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This week in the garden

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Sally Nex Sally Nex | 09:45 UK time, Saturday, 20 November 2010


In the news....

Vertical farms, sunken gardens, Japanese mountainscapes and kelong fish farms: it could only be the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Details of the 2011 show gardens have just been released, and it should be a vintage year. Some of Chelsea's most exciting designers are back: Cleve West, Sarah Eberle and Luciano Giubbilei among them. And there are gardens from Malaysia, Monaco, Japan and Australia (twice).

Things aren't anywhere near as glamorous as usual at the Eden Project in Cornwall just now: they're mopping up after this week's floods, which left the visitor's centre, workshops and offices under three feet of water. The million or so exotic plants which live in the spectacular biomes were thankfully spared. They're closed to visitors until at least Sunday, but you can follow the clean-up day by welly-clad day on their blog.

Elsewhere on the web...

Everyone's over at Martyn Cox's blog this week, where voting in this year's much-anticipated alternative gardening awards is well under way. Martyn's OMG Awards are handing out virtual gongs for most snoggable male, worst-dressed gardener and best haircut. Toby Buckland, Cleve West and Monty Don all feature: I'll leave you to guess in which categories.

Monty Don has also been revealing some surprising snippets in an interview with the Observer: the Garden Monkey spotted a passing reference to a previous career as a dustman, and he also turns out to be a neat freak who was once chatted up by Danny La Rue.

Elsewhere, Emma at Fluffius Muppetus is doing her bit for BBC Children in Need while showing off how pretty berries can be: while Deb over at Carrots and Kids has been picking out seeds for next year, though she's already done pretty well for weird veg this year. Japanese birdhouse gourds, anyone?

Out and about...

I hate to say this, but things are getting decidedly Christmassy out there. Nobody's mentioning shopping days (yet): but with Wakehurst Place in Sussex turning on all 1,800 lights bedecking the country's tallest living Christmas tree on Friday, it's beginning to look dangerously festive.

Book the kids in to sort out the Christmas decorations at next weekend's workshop at RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex, or enjoy a Christmas Fair at the Chelsea Physic Garden in London next weekend. You can always sneak off for a nose around the garden, not normally open at this time of year.

If you really can't face Christmas just yet, there are plenty of other reasons to get outside, especially on frosty days. Chirk Castle, in Wrexham, North Wales is opening in winter for the first time this year, and its handsome topiary should look fabulous rimed in white; while at the very covetable kitchen garden at Knightshayes Court in Devon they're running a two-hour workshop on Friday to show you how to spruce up your fruit bushes with some winter pruning.

Sally Nex is a garden writer and blogger and part of the BBC Gardening team.


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