Contemporary garden fair GROW London brings together the finest garden merchandise in one giant marquee decorated to the gunwales by garden designer Stephen Woodhams.
Innovative design ideas will be thick on the ground, with a quartet of beautiful gardens — including a sensory retreat with flowery bower created by the team at Petersham Nurseries — and a series of workshops and talks, including one by yours truly, on Saturday at 2pm, in which I will show you how to make the most of your outdoor space.
If you’re seeking stylish garden furniture, unusual planters, a sculpture to make an impact or plants to cut a dash in a border or window box, this is the horticultural marketplace, with more than 100 carefully curated companies, to find them.
Container gardeners can take their pick of planters at The Pot Company, with contemporary shapes and materials ranging from Corten steel to lightweight fibreglass, or struggle home with a Distinctive Garden’s huge pottery urn that looks as if it were discovered on an archeological dig.
Those in search of something different might like a decorative stained-glass panel to catch the light from Nikki Browne, an exquisite stone carving from fine art sculptor Nicolas Moreton or one of Rachel Ducker’s dynamic wire sculptures.
The Stripes Company can brighten the patio with vibrant deckchair canvas on the roll, or as bench cushions and roomy hammocks, while antique mirrored window frames from Aldgate Home will give your garden gravitas and make it look twice the size.
Barbed, the one-stop London shop for contemporary garden furniture, will be taking orders for the luscious French Fermob range, in paintbox shades of powder-coated metal, and Carl Austin will astound with his garden chairs steam-bent into curving and sublimely comfortable organic shapes. Marnie Moyle’s Green Oak Furniture, featuring spiral garden seats and chunky, hand-carved swings, creates magic from freshly felled wood.
Plantaholics will adore the juicy perennials at Hortus Loci, the wholesale nursery that supplied the show gardens at Chelsea Flower Show this year. You will find the clematis at Priorswood hard to resist, and be tempted by the mature shrubs at Tendercare, the UK’s one-stop shop for plants with instant impact.
London’s leading garden centres, including North One, West Six, Petersham, Boma and Camden, will be selling their wares, while Sussex nursery Bodiam will display Japanese maples, hostas and heucheras among other gems especially suited to small spaces.
You can even buy fabulous fake flowers with the prettiest glass vases to display them in, as well as vintage plant stands, from Judy Green’s Garden Store.
Even if you live in a flat with not so much as a window box, you can find planters to create hanging gardens on the ceiling from Boskke, “living frames” of succulents for hanging on the wall from Blueleaf Plants, terrariums by The Urban Botanist, and Belinda Ferreter’s herbaceous border, complete with steel foxgloves, alliums and hollyhocks, as a glorious metalwork mural.
GROW London: the show runs from this Friday 19 to Sunday 21 June, 11am-6pm, at Lower Fairground Site, East Heath Road, Hampstead NW3. Tickets are £16 on the door, under-16s go free.
- For half-price tickets and to see a timetable of talks and workshops, visit growlondon.com and enter code HP2015.