RHS-BBC Morning Live Budget-friendly Feature Garden, RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival 2023
RHS-BBC Morning Live Budget-friendly Feature Garden, RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival 2023

RHS-BBC Morning Live Budget-friendly Feature Garden, RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival 2023

RHS-BBC Morning Live Budget-friendly Feature Garden

RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival 2023

With the cost-of-living crisis and many of us having difficulties paying bills and paying for food, the garden can be the last place to spend any money. With the help of my BBC Morning Live family and the RHS Mark Lane Designs Ltd has put together 22 gardening hacks/tips, which have appeared on the Show, and which will be displayed on handmade tables in the RHS-BBC Morning Live Budget-friendly Feature Garden for Hampton Court 2023.

Tips include:

  • banana water as a plant fertiliser;
  • making your own pots from newspaper/paper and the cardboard rolls inside toilet and kitchen paper;
  • homemade bird box from a 2400mm length of gravel board or recycled wood from a pallet;
  • delicious and nutritious pea shoots from marrowfat peas;
  • growing your own bean sprouts in a recycled plastic bottle; and
  • making your own bird cakes from suet/lard, raisins, bird seed and leftover cheese.

All of the wood in the RHS-BBC Morning Live Budget-friendly Feature Garden for RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival 2023, even the fake BBC Morning Live set, the potting bench and compost bins is either recycled wood from old pallets or is wood found in the bargain corner of DIY stores or the end of product lines.

Planting is a mix of drought-tolerant plants and those easy-to-find in most nurseries and garden centres, which can even be propagated from for free to increase stock for your own garden or for giving as gifts to friends and family.

The collection of pots at the front of the garden, are predominantly those found in the rescue bay, so they may not be perfect, but when planted up any faults will not be seen. It’s important to show that even if you don’t have a lot of space, a collection of pots filled with fruits, such as strawberries, lemon and blueberries, a mix of vegetables and ornamentals can help our pollinators and contribute to biodiversity.

Hard-landscaping has been kept to a minimum and most of the garden is of a ‘no-dig construction’, showing that you don’t need to go to the expense of buying cement or digging deep to lay costly foundations.

The drought-tolerant planting at the front of the garden and in the raised beds that form the BBC Morning Live set are a reflection of our ever-changing climate, hotter and drier summers, so the garden is filled with plants such as Achillea millefolium ‘Cerise Queen’ and ‘Red Velvet’, Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’, Baptisia ‘Cherries Jubilee’, Astrantia major ‘Sparkling Stars Red’ and ‘Sparkling Stars White’, Carex morrowii ‘Ice Dance’ and Carex testacea ‘Prairie Fire’, Cosmos atrosanguineus, Dianthus deltoides ‘Brillaint’, Erigeron karvinskianus, Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’, Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’, Lomandra ‘White Sands’, Panicum virgatum ‘Prairie Sky’, Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Tiny Wine’, with the additions of Echeveria spp., Agave spp., Sempervivum spp. and Mangave spp. The planting also reflects the colours of BBC Morning Live, the bright red and white of the BBC Morning Live mug and shots of orange found on the programme’s literature and website. BBC Morning Live family have also helped with the planting.

Mark says:

It has not been easy finding plants in flower owing to the cold snap that we have had across the UK, but I very much hope that visitors will still be blown away by the choice of plants on display, especially the double-U-shaped espaliered fruit trees, showing that you don’t need a lot of space to create your own mini-orchard.

There are many groundcover plants, which many gardeners tend to forget, to show that by growing such plants you can keep weeds at bay, but importantly conserve water as there is less of a chance of evaporation. Plants include: Alchemilla mollis, Calamintha nepeta ‘White Cloud’, Fragaria vesca, Geranium macrorrhizum ‘White-Ness’ and Geum ‘Mrs J Bradshaw’. On proud display are also some double-U-shaped espaliered fruit trees. While these are, of course, a considered purchase for any gardener, it does show that even in a small space you can create your very own mini-orchard. Plants include: Malus domestica ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’, Pyrus communis ‘Beurre Hardy’ and Prunus domestica ‘President’. There’s even a gorgeous grape, Vitis vinifera ‘Chasselas de Moissac’.

At the back of the RHS-BBC Morning Live Budget-friendly Feature Garden is a large wall, perfect for those Instagram moments, which depicts the BBC Morning Live mug. A red wrapped wall is then adorned with white mugs simply fixed with a screw, each planted up with a mix of the planting found in the garden. At the end of the Show these white mugs will be given out to the public as a gift.

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