This week we shook off our wellies, locked up the brewing shed and revved up the Thirsty Wagon* for a trip up the motorway to Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre. The main attraction was BBC Gardeners World Live and all its gardening razzmatazz, but greedily tacked onto the edges was the BBC Good Food show, featuring tasty food and, happily for us, booze.
We wandered from stand to stand, testing the goods to bring you our top show highlights. Here they are…
Best garden display
Brewing shed and veg patch combos were rare among the show gardens (we counted none) but if we could choose the ideal place to sit and enjoy a pint of cold cider then it might look something like this. Designed by Owen Morgan of MOSAIC Garden Design and titled Silent Spring – A Wildlife Garden, it looked the most relaxing place in the whole show.
Best garden product
We reckon these garden planters by VegTrug would look great against any wall or shed. They’re made in various materials, shapes and styles and not only make growing and harvesting a touch easier but are a lot more robust than most planters.
Most informative display
Every gardener loves the bees and, thanks to the British Beekepers Association, they were given star billing at this year’s show. Their stand was packed with bee friendly information and featured stylish garden displays with bees (and hives) at their heart. And who wouldn’t be impressed by this high flying bee giant?
Seeking out good booze wasn’t as easy as it should’ve been, with too many sweet, gimmicky drinks crowding the market. But standing proud from the crowd were the supreme craft gin makers Sipsmiths, offering samples of their delicious drinks, including this season’s must-sip stunner, the ‘summer cup’.
Best booze product
To us the classic glass demijohn is a thing of beauty, but these bulbous vessels are proper works of art. Even our pea pd wine would look good in them. They’re sold by a ‘liquid deli’ called demijohn who also have a fine range of drinks, bottles and other boozy treats.
*Annoyingly the Thirsty Wagon sprang a leak on the way back and we couldn’t sate its thirst. We were towed home.