A Green Party for Ideal Home Show's 110th anniversary

A Green Party for Ideal Home Show's 110th anniversary

Head to this year's Ideal Home Show where a giant plant cake will be centre stage, highlighting the delights of vertical gardening

cake is designed by gardener David Domoney

This year is the 110th anniversary of the Ideal Home Show, which runs at London's Olympia from 17 March - 2 April. To mark the occasion, gardener and broadcaster David Domoney - co presenter of ITV's Love Your Garden - has designed a 6.5m high plant cake as a centre piece for the two-week event. It will be clad with more than 4,000 plants, a mix of flowers and foliage.

A giant living birthday cake will dominate Olympia during the Ideal Home Show(17 March - 2 April). Measuring 6.5m by 3.25m, the aim is to highlight one of the  biggest gardening trends for 2018: vertical planting.

Although we're a nation of garden lovers, our outdoor spaces have shrunk over recent decades. The average garden in 2015 measured just 14 m2, compared to 16.8 m2 in 1983 – a decrease of around 17 per cent. And with the squeeze on space continuing, it's predicted that the size of an average garden at the end of this year will measure just 12.6 m2.
 
The answer for those who want some greenery in their home space is to opt for vertical gardening. Vertical gardens are pretty self-sufficient - check out products such as Woolly Pocket - and any type of plant can grow in pockets you attach to a wall - or in this case, the side of a cake. The pocket system means your plants receive water and nutrients from the top down, rather than from the ground, with excess water draining down to the plant positioned below until each one is hydrated.
 
Horticulturist and television gardener David Domoney, who's been creating gardens at the Ideal Home Show for over 20 years, says you have to think creatively when space is limited: 'Vertical planting is a brilliant way to enhance brickwork around a garage, fencing or rendering, for example. For those with green fingers, the fact that any type of plant can grow in a vertical pocket means people can still plant, grow and enjoy a whole range of plants.'
 
For their birthday cake project - which they have to complete within a four-day build time - David and his team are using plants including ferns such as Bird-nest, Boston and Pteris. 'This project has been as exciting as it has been a challenge,' he says. 'The sheer size of the infrastructure needed to create the framework is a task on its own, but with a very tight build schedule, thousands of plants to go into position, and then keeping those plants alive inside a show environment for over two weeks, this project needed special planning and construction expertise.'
 
Use your indoor space wisely
 
This year’s show homes focus on making the most of every centimetre of living space, with a modernised Victorian terrace ‘Innovation home’, Liv-in beach huts, and specially designed garden pods providing extra office or bedroom space in the garden.
 
Celebrities and experts offer demonstrations and top tips on gardening, home improvements, food and drink, alongside over 600 exhibitors. 
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