As well as proving a huge success instore, B&Q’s impatiens revival, the Imara Bizzie Lizzie, has landed B&Q a Gold medal at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, as well as awards for Best Construction and Best Show Garden for its exhibit at this year’s show.
The show garden, titled ‘B&Q Bursting Busy Lizzie Garden, proved popular with Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) judges, earning itself a Gold medal, as well as the coveted title of Best Show Garden and the award for Best Construction.
Designed by Matthew Childs and built by Living Landscapes, the exhibit championed the return of the bedding favourite, the busy Lizzie, following the launch of B&Q’s Imara Bizzie Lizzie variety. The DIY and garden retailer has worked closely with Syngenta Flowers for years to develop the variety, which is resistant to the devastating Downy Mildew disease that saw Impatiens Walleriana taken off shelves in 2012.
Since their return to B&Q stores this Spring, more than 5million plugs have been sold so far this year, B&Q market director for outdoor, Steve Guy told DIY Week, adding that all bedding had now sold out in store and B&Q branches were moving into selling planted containers and hanging baskets of the species.
B&Q hasn’t exhibited at a RHS flower show in “four or five years”, said Mr Guy. “The launch of the Bizzie Lizzies is what has promoted us back. We have a story to tell and a message to get out,” he explained.
The retailer is understandably delighted with the response to its garden, particularly as designer Matthew Childs said there is “some snobbery” about bedding plants at gardening shows and that very few varieties were on display in exhibits this year. “The horticultural police have ruled out bedding plants but I think we need to change that mindset and show the different ways you can use them,” he said. “We also have another bedding favourite, the aucuba japonica crotonifolia on the gardren here and it looks fantastic.”
Mr Childs’ design was based on a photograph of impatiens in a natural setting in their native South Africa, and he set about showcasing the British bedding favourite in an unexpected way, setting the bright blooms against the tropical greenery of palms, Japanese banana trees, gunnera magellanicas, ferns and hostas.
The garden also showcased a host of outdoor living ranges available from B&Q and parent firm, Kingfisher - from garden furniture and wall planters, to two black metal sheds that had been customised to create a stylish bedroom and a bar. “It's about creating practical spaces," said Mr Guy, adding: "We were going to try and arrange to have someone stay overnight in the room there but the security issues meant it was going to be impossible.”