Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Thursday, 10 July 2014

On Show

On Tuesday my friend S and I went to the Hampton Court Flower Show, in my humble (well maybe not that humble) opinion this is possibly the best flower show there is.   Certainly I prefer it to Chelsea the only other major show I have been to.   The setting, the scale, and the overall quality of the exhibits is simply stunning.   Whether professional or amateur all gardeners will find something new, fellow enthusiasts, and many points of interest and beauty.

We left in good time to get to Hampton Court for around 10:00, traffic was surprisingly light until the very last bit, and then I managed to get a little confused and tried to get in the wrong car park.   The man directing traffic spotted that we were in the wrong place and guided us back to where we should have been.   In the process.   Not only was he friendly and helpful, but he made my cup overflow when he called me "Young Lady", I have never been called that before, I knew this was going to be a good day.

It is a sign of the quality of the show that my favorite garden in the show only got a Bronze award, I think the award does not reflect the quality of the design, but some small inequalities in the execution.   Any gardener would be chuffed to pieces to be able to put something together this good, but for an RHS show anything less than perfection is ruthlessly criticized.   Some gardens I loved, some I just didn't get and some were primarily carrying a message

Personally my favorite bit of the show is always the floral marquee.   This is massive, larger than most shows would be altogether, and contains 96 exhibits ranging from Agapanthus to Zonal Pelargoniums, via every type of ornamental plant except roses (roses have their own marquee!)   I had planed to keep my purse in my bag and not buy any plants, but I'm afraid my resolve broke and I got seduced by a pretty face.   A pretty face belonging to Black Eyed Susan, also known as Thunbergia Orange Beauty.   I could probably have bought a similar plant more cheaply from an on-line nursery, but this is one of the joys of Hampton Court is that you can buy direct from the grower, choose your plant while getting all the benefit of their experience and expertise.

I resisted buying any more Cannas but did succumb to the charms of another Dahlia, other than that I was pretty good.   S bought lunch as I had got the tickets, and we enjoyed one of the bands while we ate, in many ways there is almost to much to take it all in, but there are always some overall impressions and trends to notice, use of timber in the show gardens was noticeable, and trending plants seem to be eryngiums (sea holly) and verbena.

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