We were lucky enough to have selected tickets to the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show to give to some brilliant garden writers and enthusiasts last week. It is great to hear from them how they enjoyed the event, what stood out, and which gardens made their mark in the overall highlights.
On Tuesday 3rd July Geoff Wakeling went along to enjoy the attractions. Geoff runs a landscape design company specialising in reinvigorating tired gardens, is a garden writer and a behind the scenes garden expert on various TV shows so when it comes to gardens he knows his stuff!
Despite not being overly impressed by the Discover Jordan garden; ‘I do like hard landscaping within a garden, but I wouldn’t want to reconstruct a temple ruins or something similar in my own backyard’, Geoff really liked The Italian Job and Contemporary Contemplation. These were clear favourites with the judges, too, with the former winning silver gilt and the latter gold – clearly a man of taste! We really loved this garden, too. See our favourites again here.
The Urban Community gardens was another highlight for Geoff; ‘a network of areas to showcase how city regions can utilise planting.’ The danger that the flower pavilion posed to his wallet was overcome by giving in enough to allow himself a souvenir: ‘I was VERY restrained and only bought a chocolate perennial cosmos, though I could have easily had one of everything in the tent.’ It was clearly a popular place to be from a viewing perspective as well as a buying one. Just look at the beautiful surroundings:
Paying a visit to the Hampton Court Grapevine Geoff heard a talk from John Craven; ‘about his time on Countryfile and give a little talk on British wildflowers. It was a great talk about the need for hayfields, and the importance that Countryfile is having on the next generation.’
For more from Geoff, visit his excellent gardening blog.
On Thursday 3rd July Julia Stanley made her way to Hampton Court to photograph the gardens. Julia is a member of the Garden Media Guild and the Professional Garden Photographers Association, and has been published in The English Garden, Shropshire Life Magazine, WI Life magazine among others, so we were really looking forward to seeing her shots from the show! She didn’t disappoint; here are our favourite photographs from her visit:
We’re really pleased that Julia had a good time in the Hampton Court Grapevine: ‘on arrival I hot-footed my way to the Hampton Court Grapevine Theatre, hosted by gardening expert and TV presenter David Domoney. When I arrived David was out and about, interviewing visitors to the show and the results were being beamed back live to the audience in the theatre.’
Inside the #HCgrapevine Photograph by Julia Stanley ©Julia Stanley
Toby Buckland was on stage in the grapevine on that day, giving advice on growing tomatoes; ‘The highlight for me was the appearance of Toby Buckland, gardening celeb and nursery owner. He was talking about growing your own tomatoes and taking questions from the audience – including one from me. Seems the problems I have had with my tomatoes in the past are as a result of erratic feeding. Whoops!’
Julia was also a fan of ‘Contemporary Contemplation’ designed by OneAbode Ltd. Here is a charming image of this award winning garden:
We will be posting more of Julia’s photos on our Flickr and Pinterest pages, and you can also see further pictures on her blog post ‘A First Time Visit to RHS Hampton Flower Show’
On Saturday Matt Haddon went along to view the gardens, also a first time visitor to Hampton Court Flower Show. A regular writer for the Garden Design Journal and Landscape Juice, Matt is a garden designer with a KLC Open Learning Diploma in Garden Design, (with Honours) the RHS Certificate in Horticulture, experience as a Tree Surgeon and a keen planter. With all of those skills this was going to be a real critique of the planting in particular!
Matt on Contemporary Contemplation; ‘Simplicity of green and white planting (Buxus, Hostas, Agapanthus, Stipa tenuissima, Betula utilis and Ferns (Aspenium,Polystichum and Blechnum)) merged with the ipe decking interspersed with white metal steps, to create a restful yet contemporary space and one which was much more about the garden than the concept.’
Photo by Matt Haddon
Matt’s photo of ‘Uprising’ by Daniel Shea
Matt highlighted ‘Uprising’ by Daniel Shea in the Conceptual category ‘which was inspired by the London riots and which showed how clever planting can transform a sparse, concrete-filled space.’ Another
His take on ‘A Compromising Situation’ was that it could have earned a higher prize if the planting towards the back of the garden had been improved: ‘The two levels, the lush planting at the front and the wooden edging to the paving (which complimented the colour of the paving). Sparse planting at the rear of the garden possibly led to the award of Silver Gilt rather than a Gold.’
It is a really delightful garden, and comes across beautifully in Matt’s photo, below.
Photo by Matt Haddon ‘’A Compromising Situation’ Garden
For more on the other gardens that caught his eye, see Matt’s full write up on landscape juice.
Overall it seems that The Italian Job, and Contemporary Contemplation were the most frequently admired- did you go to the show? Which gardens stood out for you?
We are still running our prize draw to win a garden makeover worth £10,000 from David Domoney so if you’d like a chance to win enter on our Hampton Court Grapevine Page.