A Hot day out at The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018
After a longer than it should have been car journey we were finally at RHS Hampton Court, my first time driving all that way did nothing to dampen mine and my co-pilots enthusiasm for the day ahead.
I found that this years show was a mixed bag, some stunning plants, bazaar installations, thought-provoking displays and pointless attempts.
As soon as we were though the gate we were met with this sight, These two horrors were part of the Schools Scarecrow competition were by local school children were challenged to create a scarecrow with the theme ‘You are what you eat’. It ponders the question what on earth the children eat to come up with these ideas.
We decided to conquer the Floral Marquee first amid concerns it would be too hot later in the day. It struck me just how many Hosta nurseries there were in attendance, I counted at least five and many were displaying mini Hostas which I think are becoming more popular.
There was a lovely display of Pelargoniums by Fibrex, which won a well deserved Gold Medal, I really liked the Glass Lolly Pops on the Meadowgate Grass Nursery stand, and I spent ages ogling the various Sarracenias on display.
I really liked the Dicentra wire sculptures on the Daisy Roots stand, and I also saw many Senecio Angel Wings plant dotted about the show, either used on show gardens, or used in the floral marquee. I think it needs to grow on me a bit more before I am tempted to buy one.
We paid a visit to the Festival of Roses marquee in-order to have a good sniff. A stripey flowered rose really caught my eye, a bit of a marmite flower, but very striking all the same. Rosa Brush Strokes from Eastcroft Roses.
I really liked the paint job on the RHS Grow Your Own Garden with Raymond Blanc Gardening School, sun-loving herbs were grown at easy picking height.
Of the many show gardens spread throughout the site I particularly liked the Brilliance in Bloom garden designed by Charlie Bloom.
The garden is an example of a design on a tight budget, there was a colourful mosaic set into the floor, a nice water feature and impressive swirly sculptures set in the front corners like goalposts. Although only awarded a silver medal, I liked this garden as it was simple in concept, colourful and not over fancy.
I also really liked with the Iconic Horticulture heroes Feature Garden designed by Piet Ouldof.
Designed in his usual style of wafts of plants, a mixture of Achillea, mauve Lythrum, and tall pink Echinacea under planted with blue sea holly. Grasses soften the planting and add movement as they sway in the breeze. The plants used in this garden will be recycled and relocated to RHS Garden Wisley after the show.
Whilst looking at this garden a large group of school children wandered over to look and started squealing with excitement after spotting quite a large fat bumblebee bouncing from flower to flower. It was almost as if they had spotted a Unicorn.
A quite striking garden was the Children with Cancer UK Garden Mr designed by Emma Reed.
The theme is a split hill and house featuring Mr Men illustrations, with one side representing happy and the other worry. There are feelings of happiness with shades of yellow and orange and shades of blue and purple symbolise feelings of worry. This garden looked a lot of fun, if rather unpractical.
There were several feature gardens within the show, and one is wanted to see in particular was the River of Flowers, thousands of Verbena bonariensis ‘Buenos Aires’ creating a river effect that can be walked though.
I think upon reflection it looked more impressive from afar than up close.
But in all I think my star find of the show, the one thing that really impressed me, out of everything was a stunning new plant introduction from Hardy’s Plants, a new Crocosmia called ‘Firestars Scorchio’.
A very aptly named plant for such a hot day. This new Crocosmia has been developed by Paul Lewis, an amateur plant breeder who is specialising in Crocosmia on the Isle of Wight.
I’m already looking forward to next year. Roll on 2019, but a little cooler please.