The Show Garden I Keep Returning To...
... is Nigel Dunnett's RBC 'New Wild Garden'. Don't get me wrong, I love Cleve West's garden to bits and he deservedly won Best in Show. But oh how I wish I'd designed the walls of my own garden to take planting pockets and installed insect shelters just like these. Also, the bright orange Geum 'Prinses Juliana' (for me one of the plants of the show) and rich purples were in direct contrast to some of the more restrained planting palettes seen across on the other side of Main Avenue and made a most refreshing change.
Two years ago, Nigel Dunnett's garden was my favourite: it was more of a demonstration of ideas back then. In this year's show garden they've been refined into a much more cohesive whole. It's also interesting to see how his insect towers of two years ago have been taken up and extended in the B&Q garden at the opposite end of Main Avenue, whilst Nigel is showing something much more sophisticated.
This garden will be moved to the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust's reserve at Slimbridge after the show and will be the second rain garden Nigel has developed for the Trust.
Some of you may remember I'm a great fan of Nigel's ideas, especially after attending his workshop on rain gardens at West Dean back in February. Millions of us will also be viewing the results of his research at Sheffield University at The Olympics next year :)