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Brand USA ‘Great Gardens of the USA’ to exhibit at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Brand USA ‘Great Gardens of the USA’ to exhibit at
RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Partners, The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel, Charleston, and Oregon team up for a U.S. showcase


Brand USA, the destination marketing organisation for the United States, has announced a trio of USA gardens at this summer’s Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, which will take place 3rd – 9th July 2017.


Partnering with The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel, Explore Charleston, South Carolina and Travel Oregon, Brand USA will be bringing floral flavour to the UK, showcasing each destination through specially designed and built gardens for the flower show.  This follows the United States’ presence at previous events.


Titled “Great Gardens of the USA,” The Charleston Garden, The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel Garden and The Oregon Garden have all been designed by UK-based designer Sadie May Stowell, who has worked with Brand USA on five award-winning gardens over the past two years.


For the 2017 event, Stowell will seek to capture the essence of the historic Moonlight Garden of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, Florida; the romanticism of Charleston, South Carolina, and the International Rose Test Garden of Portland, Oregon, and will bring to life the diverse culture and stunning landscapes of those destinations.


The three “Great Gardens of the USA” will showcase the diversity of the urban outdoors and neighbourhoods of the United States’ cities and towns. The gardens allow spectators to connect to the destinations’ unique culture and heritage by experiencing the plantings and landscapes of the local parks and gardens that define each destination, inspiring viewers to visit the destinations for themselves to experience the USA’s great and urban outdoors in person.


“Showcasing the Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel, the Historic Charleston and Resort Beaches, as well as the state of Oregon through the development of these inspirational gardens will provide visitors to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show with a real sense of the diversity and beauty of these three destinations,” said Christopher L. Thompson, President and CEO of Brand USA. “From our urban gardens to National Parks, we look forward to welcoming more international visitors to explore the diverse escapes and natural wonders across the USA.”


While encompassing the spirit, charm, and elegance of Charleston, the Charleston Garden will offer a sense of the history, the sub-tropical climate and the atmosphere of this southern city. The design takes its inspiration from Charleston’s iconic Pineapple Fountain within Charleston Waterfront Park, an emblem that embodies the southern romance of Charleston as a destination.


In Florida, the historic Moonlight Garden at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers is a beautiful contemplative garden designed by Ellen Biddle Shipman, the first female landscape architect in the United States.  This year’s show garden will take inspiration from the Moonlight Garden, incorporating Thomas Edison’s profound inventions including the phonograph and the light bulb. The garden’s main components will include a central water feature to reflect the moon and stars, with trellises of bougainvillea providing living fences along each side. The main colours of the flowers are white and blue, and the garden will include a replica of Edison’s office, a wooden building with an exposed brick chimney, visible behind a reflective pool.


The Oregon Garden will be a tribute to the renowned Portland International Rose Test Garden, which is celebrating its centennial this year. The garden will incorporate a water feature based on the central fountain in the Rose Test Garden, as well as an ‘East meets West’ theme, bringing in elements of Portland’s acclaimed Japanese and Chinese gardens. The backdrop will include rocky outcrops to convey Oregon’s mountainous topography and the natural beauty of the Oregon landscape.  This comes at a time when travelling to Oregon has become much easier for UK travellers to visit because of a new direct flight that Delta will launch on 27th May 2017, from London Heathrow to Portland International Airport.

for more information and a variety of travel experiences in the United States.

Dorset farm owner to give vegetable advice at Haskins

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Dorset farm owner to give vegetable advice at Haskins

Corinne Kirkham, owner manager of Windrush Farm Growers in Wimborne, is set to visit customers at Haskins Garden Centre in West End on Saturday April 29, to give hints and tips on growing vegetables at home.

From 10am to 2pm Corinne will be on hand at the centre in West End to answer any vegetable based questions.

Having set up her business in 1980, in Horton, Corinne learnt her gardening skills from her father and for more than 30 years Windrush Farm Growers has traded with Haskins.

