Monday 20 July 2009

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Over a week ago now, my mother-in-law Sheila and I went to Hampton Court Place flower show. I'd rested my foot for a couple of days so by Saturday it was up to traipsing around. We concentrated on the show gardens - the extensive TV coverage doesn't do them justice as they tend to gloss over the detail and colour combinations which are the most interesting part.
My favourites, at the beginning and end of this post couldn't be more different - very formal and stylised v. naturalistic

This conceptual garden ' It's hard to see' had black dyed woodchips and below the soil surface, green lush planting. The clever use of mirrors gave the illusion that the greenery went underneath the black area. I loved the exuberant combinations of colour and form in the 'Nature to Nurture' Garden The key colours that seemed to pop up everywhere were pinks/purples (in 'Enchanting Escape')
And oranges - in the 'Cooks Garden' (loved the white leaves of the Verbascum too)
And used to great effect in the sustainable garden 'oak tree:lying in state'
The 'Colour from the Garden' display had a living pergola of dye plants and coloured silks woven between silver birches The gardens themed around the six wives of Henry viii were a mixed bag. At different times of day the queens were in their respective gardens. Katherine Howard, as befits a flirt, was showing how her petticoat supported her farthingale and eyeing up mens calves ! I liked the thyme 'quilt'
Both Sheila and I were very taken with these Avocets painted on glass in the 'Pastures Bye' garden - the edges of the glass disappeared so you were just aware of the subtle shapes. We were both tempted by these very reasonably priced iron wall sculptures from Garden Iron
but apart from getting them back on the 65 bus where would we put them? I'm still thinking.....

This sustainable 'Coppice' garden with it's wonderful combination of curves and use of fencing and dry stone walling was a favourite - maybe because we spent some time looking at it having our picnic lunch nearby.
Not so sure about the plants they used to give it a woodland feel - I spent a lot of time eradicating some species from my last garden.
I was very modest in my purchases - a sea holly and Origanum 'Kent Beauty' - I guess called that as its flowers look like hops but it reminded me of Cerinthe which I've tried and failed to grow several times. Perhaps I'll have better luck with this.

1 comment:

Margaret Cooter said...

Thanks for those photos, wish I'd seen the show. The plants sunken into the black woodchips, and use of mirrors, is subtle and exciting, and fits right in with my summer homework, "collections" - my theme is "imagined interiors" and I love any chance to use mirrors!