A few weekends ago, I popped along to the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, taking place just a stone's throw away from the imposing Tudor Palace on the banks of the River Thames. With my new found penchant for gardening, I eagerly booked some tickets to take advantage of the countless stalls and demonstrations on offer, and needless to say I came away with my arms full of new plants and plenty of inspiration for improving my outdoor space. It was lovely to take in such a diverse range of gardens, and encounter lots of new plants which provided such beautiful surroundings on a fantastically sunny day:
First up- the conceptual gardens. Located a short walk away from the main entrance, this series of spaces was themed around each of the seven deadly sins. The oversized, pop art inspired gluttony garden really caught my eye with an array of interesting planting, and it was really intriguing to see how each concept had been interpreted by the individual designers. Following through from this were show gardens, offering a more sedate and traditional approach. Amongst my favourites here were the Macmillan Garden and the NSPCC space- designs which were very personal, emotive and really served as a reminder of the power of the garden as a place of sanctuary.
Next up, the Rose Tent. At first a pretty overwhelming prospect, this area was a wonderful riot of colour, with plenty of eye catching displays all inspired by the circus theme. Not only was it lovely to take in this space as a whole, but it was great to walk around from stall to stall, picking up a few new favourites and discovering some beautifully unusual blooms. The 2015 Rose of the Year was also on display here, carpeting the tent in an ombre sea of pale pink, pastel peach and sherbert lemon- 'For Your Eyes Only' will be available to purchase next year, and I'm already plotting where to pot mine!
After a pit-stop for lunch, it was time to brave the tent which was home to the plant sellers- something which sounds easy enough but which proved pretty tough going on what (then!) was the hottest day of the year so far. I was overwhelmed by orchids, besotted with begonias and transported to hydrangea heaven, and had to exercise some serious spending restraint when faced with such a stunning selection of pieces for sale. Next time I'm bringing a trolly with me! See you in 2015 Hampton Court!
Have you ever been to a flower show?
(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)