Alasdair Urquhart, plant advisor at Haskins Garden Centre, said: “We’re really pleased to have Corinne join us at the centre. Windrush Farm Growers are great friends of Haskins and we’re sure that Corinne can provide advice on any vegetable question.

“Growing your own at home is increasingly important these days. Often we’ll hear of national or international shortages of certain crops across the world and it is really worrying, but by being educated on how to grow your favourite vegetables at home, it can be a rewarding and fun activity and you’re saving money in the long run.”

Haskins Garden Centres is based in Ferndown in Dorset, West End in Southampton and Roundstone and Snowhill in West Sussex.


Friday, March 17th, 2017



With the clocks springing forward on Sunday 26 March, Parkinson’s UK is urging people to get ready for sunnier days and bring the fun, festival vibe to their gardens, by taking part in a brand new fundraising activity.

Garden Gathering, a new feel good fundraiser, encourages people across the country to host mini-festivals with family and friends in their own gardens or favourite outdoor spaces.

Diarmuid Gavin, an inspirational gardener and Chelsea Flower Show favourite, is backing Garden Gathering to help raise funds for the charity’s work to support people living with Parkinson’s and to support research into better treatments and a cure.


Diarmuid said, “I’m passionate about spending as much time in the fresh air as possible, and love to entertain outdoors in the summer in Ireland, where I live.


‘No matter how big or small your garden I’m encouraging everyone to use their special spaces for a Garden Gathering.  Let’s get together with family and friends to raise lots of money for Parkinson’s UK – cheers!”


Paul Jackson-Clark, Director of Fundraising at Parkinson’s UK, explains: “You don’t have to go to Glastonbury or Bestival to get that festival feeling. Garden Gathering is the perfect opportunity to bring together friends and family closer to home.

‘July 1st is Garden Gathering day, but you can hold your mini-festival at any time during the summer. We are looking forward to seeing what events people organise.  We hope that everyone will get behind us to make our first year a huge success”.

Garden Gatherers can order a fundraising pack full of tips for organising events, including festival wristbands, a teepee donation box, and a festival themed fundraising game.

For more information on hosting your own Garden Gathering for Parkinson’s UK and to request a fundraising pack, contact the Garden Gathering team on, call 0800 138 6593, or visit

Exquisite garden events at Elite Hotels

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Exquisite garden events at Elite Hotels


The changing seasons in the UK are expressed most noticeably throughout our many gardens countryside landscapes.  This year, the gardens within the Elite Hotels Group, which covers Ashdown Park in East Sussex,Tylney Hall in Hampshire and Luton Hoo on the Hertfordshire/Bedfordshire border are open to the public at a series of themed events.



Event name: Luton Hoo NGS Garden Open Day
Date: Sunday 23 July
Start and finish time: 11am – 4pm

Location, including county: Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa, Bedfordshire

Details of event: Visitors will have the exclusive chance to visit Luton Hoo Hotel’s 1,065-acre estate at the National Garden Scheme open day, for just a £5 entry fee. Normally only open to hotel guests, the estate features gardens landscaped by Capability Brown,

meadows, woodland, lakes and nature trails all waiting to be explored.

Entry cost: £5

Event contact phone number and/or website: 01582 734437,





Event name: Hanging Basket Workshops with Afternoon Tea at Ashdown Park

Date: Wednesday 24 May & Thursday 25 May

Start and finish time: Starting at 1pm

Location, including county: Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club, Wych Cross, East Sussex

Details of event: Back by popular demand, Ashdown Park Hotel will be offering two hanging basket workshops in May led by its estate manager, Kevin Sweet. Guests at the events will get the chance to learn how to create their very own beautiful hanging baskets

as well as putting any gardening queries to Kevin. Afterwards, guests will enjoy a traditional afternoon tea including a variety of cakes, sandwiches and pastries.

