The CPH Garden Show, Copenhagen

CPH garden show 2019
The grand entrance display

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to Copenhagen to visit the CPH Garden Show.  Organised by Danish garden society Haveselskabet (the Danish equivalent of the RHS), the four day show was blessed with glorious sunshine and a record number of visitors.

A show garden at the CPH garden show 2019
One of the show gardens

People travelled from across Denmark and Sweden to attend.  Unlike England, the people of Denmark are not, as a rule, a nation of gardeners so it was especially pleasing to see so many people enjoying their day out. Show organiser, Charlotte Garby (a director of Haveselskabet) was thrilled with the footfall and positive feedback from visitors and exhibitors.

A tapestry of colour in this show garden at CPH garden show 2019
A tapestry of colour
Comfy greenhouse
Cosy greenhouse

A selection of small show gardens were dotted around the site and visitors were welcomed into each garden to look around.  I particularly liked the garden by Swedish garden guru Hannu Sarenström with its soft tapestry of low-level planting and clever greenhouse complete with comfy sofa!  This garden also won the ‘people’s choice’ award.

Interesting sign in the winning show garden
A Midsummer Nights Dream garden

The overall winner of the show gardens was the Midsummer Nights Dream garden by Lise Bollhorn and Erik Dal.  With a cheeky ‘don’t piss off the fairies’ sign at the entrance, the garden was designed around a woodland theme with grasses, trees and water.  Space to relax had been considered with a cosy ‘nest’ seating arrangement covered in cushions.

Giant willow structures
Giant willow structures with me for size comparison!

The show was all about the visitor experience with three lecture marquees and a packed itinerary with different speakers each day.  There was a craft tent for visitors to learn new crafts (willow weaving was going on when I looked in) and a children’s craft tent where volunteers helped children to create patterns and pictures using leaves and petals. A photography competition with four different categories made for a fabulous display with the winners being announced live on stage on the final day.

Trade stands for everyone
Trade stands for everyone
Delicious home made fruit liqueurs!
Delicious home-made fruit & flower liqueurs!

With a plethora of trade stands offering everything from plants to clothing to home-produce, there was something for every visitor and every pocket.  What was particularly nice was the fact that there was such a large choice of places to eat and more importantly, plenty of space to sit and eat, rest or soak up the atmosphere.

Clive Nichols and Claus Dalby being photographed at the CPH garden show
Danish celebrity Claus Dalby and English photographer Clive Nichols

What struck me overall was the absolute happiness of the day.  It was unlike any garden show I have been to in the UK as it was all-encompassing and so welcoming.  If you happen to find yourself in Copenhagen in 2021 I would urge you to pay a visit!





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