Gaynor's Garden

As I walk to the entrance of Cardiff's RHS Garden Show I pass students stretched out on the grass in the spring sunshine and school children playing tag beneath the blossoming branches of magnolia trees. With the wall of Cardiff castle in the background I am momentarily reminded of Oscar Wilde's wonderful fairy story, The Selfish Giant.
I have been invited to the show by garden designer, Gaynor Witchard, who has created a courtyard garden inspired by my Flower Shop books. The garden is based on a fictitious retired florist's garden and includes an amazing mixture of planters - from crates to urns, and even an old bicycle.
Her petal shaped boarders are a mass of lavender, pinks and creams, each section contained by a woven willow edge. The garden is known as 'Irene's Garden' - but when I ask if this is a florist she knows, Gaynor just smiles and offers to introduce me to 'Irene' - her mum.
It is clear to see that mum (who is a keen flower arranger) is very proud of her daughter; her talent and her hard work.
And she has every reason to be proud of her as Gaynor not only wins a silver-gilt medal, but is awarded, Best in Show.
I quickly fall in love with Gaynor's garden, from the tea-cup bird feeders to the tins planted with asters sitting underneath lollipop bays.
Gaynor has only fairly recently turned to garden design, having worked for the BBC in admin for 27 years (I have a feeling her last job working in the pension department finished her off!) It is a real testament to what can be achieved when you take a chance and approach a new direction in your life with passion and creativity.
As I watch Gaynor chatting to visitors it is clear that she is in her element.
Before I leave the show I just have to photograph another of my favourite exhibits; the wheelbarrow gardens.
Local schools were asked to create gardens in similar sized wheelbarrows, using any theme they fancied. Visitors then vote for their favourite.
Here are some of my favourites - there is a mosaic encrusted wheelbarrow and a Jack and the Beanstalk garden.
And even a Treasure Island garden.
The Cardiff RHS Garden Show is open until Sunday.


  1. What a lovely garden I love the tea cups will have go at those this weekend.Enjoy the weather this weekend.Take care Lesley.

  2. Kate and I also love the teacups - totally mad - It would be great to make these but better still does Gaynor supply them ????

  3. I now have the details of the teacup bird feeders - thanks to Gaynor.
    Try www.clairepotterdesign.com



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