Last year I wrote about my visit to Woburn Garden Show, where I declared it to have quickly become a favourite event. I was therefore delighted to be invited to attend again and even though it was an already busy weekend for me, I made sure I could go.
It was a bit of a muggy day but not fiercely sunny or too uncomfortable for being outside. I always like a well organised arrival process and the management of the entering the grounds and then parking, staffed by a small army of wavers and pointers, made arrival nice and straightforward. I arrived late morning and there was a steady stream of cars waiting their turn to park. On the gate tickets were checked by the local Scout group, which gives the event a community feel about it that I like.
As I walked into the grounds I had a ‘stop in my tracks’ moment - look at this cloud pruned Cotinus coggygria. A frequently under-rated shrub often grown in an under-rated way looking fantastic. A reminder (if one if needed) of the quality of the gardening carried out at Woburn Abbey.
I then did my first sweep of perusing the stands.
I dwelt for some time on the plant stalls, checking in to say hello to Rob Hardy from Hardys’ Cottage Plants (the test of a good show is whether Hardys are there) and yet I was so busy talking to him I did not take a photo of their stand - sorry Rob!
I might have liked these little chaps a bit more than I should....
I visited the marquees: one for gifts and one more food/drink based.
And I spent some time in the stage areas: one stage where garden-related talks were taking place from Adam Frost and Pippa Greenwood
and a new feature area at the show about ‘Good living’ with talks on cooking and growing your own food.
I enjoyed this area of the show a lot. Connecting people to the food that we eat is really important.
There were lots of edibles to purchase,
and some rare breed pigs to admire.
As with last year I enjoyed the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of the show. It was the perfect way of spending the first summer Sunday of the year. I spent a little time having a nosy and checking out the plant creche, if you want a quick idea of what is trending at a show, check the plant creche.
I like a lot of things about this show, I like that there are good quality plants to buy and also good quality garden ephemera. There was some beautiful art and also greenhouses, furniture, ponds; almost anything you could think of.
Did I buy anything I hear you ask?
Dear reader, my purchases were:
Some spirally plant supports that I have recently discovered and I am a great fan of. You can wind them into flopped plants that should have been staked weeks ago and they help recover the situation. I bought a soap-stone carved bird. It sang to me and I had to buy it (please note this was imaginary singing - it does not have a real singing ability.) It was also singing to Flossy when I got home....
Last but not least I bought a Musa lasiocarpa, the ‘Cavendish’ banana. A dwarf as it only grows to around 2 metres tall..... I was specifically looking for a banana plant so I was delighted to find this healthy specimen at a very good price.
Now I am already looking forward to next year.