Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

This week I had the joy of attending the RHS’s Hampton Court Palace Garden Show; a delectable treat of shopping and show gardens. I’ve been once before and perhaps was slightly disappointed, probably due to the lack of show gardens. However, this was partly because I’m a huge fan of the Chelsea Flower Show and all it has to offer, and was comparing the two shows alongside each other. However, in retrospect this is highly unfair because the two are nothing alike. Chelsea is like the trendy bar in town, where you have to be seen, you have to visit, but where you really can’t afford to buy more than one drink. Hampton however is the opposite; it’s the quiet countryside pub where the food is divine, where you spend time watching the world drift by and whilst just as chic, doesn’t have the frenzied ‘posh’ pace that Chelsea does.

There seemed to be a predominant colour at Hampton this year; purple. Purple is of course a fantastic garden colour which is a brilliant contrast plant and therefore its unsurprising that it makes itself known year after year. However, it’s nice to see something breaking with the general trend and the LOROS Hospice Garden of Light and Reflection, whist still utilising some purple, also pushed vibrant pinks and oranges to stunning effect.

Vibrant oranges and pinks in the Garden of Light and Reflection

As a lover of the cottage garden effect and the slight rambling nature than such gardens taken on I was blown away by the Stockman’s Retreat Garden, which combined the rustic stone cottage complete with green roof alongside an incredible planting structure.

Incredible planting in the Stockman’s Retreat Garden

Meanwhile, there were some pretty innovative ideas too. ‘Landscaped Obscured’ is a mushroom garden planted underground with views by way of mirrored turrets so you can see the fungi. The WWF garden included a huge plughole; symbolising the precious commodity of water. Meanwhile, the Astellas Pharma Ltd – “A Matter of Urgency” Campaign garden also highlighted the importance of water and had a very cool ‘floating’ tap, whilst Cube Lighting’s ‘night garden’ was pretty inspired and is definitely worth a walk through.

‘A Matter of Urgency’ incorporates this ‘floating’ tap

As always, there is PLENTY of opportunity to buy plants, though whilst there are dozens of different nursery stands, much of the flora is similar. Achillea’s, grasses, dahlias, clematis, hostas…the list goes on, and if you’re out to get some great specimens you’re in for a treat. Unfortunately, being a plant hoarder, I already have many of the varieties on offer though I did buy my third sarracenia and a deep mauve coloured knautia.  And even though the rain made its presence known, Hampton Court was a thoroughly enjoyable day out and, if you can, I encourage you to go.

More pictures at the Facebook Page.

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I'm Geoff, and I'm a plant hoarder.

Like magpies collect bright shiny things, I can't resist plants. An exquisite flower, soft ferny foliage or a beautiful majestic tree - I love them all!

Here, I'll indulge in all things flora and share my passion. Join me as I develop my garden and hoard more plants without apology.