Thursdays at 19.00 on BBC TWO Scotland

This is our Silver Garden. It was created to commemorate 25 years of The Beechgrove Garden.

Construction began in the summer of 2003 after Gardening Scotland, where we built a display garden in the main hall, designed by Nick Dawson. Stewart Timber Products, who built the massive timber structure and water feature, donated it to us after the show. Back at the Beechgrove Garden, the structure provided the starting point for the design of the Silver Garden. Carolyn came up with a conceptual design and then Wayne Goodin not only turned this concept into a working plan, he also built the garden, more or less single-handed over the winter of 2003/2004.

The site was originally waste ground, but now acts as an entrance point to the garden. From a small car park, steps lead up to the main area of the Silver Garden, which is slick and modern. The main feature is the wooden structure which originally included a water feature that cascaded down to the L shaped pool. However, as with such things, the water feature has acted up over the past couple years and is currently out of commission. The pool holds its own, though, with floating stepping-stones and some lovely waterlilies in the summer time. There are some really strong geometric shapes in this garden, between the mass of the timber structure and the paving round the pool.

The entire garden is surrounded by various borders. Originally, the plants followed a silver theme; whether the plants were silver or the name fit with the theme. Carole Baxter has even found a collection of Narcissi all with 'silver' in their names. However, another theme came into the garden in 2008 to celebrate Beechgrove's 30th anniversary - pearls. Now this garden is even more celebratory. As the plants continue to mature, it will help to soften the straight lines of the garden.


Some of our favourite silver and pearl themed plants include:

Silver
Brunnera 'Jack Frost' - the silver mottling on the upper side of the leaves give this plant a long season of interest, and the wee blue flowers add a special touch in the spring.

Sambucus 'Black Lace' - perhaps not an obvious choice for the Silver Garden, but the deep, dark purple leaves make a great foil plant to some of the more delicate, silvery foliage surrounding. Contrasting foliage and texture can do a lot to show off plants in a border.

Narcissi - we found a collection of white flowering Narcissi all with silver names. They were an expensive addition to the garden, but well worth it. They are Narcissus 'Silver Bells', N. 'Silver Chimes', N. 'Silver Plate', N. 'Silversmith' and N. 'Silverwood'.

Rosmarinus officinalis - this is a great example of using herbs in the ornamental garden. The silvery green foliage lends itself well to our theme, but also shows the versatility of rosemary.

Euonymus 'Emerald Gaiety' - we've used this as a hedging plant in the raised bed bordering the Trials Area. It took a few years for the plants to grow together, but now it makes a lovely, low hedge. When the new growth come on it, its a lovely silvery-green ribbon across the garden.


Pearl

Rhododendron 'Pink Pearl' - this was a favourite of the late Sid Roberts, so when we decided to make a pearl border to celebrate 30 years of Beechgrove, Carole Baxter was quick to suggest this lovely little Rhodie.

Lathyrus sp. - sweetpeas are the traditional flower for a 30th anniversary, and so we used everlasting sweetpea to cascade over the wall of the raised border. Everlasting sweetpea is a real cottage garden favourite, and you can let it scramble through the border or up an obelisk.

Hosta 'Pearl Lake' - this hosta fit in well here, not only for its name, but its bluish foliage also goes with the Silver theme, tying the two areas together.

Materials in this garden were provided by:

Stewart Timber Products
11 Greens Road
Blairlinn
Cumbernauld
G67 2TU
Tel: 01236 727776
Fax: 01236 780313
Email: sales@stewartfencing.co.uk


Bradstone

Hulland Ward
Ashbourne
Derbyshire
DE6 3ET
Tel: 01335 372222
Web: www.bradstone.com


WoodblocX

freephone (UK only) 0800 389 1420
email: enquires@blocx.net