I wasn't able to find ladybirds at Gardener's World (though there were a great many bees). In the Garden Essentials zone, even the Nemasys stand was only selling the idea, not the product. In my imagination, I had the idea of a stand not unlike the ice-cream sellers you always get in shows like this, except with the refrigerated display cabinet filled with smart packets of beneficial pest-munching insects. But maybe the spectre of refrigeration failure and a plague of ladybirds cannot be risk assessed away.
That noted, I had a great day. Birmingham NEC is spacious, well-organised and the staff are lovely, friendly and helpful; the car-park and shuttle bus arrangements function like a well-oiled machine; there was ample food, tea and sit-down space; and the weather was just right. Best of all, all the garden stuff was in a tightly packed and logically arranged area; there was no trekking through endless avenues of tat to get from the show gardens to the floral marquee. The tat was instead, arranged decoratively around the edges, allowing people to treat it like a treat after the main course of plants, plants, plants.
There was also a Food Show included in the price of the ticket (which looked really good!) but we never even made it to that end of the Marquee.
There were a lot of bonsai. I remember (off the top of my head) four stalls, plus a huge display from the local bonsai society. I don't mind (I'm bonsaing (sp?) a cotoneaster in a small pot myself because hey, you can and it is an eternal truth that once you have a cotoneaster you are never short of cotoneaster seedlings). But it was very much the case that I couldn't see the Alstroemeria for the Bonsai.
I cracked and got one of those wheelie trollies. A lime green one. It was actually quite handy.
At the end of the day, plant tetris in Jo's Nissan Micra completed the decapitation of my Cirsium (definitely one of the plants of the show - it was scattered through the show gardens like a weed) but never mind, I should probably be taking its flowers off anyway, so it can concentrate on establishing in its new home.
More on this and a revisit to the show job-list anon, but it's no spoiler to say; I did not get through the list. There were just too many distractions.