Sunday, July 8, 2018

Hampton Court Flower Show 2018

Boy, was it hot today at Hampton Court... The Flower Show is a fabulous day out though, not cheap, and full of inspiration for gardeners..  I don't have a garden - well, I do, I have a sloping lawn and a couple of flower beds, but I love gardening shows and I love gardens (that's why I go to Kew so often).. 
This is a(nother) heavy picture post... sit back and enjoy - if you're in the UK you may spot some of the gardens that were featured on the BBC coverage.  Sadly I don't get to see them from the angle the presenters do though...

 I started with Battlefields2Butterflies... a memorial to WW1's centenary  - designed by the Royal Parks and Palaces gardeners as a tribute to the gardeners and park keepers who lost their lives in the conflict.

 you start n the trenches
 and walk through to the regenerated meadow after the end of the war
and some of the Tower poppies

 from there, to Evolve... a dome inside which you take a trip through evolution to see how plants grew and adapted...

 mirrors were much in evidence today as we'll see...


 as you moved between zones you could read about the changing vegetation.

 this was one of my favourites that I'd seen on TV  - created inside a rusted steel box, although the planting round the outside was also glorious...

they let 3 or 4 people in at a time (as it's quite a small box
 where the walls are all mirrored, so the wildflower meadow planting seems to stretch to infinity... It was beautiful..

Hello again!! 
 there's lots of me!
Loved the planting (I like my gardens wild, not formal, although formal gardens have their place..)

 another garden in a box, titled Conscious Consumerism to highlight the destruction of the Amazon rainforest... you walk through lush growth..
 to a desolate landscape.  Hopefully you can read the sign (you may need to enlarge it)
 hats were the order of the day as I headed towards one of the paths down which gardens and trade stands line the route -
 this garden game across well on TV too.
the Landform Garden Bar... an outside living space
(Landform are the company behind the garden)

(the champagne tent is backing onto the garden, not part of it!)

 I seem to have failed to collect the garden leaflet or photographed it's name on this one...
but have found it on the RHS website, it's A Place to Meet

 this is the Southend Young Offenders garden "A place to think" designed for young people to have a place to think..
 beautiful blues and purples - restful colours, calming colours.

as you see I like this one!

 Elements Mystique Design  - showcasing the work of a Belgian sculptor William Roobrouck, the sphere represents a fallen meteor and the effect of a gardenlili
 I captured trade stands too, with items that struck me.. like the prices (didn't notice these though)
 this was another beauty - Brilliance in Bloom

we all know I love rusted metal!

 couldn't afford the hares for you Jan!

 bronze sculpture, but it still looks like it should be Powertex
 as do these... can you see the price (if you click)  wow! 
 the Family Garden.   Love the habitat wall at the back for creatures and insects... a huge insect hotel

a garden designed to encourage children to interact with nature

 love the planting too
 honesty already translucent
the Entertaining garden  - celebrating a nation's favourite drink, gin and it's botanicals (you can tell I have the leaflet for this one)

Love the copper bar and table though

 this was the Health and Wellbeing Garden
 a shady, restful garden with muted colours

just gorgeous!

 "a garden at the end of the earth"
 inspired by the landscape in Galicia, Spain

 a couple of gardens now inspired by the Great Gardens of the US - Firstly inspired by Charleston

 and the Oregon garden

now obviously I've never been and had nothing to do with the gardens so don't blame me if they're not accurate!!

the leaflet encourages us to go visit. 

 another favourite, the Limbcare Garden, created with the help of the UK's longest surviving quad amputee, to encourage hope to amputees and their families as they adapt...

it was beautiful

and you could walk round the back to see the water feature from the other side too.

 another favourite from the TV - the Santa Rita "Living la Vida 120" garden

featuring a contemporary garden full of drought resistant and heat tolerant plants - these were thriving this week!! 

 would have been nice to escape inside for a cool down with the guides who were probably meant to be outside working!!
 the show sponsors, Viking Cruises' garden - Nordic lifestyle garden
 didn't really need the sauna today!!
 the Mr Men garden - a cancer care garden featuring Mr Worry Hill and Mr Happy for the bad and good times...

