austerity Garden is high design on a low budget. In being innovative with affordable materials the garden will show case creative design solutions. Rather than disguising these materials, their raw and industrial qualities will be celebrated by designers Jade Goto and Armando Raish.

Lavender Island

This garden is designed to show case paving from the Digby Stone Range. Allowing clients to walk around the garden and view the stone in a ‘real’ environment. The central island is a space for ‘one on one’ client meetings. Staggered ivy panels entice the viewer to look through the windows and see different planting combinations. The shallow rill separates the main seating area from the rest of the garden slightly and enhances the paving above.

Financial Times

The effects of recession and the continuing speculation as to the motives of the banking elite and media are all too evident in the news today. A world away from the days of The Rolls Royce Silver Spirit, a symbol of unimaginable wealth creation during the 1980's. The garden reflects the designers thoughts that our material wealth are indeed finite, however nature will continue to reign, even when our material idols are abandoned.

Faith Hope and Charity

This garden was inspired by the altruism of one Essex family, their charity - Wipe Away Those Tears, was set up to help families in Essex with disabled or terminally ill children, bringing sunshine and comfort into their lives. The sunflower represents the sunshine, the positive effect charity has on individuals and to society as a whole.

Hay Time

Chris Myers garden is inspired by Yorkshire. In front of a woodland backdrop a pretty little Yorkshire Dales Hay Meadow sits in front of an iconic Dales barn. This collection of wild and native plants replicates this picturesque place that any visitor to the show would love to visit. Designed to promote the wild flower meadows of Yorkshire and the work Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust is doing to preserve and create them through their ‘Hay Time’ appeal. This is more of a picture postcard than a garden.

Wrapped Up in Willow and Water

Wrapped Up in Willow and Water is inspired by the beautiful dynamic nature of the Somerset Levels, governed by water, and the sustainable willow craft it supports. Enticing anyone to relax, enjoy the wildlife and connect with nature, it celebrates the contrast of the landscape; the protruding mounds, like the iconic Glastonbury Tor with the characteristic flat wetland areas surrounding them. Often beautiful sunsets form a perfect backdrop for unique starling murmurations which is celebrated by the orange panels and willow sculpture.

Care and Reflection

The Care and Reflection garden explores the role of gardens as a therapeutic space continues to grow in significance as people live longer. The focus is on spring and summer planting, unique spaces, accessible pathways with the enjoyment of colour, scent and sound. The paths are shaped like arms reaching out - opening wide with space to sit and pause. The planting is skewed towards beauty and memory, as grandchildren visit and residents have every opportunity to garden at their own pace.

Tickets are still available, although the Saturday has now sold out, see The RHS website to purchase.

Travel and Accommodation
Birmingham NEC is easily accessible from throughout the country with good road and rail links. For detailed parking and other travel information see here.

As there is lots to do in the Birmingham area it is well worth making a short holiday out of your trip, being a major city Birmingham has a good range of hotels, restaurants and plenty of shopping. Next to the NEC is The Crowne Plaza Birmingham or alternatively The Holiday Inn Birmingham is close to the motorway if you are travelling by Car.

As well as the horticultural displays and gardens the stars of Gardeners World will also be there, so you will get chance to rub shoulders with the likes of Monty Don or Carol Klein!

The 21st Show promises to be bigger than ever so is well worth attending.



  1. Im going along this year again. Last year I got my photo taken with Monty!! Looking forward to seeing the show. As we travelled up from Exeter we stayed near the NEC, I can't remember which hotel although may have been the Crown Plaza, it was certainly near by. We are doing the trip there an back in a day this year which i'm not looking forward to!

    1. Thats a long trip in a day, but Im sure you will still have a great time. Do let us know how you got on!

  2. Not keen on the old car in a garden concept... but will be interesting to see if the actual garden is any better!

  3. Hi Jess There has been a lot of emphasis on recycling, re-use and regeneration in various show gardens lately. As you say it will be intersting to see the outcome.

  4. Got my tickets booked! looking forward to it, especially as one of the few major shows not located in the south!!!

  5. I'd just like to point out a small inaccuracy. This will in fact be the 22nd BBC GWL, and 21 years since it started. You have to count the show in 1992 as show 1, then continue onto 2013 where you will get to show 22.

    It's 21 years since GWL began but it is the 22nd show held. :-)


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