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Ascot Spring Garden Show


By AndrewR


If you’ve not heard of the Ascot Spring Garden Show, it’s because this is the first year it has been staged. It’s been all over the media here in Berkshire since the start of the year, but news of it might not have filtered north of Watford (or anywhere else for that matter). Being on my doorstep, I decided to check it out.

It was held at Ascot Racecourse but nowhere near where the actual horse circuit as the grounds are so large, you could lose a medium size football crowd quite easily. The Show itself was quite small, with several small nursery stands selling plants, and many more with garden ‘must haves’ that a keen plantsman didn’t know they needed.

There were also a few gardens, some by young designers and some by garden colleges. The latter were under cover so my camera didn’t cope with them very well, so I’m only going to post the planty bits of the outdoor gardens. As it is so early in the year, and the weather has been so cold, there was not a huge range of plants for designers to use.

I don’t think there was any ‘theme’ to the gardens, but they all seemed to have a sitting out area, grass (either real or artificial), and a planted area. The last one was the biggest and probably my favourite.

Tomorrow I am back again to man the NGS Stand for a few hours (hopefully it will be warmer than today). And yes, I bought some plants while I was there, just as a souvenir of the day of course.

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Yes I think sitting-out areas are becoming more popular. Guess people have cottoned on to the fact that gazing at greenery eases the stress of every-day life. I'm always impressed by the fact that one doesn't need a large garden. Some of the make-over gardens on TV are inspirational and yet they are quite small.

Hope the sun shone for you today.

14 Apr, 2018


I can well imagine having to buy plants is quite difficult. We can but try, Andrew.

14 Apr, 2018


Lol Linda. That 4th picture doesn't look like April does it? (Well not here anyway!)

14 Apr, 2018


Eirlys - yesterday was like winter, but today was like summer. The sun shone and the temperature reached the mid sixties. Not so many people at the Show today - perhaps they were gardening?

Linda - I went with a short shopping list and managed to get all but one of the items on it. I also found a rare plant I lost a few years ago, so was pleased to get a replacement.

14 Apr, 2018


Looks like it will become successful and grow nice areas and planting. As Steragram says does nt look the April here either.

14 Apr, 2018


Same here - I wish my garden was half as colourful. However, the tulips are just beginning to flower and that will brighten things up.

A friend and I went to Hopleys in Much Hadham last week and like you say Andrew temptation too great not to buy when we only went for the restaurant! Silly me bought another Echinacea P. "Magnus Superior" and they never reappear - have bought so many Echinacea over the years and I know others have a similar problem. Any advice Andrew?

15 Apr, 2018


Linmar - unfortunately, echinaceas are expensive slug bait.
I know of one nursery where plant pots are stood on thick gravel, which keeps them safe. One windy day, some pots of echinacea blew over, and within half an hour, they had been totally devoured.

Did you know that Hopleys Plants are closing at the end of October this year? Everything else on the site will remain open, but the owner has decided to retire (after 37 years).

15 Apr, 2018


The borders were interesting in that they were composed of
potted up fully grown plants, no space between.

One can only hope that GOY beginners take note of how Cottage Karen has planted up her 'rock' garden, thats the right way to do it ! All plants grow.

15 Apr, 2018


Yes, the planting was rather too intense. There's a subtle difference between a full border and a crowded one.

15 Apr, 2018


What did you buy Andrew? :-)

15 Apr, 2018


Several of the garden designers on Instagram had posted lots of photographs regarding this show, which was very helpful, and tbt I was most impressed with what I saw, good to have a GOYer visit the show, I do like the gardens you have photographed, I agree plenty of seating, the more the better, thanks for sharing your days out....and what did you buy?

15 Apr, 2018


A couple of heucheras (the NGS Stand was opposite Heucheraholics' display so it would be rude not to), a couple of euphorbia polychroma, pulsatilla vulgaris (mine has not appeared this year, but it doesn't like my acid soil), and omphalodes cappadocica 'Lilac Mist'

15 Apr, 2018


Great choices Andrew!

16 Apr, 2018


In the collection of seedling plants Owdboggy very kindly gave me for free there are 2 Pulsatilla Vulgaris. Now I have my extra shelving fixed to the wall at long last, I have to pot them on. What compost would you recommend Andrewr ?

16 Apr, 2018


Diane - this is a British native, growing in well-drained alkaline conditions. You need to try and mimic this. I really struggle to grow it as my soil is slightly acid.

16 Apr, 2018


Struggling with WEA Geology some years ago, I lost my
Pulsatilla Vulgaris in our Northamptonshire Limestone soil, which should be Alkaline. Were they too wet ? Or too cold?
Cant remember seeing them growing naturally anywhere on the hundreds of miles I walked with the Ramblers
and Holiday Fellowship.
Will put them in John Innes No.4 with some grit mixed in,
hope to shield them from these horrible cold winds,
and keep a sharp eye on them.
What I will do after that I am not quite sure.
Thanks anyway Andrewr.

17 Apr, 2018


Done it again. That should be J.I. No.3.

17 Apr, 2018


Nice plants Andrew, I recently bought omphalodes cappadocica cherry Ingram from Longacres plants for shade.

17 Apr, 2018


When you think about it, most of us dont have much shade space. Its very important for some plants.

20 Apr, 2018

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