I was lucky enough to visit this show on press day this year, the weather was hot and I felt sorry for some of the exhibitors having to cope with the heat that stayed for the duration of the show, but I expect better than rain.
The water fountains whilst crossing from one side to the other of the show at least created a cooling, tranquil atmosphere as did the windmill made from thatch and dried flower heads of helicrysum.
A section of the gardens had the theme summer garden, these were of various themes and all colourful. My favourite was Summer Garden ‘Willow Pattern’, which showed off all the characteristics of the blue and white willow pattern crockery. It also featured water, a bridge and a place to sit accompanied by some attractive plantings of blue and white flowers.
The Summer garden ‘I have a dream’ also had a cooling planting choice of predominantly white flowers, including white foxgloves, white hydrangea and contrasting hostas and other variegated foliage plants.
Another interesting section was the ‘Low Cost High Impact’ gardens especially the one called ‘Mid-Century Modern’ – this was vibrant with a planting combination including many orange and peach shades of geum, kniphofia and achillea.
Moving into the floral marquee there were some wonderful displays from regular exhibitors Dibley’s with their streptocarpus, Blackmore & Langdon with begonias & delphiniums, along with some displays of more unusual species, like the spectacular display of disa orchids.
Hampshire carnivorous showed off some of the best sarracenia and other insect eating plants I have ever seen.
Shows are always good to show off new or rarely seen plants and lychnis coronaria ‘Gardeners’ World’ really caught my eye with its silver foliage and deep magenta double flowers.
On Harvey’s Garden Plants there was an interesting planting combination of trifolium ochroleucon with its plumes of white flowers set against the silver/blue foliage and cones of eryngium alpinum and a burgundy penstemon.
Hampton Court show always encourages children and the scarecrow competition seems to get better each year. This year there was also a schools competition for growing a garvinea (hardy gerbera). This was put together with The Sun Newspaper, Thompson & Morgan and the garvinea breeder from Holland, who brought over some large plants and his old VW van, which were both creating a lot of interest.
The Rose marquee had some wonderful displays of traditional roses but also included displays made with flowers like this dress made of rose blooms. Another had cakes all decorated in flowers.
Finally you never know what you may bump into at these shows, I turned one corner and I was confronted by the Loch Ness monster and another had Lady Godiva riding a horse. All made from a framework of wires and carpet bedding of various coloured sempervivum.
Filled with inspiration I travelled home thinking of how I could incorporate some of these ideas into my own garden.