Saturday, July 8, 2017

Hampton Court Flower Show 2017

Today I had a ticket for the Hampton Court Flower Show, I love this event (in my view it's much better than Chelsea, it's big city cousin) and didn't go last year.   The forecast for today (after a few days of 30 degrees again - was not as hot and not as sunny..... they lied!  It ended up being boiling hot and very sunny!
I only managed to stay 4 hours, just couldn't face the heat any longer; but here are a (large) selection of the 300 photos I took...
the first thing I did, was go into the Butterfly Dome (they didn't have this there last time; I think it was a new feature last year)
It was hot...but there were hundreds of butterflies flying around..
 Giant Owl
 The Postman
 can't recognise this one from the leaflet (you didn't think I just knew them did you?!)

I remember when Kew had a butterfly event on a few years ago, how the butterflies loved feasting on fruit  - and handily some of them flapped their wings a bit so you could see the gorgeous blue inside of the wings

outside ominous clouds... they disappeared very soon!
the butterfly dome is quite large though as you can see
 Hampton Court features different categories of garden.   The first ones you come across are the Conceptual Gardens.

This was Not for Sale, a garden to highlight the work of the charity Tusk; trying to stop elephant tusk poaching.

 this is Elements of Life;
the garden itself is on top of a large glass tank of water (the tree on top is a pomegranate)

The leaflet explains "Element of Life attempts to make the unseen, visible, in order to encourage a better understanding of the significance of well-maintained soil and root osmosis"

 a new category, Gardens for a Changing World.

This is Streetscapes, Holding Back the Flood, promoting a greener flood defense than concrete ones.

The Power to Make a Difference.
.... regeneration of a desolate landscape.

 the Urban Rain Garden, featuring innovative rainwater collecting features
 and some gorgeous planting
 nestling in amongst the gardens are tradestands, I've always loved these features
and today the artist was hard at work

they are impressive and fascinating... and way outside my price range!

 The Perennial Sanctuary Garden,
a garden by a charity for trade horticulturalists

a spiralling garden of blues and reds yellows and oranges.. I loved this one

Especially loved the agapanthus.

 On The Edge,  the Centre for Mental Health Garden.

stunning planting,

 cool blues with splashes of hot colours
another favourite!

 as was this.. Brownfield Metamorphosis

inspired when the designer visited a former car plant site, which was regenerating with plantlife.

 you know I love rusty metal!

tiny portholes to get a secret glimpse into the garden..

 Colour Box

Joe Swift when he was talking about this one on TV said he thought the colour of the seats were too bright.. I disagree, I think they are great.

I'd love this garden, it is just my style, lots of dense planting, real cottage garden style; wispy flowers and gorgeous colours

 looks great from every angle

the RHS website says (I missed picking up a leaflet for this one)
that this is a garden without sponsor, done on a smaller budget than some of the bigger show gardens.
I think more of them should be like this!

 this year, the RHS had a Kitchen Garden  at the show.. and TV chefs The Hairy Bikers had been at the show all week cooking live... today was the turn of Matt Tebbutt and Saturday Kitchen (which I used to watch before I went to Kew so early each week!)  
I stopped to watch a bit of the filming...

view from the side!

a couple of hours later I found myself back at the garden, all the tv equipment and the chefs had gone and it all looked very different

 time to dip into a tent -the Rose Marquee   always a fragrant favourite,,,

don't think this is a new variety, but the dusky pinky grey mauve is such an unusual colour
 and the Floral Design Studio.. some amazing things in here!

 back outside, walking down one of the avenues of tradestands and gardens...

this so reminded me of a powertex sculpture.

my friend Sam did say that there was meant to be a Paverpol display, so perhaps this was it, though I didn't notice.. the rest of the stand was bronze sculptures.
 Fun and Sun by the Sea...   Southend on Sea Youth Offending Team's garden... gorgeous!

 great art on the back of the beach huts, too.

and more fab planting on the stand

 next up, Show Garden (I had trouble telling which category some of the gardens were in) but this is definitely a Show Garden.. an amazing one

the Blind Veteran's garden.  Gorgeous all round...

 great seating (not that you could walk all the way round this garden ) and great willow structures

 as you can see, I loved the planting on this garden!  The judges agreed, giving it a gold medal and Best Construction award too.
 not sure I'd have wanted to walk around in these suits today!
 next up, Andy Sturgeon's garden Watch this Space.. the hard landscaping was re-used from previous Chelsea Show gardens from the last ten years...

I saw him talking about this on the TV

It really looks great!

 there was a dragonfly on the hedge by the water, sunning itself

fabulous planting here too.
 this was one I'd have liked to have walked round, the Zoflora and Caudwell Children's Wild Garden.. but the queue was quite long (and of course I forgot to check later, but it would have probably been worse)

winner of  best Show Garden
 full of fun things for kids - the big stone turns,  there was sand to play in, a small trampoline (I did see a lady jumping)

at least you could see the planting from the pathway outside!

 another Show Garden - the Journey of Life

 have lost track of where these are from!

 time to sit and have lunch... no paddling my feet in the Long Water this time, but the fountain was restful...
I didn't sit for too long as I realised it was mid-day and the sun was high in the sky and on top of me...
 more bronze sculptures
 I crossed the Long Water to the gardens on the other side of the water,.

the Floral Marquee... well you didn't think I'd forget to see these...

