Blooming Winners at Gardening Scotland

With Chelsea on telly providing the perfect appetiser for Gardening Scotland 2014, green fingered enthusiasts were keen to see the gold medallists of Ingliston and to cast their own votes for the I Dig It Award.

Best Show Garden went to The Perennial Garden in association with Amber Crowley Garden Design, who also picked up the award for Best New Show Garden. Perennial is, of course, the charity for gardeners and over the years they have always produced something stunning here. It’s great to see them attempting a full scale show garden.

Perennial GardenWater cascades dramatically from two giant steel arum lilies onto a groundscape of slate shards. As the water finds its way forwards, soothing and healing, the cracks become narrower until the the paving is smooth. Matching the symbolism, the back of the garden is demarcated by a fence of rusting, vertical reinforcing rods with spiky plants in angry reds and purples. Moving forwards, the planting becomes softer and friendlier around a paved seating area with pergola, again surrounded by smaller steel arum lilies.
Designed by husband and wife partnership of Amber Goudy and Martin Crowley, himself a beneficiary of Perennial’s help, (pictured above with  incoming Perennial president, Dougal Philip and Perennial trustee Jim Buttress of BBC Two’s Big Allotment Challenge, it is quite delightful. Perennial has put together a collection of plants that you can buy to support their work which costs just £38.95 from Perennial or on 0800 093 8510.

Lost GardenersThe winner of the I Dig It Award, which is the visitors’ choice of best show garden, went to The Lost Gardeners of the Great War by Ivy Maude Design for Poppyscotland in association with the West of Scotland Dry Stone Walling Association. The garden is envisaged as a corner of a pre-war walled garden, still full of the beautiful old-fashioned flowers once cultivated there and its ruined walls now crowned with wild flower turf growing where the coping stones might once have been. The lost gardeners have been digging in this little corner of the garden before going off to war. Poppy seed, long dormant in the soil, has grown to fill the gaps. The bright poppies are not only a poignant symbol of remembrance but signify the power of renewal, new life and hope. The garden shows the skills of the dry stone dykers, whilst following the popular theme of the anniversary of the start of WW1 and promoting the charity Erskine, which cares for members of the forces. Pictured here are Poppyscotland volunteers Debbie Alsop from Edinburgh and veteran Jim Allan from Linlithgow with Norman Muir, Chairman of the West of Scotland Dry Stone Walling Association, who built the stone wall surround.

Floral Hall winnerThe winner of the Sunday Post People’s Choice Award for the Best Floral Exhibit was perhaps not surprisingly Bloom 50 – the Beautiful Fife and South West in Bloom exhibit by Keith Jackson and Jon Wheatley. It had already won Gold and a Diamond Jubilee Award for Best Floral Exhibit at Chelsea before being painstakingly transported to Edinburgh. The exhibit includes  a Falkland farm cart, planted wellies from St Monans in Fife and life-size figures of Dill the Dog and Parsley the Lion from children’s TV show ‘The Herbs. Their design was created by gardeners from community groups involved in Beautiful Fife and from England’s South West in Bloom.

About Suse Coon

Suse Coon started life training to be an architect but ended up as a fashion buyer then civil servant. After some time out to bring up her family of three, she returned to what had been a hobby and entered the field of freelance journalism. After becoming regional correspondent, then editor of the orienteering magazine CompassSport, she formed Pages Editorial & Publishing Services. In this guise, West Lothian Life was launched, while Suse maintained a level of freelancing and wrote the award winning children's novel Richard's Castle. In 1999, Suse bought over CompassSport and found her time taken up pretty well exclusively with the two magazines. In 2004, West Lothian Life was expanded to form Lothian Life, however, the workload was too great. In 2006, CompassSport was sold and Suse concentrated on the web version of Lothian Life. Her hobbies include gardening, orienteering, sea kayaking and Tai Chi.
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