Entry cost: £42.50

Event contact phone number and/or website: 01342 824988,





Event name: Ashdown Park NGS Garden Open Day

Date: Sunday 25 June

Start and finish time: Gardens open from 2pm

Location, including county: Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club, Wych Cross, East Sussex

Details of event: Discover Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club’s beautiful estate and its gardens and parkland when they open for one day only for the NGS Open Day, with proceeds going to charity. The Parkland Garden consists of approximately 186 acres

of which 50 acres is ancient woodland and 40 acres grazing land, where wild deer roam freely. The parklands are cared for and maintained by Kevin Sweet, Estate Manager, who has worked at Ashdown Park Hotel for nearly 40 years.

Entry cost: £5

Event contact phone number and/or website: 01342 824988,





Event name: Tylney Hall NGS Garden Open Day

Date: Sunday 30 AprilSunday 11 June & Sunday 1 October

Start and finish time: 11am – 4pm

Location, including county: Tylney Hall Hotel, nr Hook, Hampshire

Details of event: In aid of the National Garden Scheme, Tylney Hall is offering a unique opportunity to walk around its 66 acres of beautifully manicured gardens. As well as exploring the gardens and woodlands, there will be a selection of plants available to

purchase and light refreshments served from midday.

Entry cost: £5

Event contact phone number and/or website: 01256 764881,





Event name: Exclusive Garden Tours

Date: Year-round

Start and finish time: N/A

Location, including county: Tylney Hall Hotel, nr Hook, Hampshire

Details of event: Throughout 2017, Tylney Hall will be offering guests and visitors the chance to book an exclusive private tour of its grounds with estates manager, Paul Tattersdill. Having worked on the estate for 30 years, Paul is a fountain of knowledge

when it comes to the gardens at Tylney Hall and those on the tour will get the opportunity to learn more about the garden’s vast history and future plans.

Entry cost: On enquiry

Event contact phone number and/or website: 01256 764881,


Garden Gathering is a brand new fundraising initiative for Parkinson’s UK

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Garden Gathering is a brand new fundraising initiative for Parkinson’s UK – encouraging people to have ‘mini festivals’ in their gardens or open spaces this summer, raising money for vital research into Parkinson’s – a progressive neurological condition for which there is currently no cure.

Find out more here

Make your own ‘Luxury Christmas Wreath’ with Fabienne Egger at Fetcham Park this December

Monday, November 21st, 2016

beautiful wreathMake your own ‘Luxury Christmas Wreath’ with Fabienne Egger at Fetcham Park this December

Fabienne Egger Events & Wedding Flowers are delighted to confirm a *new* addition to their floristry courses with a weekend class designed to help you dress your home for Christmas. Held at Fetcham Park in Leatherhead, Surrey, Fabienne will be running two workshops teaching you how to create your very own Luxury Christmas Door Wreath on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December.

Fabienne brings a unique touch to her classes as she guides you through simple but effective designs that will make your house the most envied on the street. Creating beautiful arrangements at home does not require an in-depth knowledge of floristry. These afternoon classes will guide you step by step through simple and practical designs to create a stunning wreath for your front door.

It’s the perfect treat for flower enthusiasts, Christmas lovers and those wanting decorating inspiration this Christmas. Prices start at £75 per person and include the luxury wreath you created and a festive treat of mulled wine and mince pies on Saturday 3rd or for something a little more luxurious, a champagne afternoon tea on Sunday 4th of December for £105 per person.

Fabienne Egger, Director of Fabienne Egger Events & Wedding Flowers, comments: “With the festive season fast approaching, we’ve designed a unique course that will add a new dimension to your decorations for Christmas. All our courses are suitable for any level or experience and participants will end the day by taking home their beautiful flower displays as well as a new skill!”

Set in the spectacular Grade II listed house at Fetcham Park in Surrey, classes begin at 2pm and finish at approximately 5pm on Saturday and 6pm on Sunday. Participants booking the course by 26th November can get a discount of 10% by using the code CWWB16.

