This year Hampton Court Flower show seemed even bigger than ever-or is it just me? Mark Diacono, writing in the Saturday Telegraph, said that 2 days were best to see everything in the show- and I think he’s right! This year there was a massive leaning towards Growing Your Own. Marshalls Seeds had 4 greenhouses following the seasons with thoughtfully planted up growbeds (above) to illustrate the possibility of keeping veg production going all year. Very Encouraging.
I also discovered that Blackberry Loch Tay fruits every year on its current season’s growth, like an autumn fruiting raspberry. Just chop it down to the ground in Feb and fruit will follow in summer. Great find-especially for impatient gardeners out there!
The large conceptual gardens, as ever for me at the RHS flower shows, seem to take a back seat as I am wowed by the smaller gardens. This year, a few gardens particularly impressed me with so many creative touches within their designs. Above is the Wild in the City garden, designed by Charlotte Murrell. I love the way she has artfully sliced a pond into this small garden under the curvaceous seating area.
Set against the backdrop of a fab wooden log wall, Peter Bowers’ bird feeders, with their own green roofs, were also a great addition to Charlotte’s urban Eden.
The Stone Roses -’a modern interpretation of an English garden’ by Greenes of Sussex also delighted with its lush planting and creative use of a small space.
Had a chat with Donna from Greenes about the British obsession with having a patch of lawn, however small it is. Working as a gardener, I hate mowing these fiddly areas and would much prefer to see flowers and veg in this space, although I did agree that an area of green can add an element of calm within a busy garden (and within our busy lives!).
Loved the sumptuous planting of red Achillea and Helenium ‘Moorheim Beauty’ on the Cinema Paradiso garden by Pod Garden Design,
and the purple of a Perovskia against background of yellow Hellenium (also Pod Garden Design)
I could have spent hours more in the Floral marquee, but here’s a whizz through some of the gorgeous plants on display. Above is a Sanguisorba tenuifolium grass on the Harveys of Suffolk stand.
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’ really grabbed my attention, but do I really want all those double petals when Hydrangea quercifolia is very appealing as it is? Will the heads just flop over after the first bout of heavy rain? Anyone out there grow ‘Snowflake’?
And look at the size of this Hydrangea Avantgard-wot a whopper!!
Loved the playfulness of the chives growing out of bamboo posts on th Potential Feast Small Garden.
In the Plant Heritage Marquee, thought that this Dahlia coccinnea Orange Form would be a great ‘back of border’ summer plant,
and really want to get a hold of this Rubus ulmifolius Bellidiflorus for a wild area in a client’s garden.
I was charmed by the mass planting of Bishop’s Weed -Amni major on the Garlic Farm stand,
and have decided that I must grow lablab beans (similar in growing habit to french and runner beans) next year for their stunning pink and lilac flowers (here next to the v. attractive Allium sphaerocephalon).
The generosity of thyme planted around these slabs was really appealing,
and I did wonder if I could repeat this allium planting by Warmenhoven around our local tree pits in Finsbury Park!!
And finally, here’s a few seating ideas that caught my eye. I really liked the seductively simple seating on Sadie May Stowell’s Plant and Project garden (above),
and the custom-built chairs on the Wild in the City garden by Charlotte Murrell
Liked these Groovy Chairs supplied by Wildandwondrous
and this very popular willow garden chair by Spencer Jenkins.
So much to see, so little time. Maybe I will make it 2 days next year…….