by Julie Kilpatrick
Disappointing outdoor show gardens
Once again, the outdoor show gardens were disappointing. There just wasn't enough of them and I'm afraid to say that this section of the showground didn't hold my attention for very long.
Thank goodness for the Scottish education system!
Okay so that's the low point out the way. The rest of Gardening Scotland 2009 was all highs and it was particularly nice to see Scotland's colleges and schools come up with such good, creative work.
Gold medal for Borders College
A well-deserved gold medal and 'Best New Show Garden' went to Borders College's 'Credit Munch' garden. I knew I was going to like this garden when I read the spec and I wasn't disappointed. The garden was just really well put together. The construction was good and, more importantly all the plants bar the fruit trees were grown from seed by the college itself. To get all the plants in the right condition in time for the show must have taken a tremendous amount of effort, not to mention good horticultural skills. Materials for the garden's structure were donated using freecycle along with offerings from Border College staff members and local businesses so the garden becomes even more impressive when you discover that the total build cost was just £200.
SAC Ayr's garden design students go wild
Another college garden that was really well put together was SAC Ayr's 'Go Wild' garden. It successfully managed to marry a very clean contemporary look with woodland wildflowers. Because you normally expect to see something like a hot tub surrounded by expensive architectural plants, it's one of those clever things that shouldn't work but actually does.
More imaginative offerings came in the form of the hugely popular pallet gardens. These miniature gardens, each one the size of a pallet were built by Scottish nursery, primary, secondary and special needs schools. Hosted by the Scottish Gardener's Forum, SGF members also took part. Each of these tiny gardens would not have been out of place in the show gardens section had they been built in larger size and there were just too many really good ones to go into detail about each one so here's some pictures of my favourites:
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