Fetcham Park in Surrey is not an average venue for Fabienne Egger Events & Wedding Flowers. The Grade II listed house was built in 1705, boasts designs by William Talman, murals by Louis Laguerre, whose work can also be seen at Blenheim Palace and Chatsworth, and gardens originally landscaped by George London. After centuries as a private home, it was bought by the family-owned Wilky Group in 1999 and is not only licensed for weddings but holds special events.

To book a course visit: or call 07702 464208.

Garden Design news for RHS CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW 2017

Monday, November 14th, 2016


M&G Investments, title sponsor of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has commissioned award-winning landscape designer James Basson as its garden designer for next year.

Taking inspiration from the unique Mediterranean landscape of Malta, the design for the M&G Garden 2017 draws on the ecological diversity and sustainability of the region, which acts a microcosm for the planet as a whole.

Malta has made significant inroads into dealing with its ecological challenges, such as scarcity of water, the need to recycle and composting: challenges that we all need to consider to protect the environment.

To bring this story to life, James has structured the garden within a quarry, each with its own ecology, from coastal to woodland. Two imposing monolithic pillars of Maltese limestone will form the centrepiece of the garden, with the remaining space separated into a series of unique microclimates.

Each space will reflect how nature has adapted to reclaim a man-made landscape, using a naturalistic planting style which provides texture and structure. From grasses, heathers and evergreens, the design bears all the hallmarks of a traditional Mediterranean garden, but with an innovative edge. This is the first time some of these plants will have been seen in the UK, thanks to the Maltese government giving James special permission to use them.

There will be some specific plants that are unique to Malta, showing off the incredible diversity of its ecologiesa: Euphorbia melitense, Darniella melitense, Limonium melitense, Mattiola incana subsp. Melitense. There is a strong amount of yellow and this is the predominant colour in the flowering plants in Maltese spring time.

James Basson, garden designer says:

“I am delighted to be working with M&G Investments to bring this garden to life. For ‘The M&G Garden’, I want to capture the principles of ecological sustainability and the urgent need for action to preserve the fragile balance of our planet. Designing for M&G has so far been a hugely enjoyable experience and I will be working with a fantastic team this year to bring the vision to life.”


Basson returns to RHS Chelsea following his gold award-winning Provence garden at RHS Chelsea in 2016. He will be working with Crocus with the support of the Gaia foundation in Malta, Filippi (France), CIancavare (Italy), Gaudissart (France) and Kelways (UK).


Jacqui Haskins, M&G Marketing Director says:

“2017 will be our eighth year as title sponsor of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and we’re thrilled as ever to be supporting this prestigious event. Sponsoring RHS Chelsea for this many years has enabled M&G to make a real difference in horticulture, particularly in helping to inspire more young people to get in to gardening. ‘The M&G Garden’ is a symbol of sustainability and solutions that stand the test of time, themes that reflect M&G Investments’ own approach. We are confident that James’ creative design will once again create a show-stopping garden for all to enjoy.”


2017 is M&G’s eighth year as the title sponsor of RHS Chelsea Flower Show. M&G Investments has been managing investments for individuals and institutions since 1931.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from 23-27 May 2017.

Girl Guide Gardeners at Arundel Castle

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

browniesGirl Guide Gardeners at Arundel Castle

Members of the Guide section from Girlguiding West Sussex have enjoyed a money can’t buy experience at Arundel Castle – a sleepover in the Keep!

The 15 Guides were invited to spend a night at the Castle in thanks for their stellar efforts in helping the gardens team plant its spring bulbs.

The Gardens will welcome larger displays in the new year than ever seen before at Arundel Castle, with more than 86,000 blooms planted, including a record 36,000 tulips which will form its renowned Annual Tulip Festival.

The flowers are expected to blossom in time for the Castle’s reopening on 01 April 2017, meaning that visitors will be greeted by a dazzling array of colours and floral scents.

This year is the fourth time that the Guides have contributed to the planting efforts at Arundel Castle, a task which helps towards the completion of their Baden Powell Challenge Award – the highest award in the Guide section of Girlguiding.

