When we visited Gardeners' World Live at the Birmingham NEC, we were impressed by the Barnsdale stand. There were lots of plants on display there that we wanted for our garden but many were unavailable at the show. As a result we decided to kill two birds with one stone and pay a visit to Barnsdale where we would be able to visit the gardens and pick up the plants that we had ordered. We were glad that we did as the gardens are well worth a visit and the plants in the large nursery are of a very high quality.
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As you walk around the gardens at Barnsdale many areas will seem really familiar if like us you regularly watched Geoff Hamilton on Gardeners' World and other TV gardening specials.
The gardens in Rutland were created by Geoff over the years that he presented Gardeners' World until his sudden death in 1996. The gardens continue to be gardened in Geoff's style - he was a passionate advocate of organic gardening. The gardens are now run by Geoff's son Nick and his daughter-in-law Sue. They have opened the gardens to the public and also opened a nursery where unusual plants can be purchased. Most of the plants are propagated from the gardens.
The garden has the feel of a 'lived in' garden. It includes over 30 small garden areas but still keeps its feeling of unity - of being a complete garden - due to the way one garden area seems to flow into another. Many of the small garden areas were created whist watched by viewers of Gardener's World and provide many ideas and inspiration for gardens back at home. It is good to see mature gardens and plant combinations, rather than the rather false effect gained at garden shows where plants are either unnaturally small or made to flower at the 'wrong' times.
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