Melissa Jolly Garden Design

Melissa Jolly Garden Design
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Thursday, 18 March 2010

Building a Show Garden

It was great news to find out that I was one of three winners of NS&I's Growing Garden's Today competition to build a show garden at BBC Gardener's World Live 2010. It's an exciting prospect but also a daunting one as the amount of work involved becomes apparent.

This is the first show garden I have designed and I hope that this blog will give an insight into what is involved in putting together this exhibit; from sourcing materials, plants and craftsmen to managing the team of people that I will need to help me realise the potential of this scheme.

The brief was to create a modern, sustainable 'Grow Your Own' garden, which resulted in my 'Salad Bar' garden. My main concern is that I am attempting to grow pretty much all the plants in the garden - many of them from seed - a task that is totally new to me. The only way I am going to make this work is by learning as much as I can - talking to everyone who will spare their time and knowledge. Thanks in advance to all those who hear me say - "I've just got one quick question..."


  1. Mel - get Nemaslug now and douse your garden - it works on soil at 5 deg Celsius and if you can catch the slugs as they start to become active you will eliminate all the future generations that will cause havoc. Really well worth it if you do it early enough and thoroughly. I'm sure you will have mountains of blue slug pellets around as well, but this is great for reducing the population initially.
    Best of luck with it all!
    BTW red lettuce varieties are much more slug resistant than green - I always plant 'Cocarde' - oak-leaf type. Looks great with red orache (easy), red bunching onions and young bronze fennel. Thinking salads here...

  2. Thanks Paul. I just ordered my slug nematodes this morning - which must be the same thing? Thanks for the advice - luckily my garden has a red theme running through it so I will definitely go with the red lettuce varieties. Love the thought of some young bronze fennel.

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