Guide Leader Gillian Almond commented: “Arundel Castle is a fabulous and memorable venue for the girls participating in the Baden Powell Challenge. It is fantastic to be able to support them on their journey and be part of their infectious enthusiasm for guiding.”

Head Gardener Martin Duncan added: “It is so rewarding to see young people taking an interest in our gardens – and learning skills that can benefit their gardens at home!

“We look forward to welcoming the Guides each year, they are a real credit to their unit. The hard work that goes into planting our bulbs in the winter is returned ten-fold when the beautiful flowers blossom in the spring. We look forward to inviting the girls back next year to see the fruits of their labour.”

Arundel Castle will reopen to visitors on 01 April 2017. For more information, please visit


Daisy Nook garden centre dates for your diary

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016
Copyright © 2016 Daisy Nook Garden Centre . All rights reserved.

Our contact address is:
Daisy Nook Garden Centre
Stannybrook Road, Daisy Nook, Failsworth, Manchester. M35 9WJ
telephone: 0161 681 4245  email:

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Friday, October 7th, 2016


unnamedThe Chaplin’s & The Cellar Bar in Bournemouth has beaten over 70 of the UK’s most vibrant and picturesque pubs to be crowned Britain’s Best Beer Garden 2016.

The winner received the highest number of votes in the competition organised by small and medium sized business insurance provider, SME Insurance (SMEi), which specialises in the pub and hospitality sector.

The Chaplin’s & The Cellar Bar claimed the top spot, closely followed by theBelle Vue Tavern in Kent and the Maytime Inn in Oxford.  The general public voted for their favourite beer garden along with an independent judging panel, comprising industry experts from pub trade magazine The Morning Advertiser, the British Beer and Pub Association, and Two Thirsty Gardeners’ blog.

The winner and following Top 10 gallery of entries can be viewed in full at

  1. Chaplin’s & Cellar Bar – Bournemouth (winner)
  2. The Belle Vue Tavern – Ramsgate in Kent (2nd)
  3. The Maytime Inn – Asthall in Oxfordshire (3rd)
  4. The Queens Arms  – Somerset (finalist)
  5. Barley Mow – Portsmouth (finalist)
  6. Badger & Co – Edinburgh (finalist)
  7. The Johnson Arms – Nottingham (finalist)
  8. The Old Horse – Leicester (finalist)
  9. The Kings Head – Laxfield in Suffolk (finalist)
  10. Black Bull Inn – Preston (finalist)

In addition to being crowned Britain’s Best Beer Garden 2016, Chaplin’s & The Cellar Bar will receive a professional photo shoot of their pub garden, a commemorative plaque to mark their achievement and vouchers up to £500to use towards treating their staff. The two runners-up will also receive both a plaque and vouchers.

Jonathan Webber, Commercial Director of SMEi commented: “We would like to raise a glass to Chaplin’s & The Cellar Bar on winning this prestigious accolade and wowing both the general public and our independent panel of judges with what is a truly eye-catching beer garden. Competition was fierce, with all ten finalists deserving high praise for making it such a close-run battle.

“The quality of entries was very high and simply underlines how much time and effort publicans put into creating a memorable beer garden. The standard has been set for next year!”

Daniel Woolfson, Food & Drink Writer for The Morning Advertiser and competition judge, commented: “I had to choose Chaplin’s because there is something overwhelmingly endearing about the mock stained glass decorations and out-there wall murals. It even looks like the set of a David Lynch film.”

Nick Moyle, Director for Two Thirsty Gardeners and competition judge, also said: “We were highly impressed by Chaplin’s & The Cellar Bar’s creative use of interesting paraphernalia, with a good mix of healthy looking plants. I can imagine meeting some great characters over a few pints in this garden.”

SMEi provides a wide range of specialist commercial insurance products specifically designed to meet the needs of a wide range of sectors, including the pub trade industry. For further information,