Today I met a friend at Scotland's Garden Show at Ingilston. She has suggested that we do a show garden there next year and we were there to see exactly what was involved and decide whether it would be a good idea.
To be honest I was really disappointed - there were hardly any show gardens and most were quite derivative with plants stuffed in so that they looked like a garden centre shopping trolley after a colour co-ordinated shopping spree.
I was rather glum and hot footed it over to the floral hall where the nurseries exhibit. And there - lo and behold - was the innovation, high quality construction and beautiful planting that was missing in the outdoor show gardens. Unfortunately the lighting isn't great within the hall and I didn't have my big flash so the photos are really bad but this garden was by far my favourite. It is part of the Binny Plants Stall and is a co-operative venture with the Biggar based garden design and construction company Landmarkers (LandmarkersScot@aol.com) and the metal artist Andrea Geile.
Binny Plants is one of my favourite nurseries - they grow their plants well and hard, they don't feed them junk to puff them up for shows and as a result they transplant well into the rigours of a Scottish garden. Their paeonies are second to none for the Scottish garden.
The garden was a gently tiered construction of rusted steel and drystoned slate with a sheet of vertical water at the back and beautiful, effective, natural, zippy and eminently copyable planting throughout. The colours were dark reds, purples and whites like many of the stalls - why fight against nature? - but had a vibrant streak of bright orange which sparked the whole composition up.
Many of the plants that I coveted - like this Troillus x cultorum "Cheddar" had already sold out but I have them written down in my notebook for next year.
This garden made my day. I'm just sorry that the photos are so bad.