(Mr Men books by Roger Hargreaves were a childhood favourite)

 as you follow the path through the middle of the houses..on your treatment path
more gorgeous coneflowers
 Bursting Busy Lizzie Garden... with busy lizzies...

they've been out of favour I think in recent years - presumably will now be in for a revival!

 the garden was beautiful  - it won best Show Garden

 The Best of Worlds... another favourite, and using a beautiful sculpture that has been on display in previous years as a Show feature.. I love it

created for the couple who can't agree on their gardening style - cottage style planting and contemporary design.
 would have loved to go in and sit down in the sunken seated area

 came across a gin tasting booth... loved the funky bottles..

tried the rhubarb, didn't really like it, but it may just have been too hot for alcohol.

 vegetables now

 nipped into a tent
 Grow your Own with Raymond Blanc Gardening...

 who says you can't have flowers in a veg patch!
 love the blue wall and the plaques on the wall
second time round  I approached from the other side and came across some groups of funghi growing in a shady spot

 more rusty structures
 into the floral artistry marquee (smaller than normal I thought)

 it led into the rose pavilion... also much smaller I think (unless  missed some) 

but I liked these hanging displays
 the Countryfile's 30th anniversary Garden.

can't  believe Countryfile has been on our tv screens 30 years..

 featuring landscapes from all quarters of the UK

although not sure which is which (getting tired, can't be bothered to read the leaflet properly!!)

the planting was fabulous, as you would expect as the garden was designed by one of the UK's leading garden designers, Ann-Marie Powell.  I always love her gardens.

 I headed off for an early lunch past some trade stands

love this rusty agapanthus plaque

 sat under the shade of a tree and watched the fountains on the Long Water
 Hampton Court Palace to your left..
 love this dragonfly on a bullrush

 after lunch I crossed the water
 I am not sure if at the start of the week, this would have looked better

walking through some huge Verbena

was a bit surprised to find them in pots - well, that's ok, but the pots would normally have been hidden - the severe weather may have caused the pots to become exposed..

 I walked to the end of the Floral Marquee to start at one end....

yes, we've only just made it to the Floral Marquee!
 which really did look smaller than last year..


favourites as you know


 some beautiful planting on the displays in the Floral Marquee

 and some wonderful structural elements

 love the colour combination

 you have to look everywhere - up

to think I didn't use to like hydrangeas

fabulous rudbeckia - variety called Kissing Smiley

 love this one

 at the carnivorous plants stand (don't like them, but did like Alice with her stolen pitcher plant!

I didn't walk round the other side of the stand so missed the pitcher plants they had made out of Lego (saw that on the tv coverage I caught up on when I got home)


floating in bowls of water

 new varieties and colours of aeoniums - only ever seen the really dark nearly black ones

 tried to focus on the unusual...

 amazing lilies
 nerine, so delicate
 alliums again, looking like candyfloss

talking of which...
 a fairground ride of fuschias

 a rainbow of echinachea (coneflowers)

chrysants... so many colours but these were my favourites (am conscious of just how long this post is getting!)

 back outside - ooh, cloudy sky... will be be able to cool down??? 

that's a big no then..  was about 30 degrees
 quick overall look at what else is on..

scarecrow competition for local schools
 lunchtime musical entertainment..

 fun colour co-ordinated planting

 every year Hampton has a new theme or concept for some small plots.  Groundbreaking  Projects for 2018.

this is to commemorate Women's Suffrage
but I couldn't find anything about this one

quite liked the idea of planting the spades though

 not sure if it is always this quiet on the last day (have never been on the final day before) or, more likely the horrendous heat, keeping people away, but there was never a time when you couldn't get to where you wanted to go...
 love these copper poppies.
 and this
 couple more gardens... Anton Chekhov... don't know anything about him but apparently he was passionate about gardens..
 I like the bench..
 and I think this is fennel (possibly)
bright glass...

 this is my favourite of the day.  The RNIB community garden.  absolutely stunning.

