A gigantic garden-sized suitcase containing plants from Yunnan Province in South West China has secured the Best Show Garden title at Gardening Scotland 2017.

The ‘Chinese Hillside Garden’, designed by Ruth Howell – a Garden Design student at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh (RBGE) – tells the story of the RBGE’s safekeeping of collected specimens from across the globe and the return of endangered plants to their natural habitats.

The Show Garden – one of nine on display at Gardening Scotland 2017, which takes place from Friday 2nd until Sunday 4th June at the Royal Highland Showground, Ingliston – features a rocky pathway meandering between lush green slopes, crossing a small ravine by rope-bridge. The plants in the garden are all connected to Edwardian plant hunter George Forrest, who brought a variety of plants to Europe from Asia including candelabra primulas, giant cardiocrinums and many rhododendrons.

Now in its 18th year, Gardening Scotland is a celebration of the great outdoors, encompassing gardening, gastronomy, outdoor living and family-friendly activities.

The winner of the Best New Show Garden went to Edinburgh-based garden designer Lynn Hill, who worked together with the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) on the ‘Tangible Garden’. This Show Garden was designed to exemplify low-maintenance, modern living at its best – representing how an outdoor area can be designed and used for dining and entertaining, with minimal upkeep required.

With the Sunday Post’s People’s Choice Award and the I Dig It Award still to be announced, other awards given out on the first day of the Show included Ayr Bonsai for the Best in Show Floral Award, Kevock Garden Plants for the Alf Evans Award, Edinburgh Floral Art Club for the Best Floral Art Display and Lanarkshire-based GP Plantscape for the Best New Comer Award.

The Best New Plant, sponsored by the Caley was awarded to Holmes Farm Plants for the Hosta ‘Raspberry Sundae’.

Martin Dare, Gardening Scotland’s show organiser said:

“This year’s Show Gardens and Floral displays are some of the best in Gardening Scotland’s 18-year history. The winning Show Garden by RBGE garden design student Ruth Howell is a truly fantastic and innovative use of space – a very well-deserved prize.

“There’s still plenty of prizes to come out of the Show so watch this space.  We look forward to welcoming you to Ingliston this weekend for what is a truly show stopping and action-packed event.”



About Gardening Scotland

  • Gardening Scotland takes place from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 June 2017 – it is Scotland’s national gardening and outdoor living show.
  • It hosts the biggest plant fair in Scotland, with hundreds of exhibitors, trade stands, gardening ideas and expertise.
  • Advance tickets cost just £14 and are available from the website or by calling 0131 333 0965. Tickets on the gate will cost £16 for Friday and £15 for Saturday and Sunday.
  • Please follow us on Twitter @GardenScotland, Facebook – Gardening Scotland and Pinterest – Gardening Scotland, and look out for a host of competitions as well as key news and information.
  • For more information about Gardening Scotland visit



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