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Dan Hartley Gardens wins Best Show Garden & Best Construction Landscaper at Gardeners' World Live

The Eco Oasis Garden, designed by Dan Hartley Gardens with landscaping by Tisserand English Gardens, is the winner of Best Show Garden at BBC Gardeners’ World Live, which opened today at the NEC Birmingham (13-16 June). BBC Gardeners’ World presenter, Adam Frost, presented the winning team with a Platinum award and the Best Construction Landscaper prize too. Tens of thousands of green-fingered folk will be flocking to the popular annual ‘plant fest’ this week, looking for inspiration and ideas to take home. From large-scale Show Gardens, spectacular floral displays and Beautiful Borders to workshops and stages, talks, tours, and garden shopping, there’s something for everyone.

This year’s headline Show Garden is Adam Frost’s A Chef’s Table, packed with edible plants and the setting for cooking demonstrations and conversations with well-known chefs from Good Food Show Summer. Visitors can ask all their plant questions with experts from Hillier who have supplied the show garden’s plants.

Inspired by the theme of ‘The Good Life’, Dan Hartley’s Eco Oasis Garden is a stylish urban outdoor space that combines eco-friendly elements and lush, vibrant planting. Water conservation is integrated into the design with a long water trough for rainwater collection, strategically spaced pavers that enable water to permeate into the ground, and a rain garden to manage water runoff. A pergola frames the garden, and hedging, log piles, and pollinator-friendly planting encourage and sustain wildlife.

The Show Gardens assessment panel was an esteemed group of internationally-acclaimed, multi award-winning garden and landscape designers - Roger Platts (Chair), Richard Barnard, Shaun Beale, Alex Froggatt, and Kerrie Gardiner.

Chair of Assessors, Roger Platts, the garden designer and horticultural expert, said: “The Eco Oasis Garden is well thought out with subtle changes in levels that make it easy to move around the garden. The build is extremely high quality with innovative water recycling features.”

Winning designer Dan Hartley said: “We’re over the moon to have won two awards for our first ever show garden. There have been a few challenges to overcome but working together, we managed to achieve what we set out to do and have loved minute of doing it.” Elohim Tisserand from Tisserand English Gardens said: “Collaboration was definitely the key to our success.”

Winner of Best Showcase Garden and a Gold award was My Garden Escape by Kitti Kovacs for QVC. The garden is designed as a versatile haven for both shared experiences and moments of quiet reflection, and features bright florals, furniture and décor.

Chair of Assessors, Roger Platts, said: “This garden was high in wow factor with a striking colour theme and lovely planting.”

Designer Kitti Kovacs said: “Creating our first show garden has been a rollercoaster of emotions so to have won Best Showcase Garden really means a lot to us. The whole team have poured heart and soul into the garden. We hope to be back next year.”

Winner of Best Beautiful Border, Best BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Subscriber Border and a Platinum award was Leanne Woods for Following In My Footsteps. The Border celebrates education through shared experiences and deep connections with nature, and was inspired by the designer’s experience of following in her grandparents’ gardening footsteps. It provides a space where children can play, learn and explore with a mud kitchen, sensory path and Jurassic jungle, whilst also providing a relaxing haven.

The Beautiful Borders are a visitor favourite at BBC Gardeners’ World events, offering inspiration and ideas for small gardens and challenging spaces. Designers apply maximum creativity to these compact spaces, packing them with interesting features and planting. This year’s Beautiful Borders theme is ‘Share My Space’. Chair of Assessors for the Beautiful Borders was horticulturalist and writer, Ian Hodgson, said: “The standard of Beautiful Borders has been really high this year. The Share My Space theme has been a great one and the designers have certainly made the assessors very welcome. Leanne Woods’ Following In My Footsteps Border is an enchanting, lovingly crafted creation, brim full of compelling detail and colourful borders arranged with a painterly eye.” Winner Leanne Woods said: “It’s been such an amazing journey and I’m really proud of the team of hard workers I’ve had alongside me. I’d also like to thank the plant nurseries and my family and friends for their support in building this garden.”

Best Interpretation of the Theme and a Platinum award went to Jemma Wylie and Rona Glynn of Goldfinch Garden Design for Fee Fi Fo Forage! The Border is designed as a learning space to encourage children to fall in love with nature through feasting and foraging. It features easy-to-grow edibles, fruit trees and pollinator-friendly plants. Intended as part of a wider project for Cypress Primary School in South London, a borough where 40% of primary school pupils don’t have access to a private garden, the space encourages all generations of the community to connect and share their love of gardening and food.

Jemma Wylie said: “Receiving this award means a lot for us and for the children at Cypress Primary School where the garden will be moving to. We hope to inspire the next generation of gardeners with our space and want to thank the esteemed panel of judges for their recognition.” Six of this year’s Beautiful Borders were designed by members of the Working for Gardeners Association which runs the Work and Retrain As a Gardener Scheme (WRAGs). Winner of Best WGFA Border was Jodie-Louise Miller for her Border, I Will Wait. Designed for her autistic son, the garden recognises the anxiety and overwhelm he experiences visiting new places, and provides a safe space to experience nature.

“I’m overwhelmed to have won. My Border demonstrates the overlooked challenges autistic children face in unfamiliar places and how we can best support them.”

The BBC Gardeners’ World Live awards were presented at the Let’s Talk Plants Stage, sponsored by Hillier. Hosted by David Hurrion, the stage is the perfect place for visitors to get top tips from plant specialists including Hillier’s Head of Wholesale Nurseries, Charles Carr, each day of the Show.

Rachel Poletti-Gadd, Portfolio Director at Immediate Live, organisers of BBC Gardeners’ World Live, organisers of BBC Gardeners’ World Live, said: “Our expert assessors are a tough crowd to please, and we’re thrilled for all the winners whose creations are outstanding. The planning, hard work and meticulous attention to detail that go into creating show gardens is quite extraordinary and we want to congratulate each and every team. We’re particularly excited to be shining a light on the next generation of horticultural talent with the new Urban Showcase Gardens. Visitors will really enjoy these gardens and are sure to find plenty of ideas to try at home.

BBC Gardeners’ World Live takes place at the NEC Birmingham from 13-16 June. Highlights include the stunning Show Gardens, Beautiful Borders, and the Floral Marquee with its spectacular displays, the Hot Off The Potting Bench gallery of new plants and varieties, the Let’s Talk Plants stage and Plant Expert advice desk. New for 2024 in the Floral Marquee is the International Orchid Show, featuring displays by top orchid growers and societies.

Also new this year are hands-on growing workshops hosted by top Plant Experts, and the Get Growing Stage for advice on all things ‘grow your own’. At the BBC Gardeners’ World Live Theatre, there’s entertaining gardening chat with Monty Don, Adam Frost, Frances Tophill, Carol Klein, Joe Swift and Nicki Chapman, and seasonal garden tips from the editors of BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine. Shopping is a major attraction with quality plants and a wide range of garden goods to browse and buy in the Plant Village and House Plant Hub, plus a Plant Crèche and Pot Swap. There are children’s activities too and the ever-popular Health for Life School Wheelbarrow Competition.

Tickets for BBC Gardeners’ World Live are on sale at (transaction fee applies) and on the door, and include entry to Good Food Show Summer ( Highlights include demonstrations, theatres, stages and talks, book signings, tastings and workshops, street food, and delicious food and drink to taste and buy. Celebrity chefs and experts include Nadiya Hussain, James Martin, Michel Roux and Becky Excell.

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This story was published on: 14/06/2024

Image attribution: BBC Gardeners' World Live / Stuart Purfield

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