We thoroughly enjoyed a trip to the Hampton Court Flower Show today.
An easy journey by train was followed by a lunch treat with guests at The Allium Restaurant, which turned out to be a really refreshing surprise. So do treat yourselves next year if you plan to go.
Hampton Court is an altogether less claustrophobic experience to Chelsea but there is more walking, so be prepared for this with a decent pair of shoes etc. The show includes all the gardens but also plenty of commercial stands so for industry pundits like us it is interesting to see all the latest equipment and accessories you can incorporate into a new garden design.
I have to say Twig’s Russian Museum Garden was a masterpiece. Designed by Heather Appleton of fame from last year’s Silver at Chelsea for local firm Chilstone, she was helped by arts student Harry Hurlock. This year their design mimics the St Petersburg skyline using a very imaginative treatment of steel trellising, topiary and giant Russian Dolls with a moat to create a surreal but very alive impression.
I’d love to create something as imaginative as this! It achieved a very good Silver Gilt. I would have given it a Gold Plus!
No 2 for me was ” Bridge Over Troubled Water”. A simple concept featuring a bridge over a shallow lake of water. All the planting ( absolutely stunning planting) concentrated on the bridge. The bridge ( I think ) is a metaphor for the sponsor, who are OAB. They focus on helping people with Over Active Bladders. So a very good awareness campaign for them. It reminded me of a garden I was involved with promoting a number of years ago at The Hampton Court Flower Show. This was for The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability. They are an amazing outfit. They treat people with profound brain injury, in many cases people who have “locked-in syndrome” where they have suffered a stroke or severe brain injury and as a result gone into a coma. The hospital uses occupational therapy to help create a cognitive response from the patient so that communication can happen and a form of recuperation can be affected. We helped create the identity and promote a medieval apothecary’s garden at the show, then came up with idea that this could be moved to the Hospital to become part of the patient’s therapy. I think our client won a Silver at the time, but “Bridge over Troubled Water” won best in show, so well done!
Finally “OneAbode’s” Contemporary Contemplation Garden was a stunner! On last count I think there were only 8 plants in the garden and they were all green and white, but it was a masterpiece of simple design, wit and clever use of space. The agapanthus were simply wonderful. I’ve got to get some of this white variety. The combination with hostas, ferns, buxus, grasses and silver birches, all set against a hardwood decked sunken amphitheatre looked very dramatic. They deserved to get their Gold!
Other pictures from the show you may like to enjoy……….
We’ll definitely be going again next year!
Tim Sykes, Gardenproud – 4/7/12