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National Garden Show Bath & West


Last Friday (2nd Sept) I went to the Bath & West show ground to take part in an Instant Garden Build.

The rules were simple.
1. £1000 to spend on plants and 3 non plant items.
2. You have 1 hour to find the plants and non plant items at Chedder Garden Centre.
3. Build an instant garden within a 3×3 mtr plot.
4. You have 2 hours to build.
5. There are two teams of two.

These are the rules they were a bit more in depth but basically as above.

My self and my colleague Kevin ran around had a look came up with a quick sketch then collected the plants and our non plant items and headed for the show ground.
I was £8.00 under budget pure luck as we grabbed loads, although it was 4 trolleys of plants, 1 small 4×4ft childs shed, a rustic bench and some small sleepers.

The sketch above was how the garden was going to look.
Unfortunately when we got to the show ground the 3×3 mtr plot was more like 2.5×2.5 mtrs and we were given a mystery object to include in the garden.

The other team won the toss and chose first, they choosed a small bird bath, which left us a very large black and white wooden dovecote.

Our very little garden already had a shed, bench, sleepers and plants to position so we had to jiggle things around and sacrafice some plants.

We managed to get most of the plants in the garden just not as many as we had hoped to. The dovecote was a very good example of the sort of gift a friend gives you that you dont really want. Although it would look better in a larger garden.

Once the 2 hours were up, all the public that watched us build the garden had a vote and we won the peoples choice award. Then an RHS judge steped forward and although he liked our garden he voted for the other team.
But I do think the vote from the public counts for more than an RHS judge.

The whole competition was commentated by Kathy Crouch who was the winner of gardener of the decade on Gardeners world.

It was a great day out with great weather, and great fun to take part. We had lots of chat with the crowd, some offered advice some just watched.

Thankyou to Cinderella from GOY who popped over for a chat and to introduce herself, nice to meet you.

The pic below is the other garden from the competition.

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I think you were robbed !!! I think you did great with what you had and it looked much better than the other one. Shame about the dove cote. It was rather large. Nice to meet you too Dan. Good luck with the move.

9 Sep, 2011


I too think yours was the best one, your planting is so much better. Congratulations on the public vote.

9 Sep, 2011


Yours was much more imaginative. Never mind, the public preferred it and that's what counts.

9 Sep, 2011


The other garden just looks a mess - you should definately have won !

10 Sep, 2011


Have to agree with all of the comments above.

10 Sep, 2011


Yup! Me too! I agree with your comment about the dovecote, but then you could discount that as you were forced to have it. I think the award goes completely and deservedly to you! :o))))

10 Sep, 2011


I don't like the other garden at all - it has no height!
What a good idea having a competition like that - great blog, lovely garden, thank you!

10 Sep, 2011


I thought that stickie, its just flat and untidy looking, not enough plants either, Well done T&T on the peoples vote, Well Deserved..

10 Sep, 2011


You kind of got the feeling that the judge might have chose the other garden so we both went away with something. He did say its by just a whisker.
Like I said though it was a bit of fun and the peoples choice is the won that counts.
Thanks guys.

10 Sep, 2011


well done anyway ~ you got our vote too!!

10 Sep, 2011


Yep, you were robbed!!
But what a challenge, 1 hour to buy and 2 to build. I think you did an amazing job. What fun and loved the blog!

10 Sep, 2011


can't understand how they could possibly pick the other garden !!! It is not attractive at all. You were robbed,there is NO comparison between the 2 ,yours is miles better.

10 Sep, 2011


Yours looks lovely far better, perhaps that was the whisker between them the booby prise,the dove cote, seems their marks for yours was sparce like the winners planting sorry but I always think these competitions are fixed.

10 Sep, 2011


I definitely agree with everyone ... your garden was far better than the winning one ... which looks unfinished to me! :o)))

11 Sep, 2011


Well I think you got the GoY vote, first place, gold!!

12 Sep, 2011


On what did they spend £1000? I think they were done. No advert for The Cheddar Garden Centre either.
I agree with the others, you deserved Gold. A brilliant idea though. Are you professionals or did you just apply to take part.

21 Sep, 2012


Thats the problem with gardening, it all ways costs more than you excpect.

The shed, sleepers and the bench cost the majority of the money. I think the shed was about £400, bench close to £150-200 and sleepers were over a £10 each.
Tree just under £100, box ball they are not cheap, all the other plants range from £4.99 to £9.99.

There are more plants than you first think as with a show garden even a small one like this you cram the plants in to give it that full 3 year old effect.

Did you see all the plants behind the bench and behind the shed? Also very small plants under planted and in between others.

The garden centre were next door with a big marquee, staff and the compare mentioned them an awful lt.

£1000 does not go far in a garden, if you are buying perenials from a garden centre they soon add up, throw in a tree and some non plant items and you are all spent.

Im just glad it wasn't my own money.

I wonder how much peoples real gardens cost when you add up what you have spent over the years?

22 Sep, 2012


Lol Trees' I can see you spent your money very well indeed but I am at a loss to know where the other team spent theirs. Their chair duo would probably have been around £250 but £750 for the rest seems to be excessive. My OH has just started to take an interest in the garden and is convinced if we ever moved we would need to sell the garden with house rather than the other way round. I'm sure there are many more owners in the same situation. Well done for a brilliant effort.

22 Sep, 2012

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