As I stood at the front taking pictures I was speaking to the lady handing out leaflets.  She asked me where I garden, so I was telling her although I'd love to, I just take the photographs.

she told me to make sure I went round the back to the cherry trees ( think that's what she said they were) for the bark...

 but first I got carried away with the fantastic planting round the garden sides

 at the back of the stand was a series of screens set up to demonstrate the effects of various eye disorders on people's eyesights and how they would view the garden. 

then i got to the trees....
 as she said, so tactile. 

 Breckland Beauty, 

 much more decorative pole for the rope

 the final display I want to share is this

hopefully you can read it..

I saw it on tv and nearly missed it at the show...

it was my second favourite space after the RNIB garden.

I took loads of pictures...

 I sat down in the semi shade for a few minutes and took a few round the area pics before heading home..

the Evolve dome..

 a first,  a giant screen - they've been showing Wimbledon tennis and World Cup Football during the week of the show, today was the F1 (I was listening on my radio, and there was no way I was sitting out in the full sun to watch!)
 fluffy white clouds.. bye bye Hampton Court 2018....  Loved it, despite the heat.

final thoughts... some of the displays had obviously suffered from the heat, but on the whole, absolutely beautiful once again!

and before I put my camera away to walk back to the station, the river looking good

peeked inside the gate but I was too tired to go in and have a look round - another time then

thanks for sticking with me, it was a marathon post but hopefully you think it was worth it.

I was very pleased to get out of the sun and home was a bit melty hot today! 


Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Gorgeous photos and showcase of the day. Loved the tour. I don't know how,you managed the heat but I am glad you did somthat we get to experience your day through our screens. Tracy ❤️❤️

Miriam said...

How amazing.,.might have been hit but looked a beautiful day Helen....your pictures are superb.... As for the gin...I love rhubarb gin.... But it needs to be with a lovely tonic whilst sat in the garden! Lol! Thank you for sharing your fabulous day xx

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

OMGosh, Helen, I've waited all year to see this show. And your photos are magnificent. That first garden you showed was SO touching. From the trenches to the poppies, it was a wonderful garden. I hope it won a prize.

You looked like you wore clothes I would wear when visiting a place like this. I think it was probably a cool outfit (as in allowed air in).

Is this the year of the rust? Seems like lots of elements and sculptures were rusty. And you know I have a love of rust, too.

Looks like those sister sculptures would be better sold as a set and at the show price, too. But average joes like myself don't have over 1100 pounds to forge over.

That family garden wall reminded me of bee hives I have seen being made here in the states. Clever to created an entire wall. Would be a good use for a tree you had to get rid of.

I need some of those drought tolerant and heat resistant plants!

What in the world is a busy lizzie? Don't worry, I'll do an internet search, since I've never heard of them.

I am SO glad you took us with you to the show. I was truly in awe of all your photos and it sounds like it was well worth it, too.

craftimamma said...

Wow Helen, I don't know how you did it but what a wonderful post on an absolutely awesome visit. So many beautiful plants, gardens, ornaments...... I kept thinking 'Oooh that's my favourite' only to see something else competing for number one spot a couple of pics further on. I do think you and I have similar taste in gardens though as I much prefer something a bit wild and natural looking than something more structured. Thank you once again for a post filled with beauty and joy!

Lesley Xx

Diana Taylor said...

Hi Helen,
I've done it again - sat down to try and visit a handful of desks and spent my designated half hour wandering through the flower show - absolutely stunning show and fabulous pictures. So much to take in - I loved the Battlefields display, so very touching. I also loved the huge pineapple fountain, although I don't think it would fit in with my garden!! Thank you for sharing, I've enjoyed every photo!
Diana x

Virginia said...

Wow so much inspiration, I love all the gardens they are amazing. I agree on the Powertex though, you could so get that look in an easier more adaptable way!

The flowers are stunning and i loved the rusty box with the internal mirrors - genius! The rust really stands out doesn't it!

I hope you've had a great week!