28 June 2022
Garden Design Inspiration @ Bridgemere Show Gardens
The Bridgemere Show Gardens have recently been restored to their former glory and we were lucky enough to attend the open day! If you are making a trip to Bridgemere Garden Centre or would like some garden design inspiration from The RHS shows, these show gardens are a must-visit in any season!
The show gardens were previously known as 'The Garden Kingdom' founded by John Ravenscroft in the 1980s with the aim of inspiring amateur gardeners. Sadly, the gardens fell into disrepair until Blue Diamond bought Bridgemere show gardens and nursery in 2019. These inspirational garden designs feature recreations of gold and silver medal, award-winning gardens from the RHS Chelsea, Hampton Court & Tatton Park Flower Shows, the Garden Festivals in Hanley and Liverpool as well as the garden in which the 1993 television series 'Gardener's Diary' was filmed
Set within 6 acres, there are 13 beautiful gardens to explore as you walk through the winding pathways. The Show Gardens, which date back to 1985, including 2021's RHS Chelsea Flower Show silver medal-winning, Blue Diamond Garden - The Forge Garden. Here are a few of our favourites.
The Forge Garden
The Forge garden is the latest addition at Bridgemere, winning the best Artisan garden and a silver medal at the 2021 Chelsea Flower Show. It is based on a 15h Century forge in Branscombe, Devon, that has been in constant use since it was built over 400 years ago. The original Branscombe Forge is the oldest thatched forge in use, owned by the National Trust and run by third-generation blacksmith, Simon Hall. Read More...
The background for the Forge Garden was a woodland setting with Simon's nature-inspired ironwork dotted throughout the forge and in the garden, with meticulously crafted metal flowers in the border. Inside the forge was a hearth and anvil with large old flagstone flooring. Climbers were used to soften the edges of the thatched imitation forge to create an 'at one with nature' look and feel. The garden included several fruit trees such as crab apples and a small bubbling stream that runs around the front and side.
Down Memory Lane Garden
The Down Memory Lane Garden originally featured in the 2021 RHS Hampton Court Flower Show. A collaborative design from the Blue Diamond team, it was inspired by the father of lead designer Anna who works at Bridgemere. The aim of this garden was to create an area of solace and peace for those suffering with demnetia and their carers. The garden won a silver gilt at Hampton Court and was extremely popular amongst the blue diamond badge holders on open day. The elements within this garden were designed to trigger garden memories, such as the smell of flowers, picking vegetables and digging over soil, with a lovely water feature adding to the serene and familiar feeling. Look out for the 2021 new orange rose 'Down Memory Lane' and the Alzheimers Societies, forget me knot emblem.
The Cottage Garden
This delightfully British cottage garden oozes countryside charm. Featuring a stunning chocolate box cottage that was originally a pigsty! Complete with union jack bunting, a white picket fence, a kitchen garden, a grey cobble garden path and an array of beautiful roses, rare Peonies and Agapanthus. This wonderful celebration of British gardens was designed by John Ravencroft, (the original owner of Bridgemere) in conjunction with the Women's Institute for the 1988 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where it won 3 awards! The gold medal, the award for best garden and the Lawrence Medal for the best exhibit in any RHS show!
While you're here...
While you're visiting the show gardens why not visit our display centre right outside the doors to the right of Bridgemere Garden Centre. It is our most extensive display in Cheshire and was designed and built by garden designer Matt Kight. A chance to feel, walk on and talk to someone about your home flooring and garden paving ideas.
Make a Day of it
The restaurant at Bridgemere offers a wide range of delicious lunches from huge salads to soups, sandwiches, jacket potatoes and hot meals. Options for vegan, vegetarian and meat-eaters, children and those with a hearty appetite make it really inclusive for the whole family. If a hot meal isn't your bag, there are plenty of sweet and tantalising cake options. With friendly and helpful staff and tasty coffee - a must in between all that shopping and exploring!
How to Get Here
A visit to Britain's largest garden centre is well worth it, these are just a few of the beautiful show gardens to explore, make a day or even a weekend of it by taking a look at our helpful blog on places to stay and eat and things to do near Bridgemere.
Bridgemere Garden Centre, Near Nantwich, Nantwich, CW5 7QB
Tel: 01270 360 003
Monday to Saturday - 9am to 6pm. Sunday - 10.30am to 4.30pm.
Main Restaurant & Bridgemere Cafe:
Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm
Sunday 10am to 4pm