It seemed better laid out than I remember, in a long straight line, (in years gone by the Marquee went off to the side and it was hard not to miss areas)

 first stand, agapanthus

 alliums - we all now how much I love them - not seen a pink one before
 a very striking stand...

 nice use of an old Mini!
 pretty white hydrangea
 fabulous hollyhocks

 luscious lavendar
 colours just zinging at you

 they interviewed the owner of this display for TV, who's not shown before, he only does grasses.  I love his fish, to give the illusion of an underwater landscape

 stand of the National Collection of Allium group

 Eremurus -   fox tail lily
make a stunning display
 oh look, with alliums!
 once I got to the other end, i turned and took a can't SEE the other end!
 outside again, a look at the grounds..

 the Scarecrow competition has grown hugely since it started some years ago now...

 loved this display from a company selling artificial grass (I could do with some of this for my lawn, no more mowing!)

 mirrors (spot me?) and planting...

these were weird - I love them - but they look as if someone's taken the scissors to them!
 don't be fooled by the cloudy sky, it was still roasting hot!
 I told you the sculptures were out of my price range -  Alice and her croquet playing flamingo was £7000

 walking back towards the exit now, I was melting and needed to head home...

 did stop for a couple of minutes to listen to this jazz group, they were good.
final garden I found on my way out, another Conceptual Garden... Kinetica.

inspired by Particle Theory.

"the symmetrical layout of Kinetica represents the molecular structure of a solid object"

No, me neither!

 it was quite striking looking though

 the butterfly dome (huge queue waiting to go in, glad I did it at the start)
 it's about a ten minute walk back to the station, along the river (Thames)  - looking gorgeous

and some great clouds too.

Are you still with me?  do your feet ache?

Thanks for looking, let me know if you liked the plants and gardens!!


sam21ski said...

Great set of photos, although some of them just look like overgrown gardens to me, but then what do I know!!
The Paverpol display was at Chelsea not here!

Miriam said...

Looks like it was a fabulous day, if not a bit hot! Amazing pics as usual.

I love the dusky rose...and after gardening today I'm definitely up for artificial!

craftimamma said...

Wonderful photos throughout Helen. I love that dusky rose too! Looks like we've both been baking in butterfly houses today, lol, and we took pics of some of the same species. Some of those gardens are stunning and I love those bright square seats too, in fact I loved that garden. We've had very little cloud here today just blue sky all day and much warmer than we were forecast so I know just how you must have felt towards the end.

Lesley Xx

Lin said...

Brilliant t piccies Helen some of those gardens are brilliant love Alice too

Chris Cresswell said...

What a joy! I've really loved looking through these. So many gardens and so good to see various charities involved. Those tusks look awesome! I loved the one where you took the photo through the blue porthole. Oh and the colour boxes! The flowers, as always, are beautifully framed and shot. How did you get that bee so perfectly?? Absolutely amazing photos, as usual. You've certainly shown the wonders of Hampton Court in these!!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Sorry to read it was unbearably hot during your trip to this gorgeous event.

Our Botanical Gardens has a butterfly house, but these are certainly more impressive than the permanent structure our garden has built. You photographed some simply stunning butterflies. I'm always impressed with your close-up shots, and some of these are fabulous.

Those tusks were unbelievable. I remember when I went to the Zoo in Wichita to open the elephant part of the park. A woman had one of those and I was simply appalled that she was touting the virtues of it. So glad to read this focuses on conservation.

If only trees were powerful enough to hold back some floods that ravage OUR U.S. shores. it's a fine concept, but won't work in our areas where floods cover the middles of trees and wash people away.

The changing world sign was very colorful, and I was very, very interested in the rain collection, something I would love to get into again.

That one upside down statue that looked rusty was gorgeous. And, like you, I loved the rusty metal in the garden planned around a former car part manufacturing company that had begun to return to nature. I really LOVED that one.

Not sure what RHS is, but I loved the kitchen garden, especially after all the people left. And before I forget, those color boxes and plantings were FABULOUS. I agree with you. Not too bright at all!

I simply adore the bug tower and hope to build my own one of these days. This one was even more original than any other I've seen in the past.

Speaking of bugs, that is a BIG one outside the Floral Marquee. I've never seen yellow echinacea before. Mine are all pink. And I am extremely jealous of the lavender. I can't seem to grow it in my garden.

I liked several of the scarecrows, especially the ones that included a bug garden.

I didn't care for the Kinetic Garden, and didn't understand how it was inspired by Particle Theory, which I learned about in grad school.

I couldn't believe what looked like hundreds of thousands of people at this event. It was HUGE and I was really amazed at how many people, vendors, and groups where there. I really enjoyed that you took us, though. My feet are fine, but I'm a bit warm, especially after seeing how some of those people were dressed in long sleeve tops. BTW, LOVED your butterfly top.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Just did an internet search and found RHS stands for Royal Horticultural Society. DUH! Sorry. I'll know next time at least.

Angela Curror said...

Loved all the photos - great to see this show through your eyes. Thank you!

nanskidrewski said...

Amazing, beautiful, lots of wows in there. Thank you so much for sharing! I definitely want to make it there next year. Thank you for all of the wonderful photos!

May said...

Gorgeous photos Helen, Thank you for sharing your lovely day... a post full of beauty... Take care May