The show may be over, but it will live on in the memories of all of the visitors and exhibitors for years to come. Here I have put together a collection of show highlights and my favourite gardens.
The QEF Garden for Joy
This unique garden was made with wheelchair-bound people in mind. It has a flat path completing a circle around the garden, and the flowers are growing in planters at just the right height so that people visiting can see all the way across the garden, but also get close enough to the flowers to touch and smell them.
Bubbles appear everywhere in the garden, from the pathway to the copper screens and even in the planting. These bubbles are representative of the way the disabled people and their carers are lifted by the help of QEF, a charity dedicated to helping disabled people, celebrating every achievement and supporting them in more independent living.
The people from the centre had great involvement in the build of this garden, from growing the plants to helping with the construction. By far the best feature is that the garden will not be wasted after the show. It will be rebuilt at the QEF centre for the residents to enjoy.
Prince Edward’s wife Sophie Wessex was one of the guest visitors of the QEF garden.
The Celebrity Speaker and Catwalk in Bloom Theatre
Anglian Home Improvements were sponsors of this theatre that hosted an entertaining fashion show and had some brilliant celebrity speakers.
The fashion show had different themes, from a range of wedding outfits to the best in Summer-wear and even a range of red carpet outfits that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt would be proud to wear.
There were also celebrity speakers on at the theatre during the week discussing gardening, their lives and new books. Celebrities included David Domoney, Kate Humble, Bill Oddie, Tim Wannacott, John Craven, Linda Barker and David Domoney. I watched Kate Humble give her first talk of the day and found her to be very engaging and easy to connect with. You felt her passion towards the end as she was discussing her life and her new book, Humble by Nature, highlighting how we shouldn’t be afraid to try something new and get our hands dirty, just as she has done.
Vestra Wealth’s Jardin du Gourmet
I loved this garden made by Vestra Wealth as it was the ideal garden for parties. It had a kitchen area complete with a huge barbeque, dining area for guests, and a stream with shrubbery to one side. The garden even had a little secluded area for piece and tranquility with the sound of trickling water.
The featured plants included salad leaves, herbs, vegetables and fruit trees, promoting growing your own and showing how it can be an attractive hobby.
RHS Butterfly Dome with Eden
Whether you have an interest in insects or not, the Butterfly Dome was a fantastic part of this year’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The Dome was truly a spectacle for the eyes, with giant colourful and patterned butterflies hovering around the room feeding on nectar of plants and fruit. They were even getting up close and personal with some people, landing on them to say ‘Hello’.
The butterflies were of different shapes and sizes, with the Blue Morpho and Owl butterflies standing out from the crowd. The Dome was made to celebrate the launch of the new Eden Project Rainforest Aerial Walkway, giving us a taster of what to expect when visiting the Cornwall based domes.
I loved this place and am planning on going to the Eden Project to see their exhibit of 3,000 tropical butterflies.
The Ecover Garden
This garden won the Best Show Garden award for its quirky, colourful design. It was designed by Matthew Childs and built by NealeRichards Ltd, inspired by the principle that ‘water is life’. Ecover wanted to highlight how our watery environments are at risk from pollution, waste plastic and other toxins.
The Ecover garden definitely captures the eye and the imagination by using recycled bottle caps and handles, as well as vibrant flowers to match the monolithic walls and strips of recycled plastic.
The Ecover garden demonstrated how they are striving to help create sustainable lifestyles for us all with their recycled product. They only used plant-based ingredients and recycled products to create this garden and continue this throughout practice their business.
Well done for winning this prestigious gardening award.
This was another garden that grabbed our attention with its bright, bold design using old fridges! The conceptual garden was based on a sea of glass with stacked fridges used as building blocks and planters.
Tip of the Iceberg was made to highlight how resource restrained our world is and how we could reuse items that are normally just thrown away. The flowers were a vibrant range of dainty blooms, chilling in their arctic mountain of white refrigerators.
It was a very striking garden and in the Summer Sun it reflected light into every direction from the glass ground and shimmering fridges.
There were many, many more highlights from the show to talk about. For more stories about this year’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, have a look in our Home and Garden section of the blog.