Visiting Hampton Court Flower Show
Yesterday’s visit to the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show was great fun. After seeing some of the crowds and queues at Chelsea Flower Show on TV I was prepared for a bit of a jostling around the gardens and long waits for a decent view – neither of these happened! We got there about half an hour before the gates opened to wait in a short queue and I really appreciated having made the effort, although it didn’t get as bad as I expected the show gardens soon got busier and it was nice to have looked around in the initial peace. Particularly for the more tranquil gardens like the “Try this at home” garden.
It’s difficult to decide on favourites as each garden is different, but I was surprised again (after Bluespruce’s colourful conifers) at how much I liked the conifer garden which was light and interesting with many different shapes; a far cry from my impression of conifers as tall dark fences!
The small gardens were really impressive and I think my favourite was “The Willow Pattern Plot” for its curves.
The Rainbow Trust had a very bright and apt design in their “Smile Garden”.
They all made me realize how much could be done in such a small space.
Hampton Court has a real festival feel to it, complete with Glastonbury style mud :)
There were two band stands with live music and plenty of people sat enjoying a drink, opening their umbrellas when the odd shower arrived. A couple of the gardens were giving away small tipples and people were stopping to enjoy a drop of sherry or red wine – very decadent at 10 in the morning and adding to the festival atmosphere.
I really enjoyed my visit to Hampton Court and would love to go again next year. Yes, the food is expensive and there are lots of retailers, but there’s more to it than just the show gardens. It has a great atmosphere and there’s plenty to see as you walk round, including a marquee with plant collections. We sat outside for a while at the end of the day and most people leaving were weighed down with new plants they’d bought at the show, obviously inspired by the fantastic gardens inside.
- 5 Jul, 2007
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