Tuesday, 15 July 2014

My visit to RHS Hampton Court Show

Last Sunday I trekked down to London for the RHS Hampton Court Show.

It was really interesting to see the variety of gardens on display this year. There was a clear theme of meadow gardens. Perhaps that's the brief the RHS set for the competitors. The garden that had this most down to a tee for me was the Jordan's garden which not only featured the meadow flowers mixed with tall grass in seed but also the grains that go into their boxes of cereals. This is a great message and something that is brilliant to educate children/adults with - just after the garden display there were complementary pots of cereal with a dollop of yoghurt - not only beautiful but educational too. See your food growing then eating it!

Other gardens I really liked was The Flintknappers Cottage - A story of Thetford.  It featured flint and products from the area such as hops and other useful plants.

For me, my top favourite garden was this one, pictured here with the recycled metal drums used as plant containers and metal artwork.  There were productive plants like nasturtiums and beans to name but a few.  There was a guy playing a guitar (I think there were several guys who had guitar shifts!).  The garden was called A Space to Connect and Grow.

After the show, you couldn't buy the plants from this space as they were going to dismantal it and set it up in Peterborough at a youth group (by the cathedral I believe if you ever want to track it down).

It wasn't just the edibles in the display that I loved but the thing that was so brilliant for me was the use of the recycled rusty old oil drums with a new life as a plant container.   Brilliant!

This year I didn't find so many gardens that combined veg, herbs, edible ornamentals and pretty ornamentals.  These are my favourites - I love productive gardens. So I was disappointed not to see these.  I would have also liked to see garden displays that would be achievable in a city garden making good use of space with edibles and ornamentals mixed through.  Something I hope they touch on in future years is the use of recycling water such as combining water catchment with clever designs and maybe renewable energy.

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