Small garden areas make a big impression at the Gardeners World Live Show

A HORTICULTURAL charity based in Ryton-on-Dunsmore has won a gold medal for its ‘Small Spaces, Big Ideas’ garden at the Gardeners’ World Live Show at the NEC.

Garden Organic’s Petite Garden impressed the judges by showing how a productive and biodiverse organic garden can be created by all home gardeners, no matter how small their space.

The 5m x 5m room makes the most of its small space using vertical planting, raised beds and shelving – and also includes a small pond, compost bin, mini greenhouse, hedgehog house and water saving ideas.

Visitors to the garden loved the simple, sustainable ideas they could recreate at home, like the hedgehog highway pallet compost bin and strawberry planters made from recycled plastic.

The small plot garden was designed and built by Emma O’Neill, Garden Organic’s head gardener, along with Chris Collins, the charity’s head of organic gardening and former Blue Peter gardener.

Emma is no stranger to garden design, having recently led the design and creation of the new organic demonstration and learning garden at Ryton Gardens, Garden Organic’s headquarters.

Emma said: “Chris and I are delighted to receive this award, it is a great endorsement of the hard work and dedication of the whole team to create a garden that anyone can recreate in their own space, be it a small garden, a backyard or a balcony.

“We had a lot of fun designing it and are pleased that we have also created a thriving habitat for biodiversity – with our small pond that attracts birds, bees and hoverflies, our bog garden and insect hotel that provides a home for toads and beetles, and our Hedgehog Highway a home for our beloved spiny friends who are in dire need of protection and preservation.”

Co-designer Chris Collins is also a garden veteran, having worked for two Royal Botanic Gardens, Westminster Abbey’s green space, and served as a Blue Peter Gardener for nine years.

Chris said: “We are proud to have won this prestigious award. We always learn new tricks and tips of our own when we start a new garden and Emma and I were also amazed at how much we can grow on this tiny plot of land.

“Within the garden we have a 1m x 1m vegetable patch and we have demonstrated in our demonstration garden at Ryton Gardens that with clever succession planting we can produce an abundance of fresh organic vegetables and lettuce from this patch!

“This garden also shows that you don’t have to neglect the quality of your soil or the health of your plants on a small plot, as our small garden includes a compost bin made from recycled pallets, a built in feed drain for comfrey’s own organic fertilizer and a pipe to collect it rainwater for reuse.”

Visit www.gardenorganic.org.uk/events for Garden Organics gardening tips and to see an organic demonstration garden by booking a tour of Ryton Organic Gardens.

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