A Taste of Hampton Court Flower Show. 2015

Hampton Court Flower Show is a much more leisurely affair than Chelsea but just as exhausting, specially with the temperatures we experienced last week. But it is in such a beautiful setting. What could be more romantic than a 500 year old Palace?
IMG_1890IMG_2034The big marquee is my favourite part, specially as we  always start  off there and so we are still quite fresh.

Here are some highlights.


We then went out into the searing heat to look at some show gardens. My favourites were blue and white which were a beautifully cooling sight on such a hot day. The Well Being of Women won a Silver Gilt award. I love that white Sanguisorba.


Another blue garden was the Urban Healing Garden. It was a simple design but very effective.


I loved the City Twitchers Garden designed by Sarah Keyser.The planting is mainly white and who can resist a white garden? The seat is a nest of woven willow and it has holes which you can use to spy on your birds.
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The Macmillan Legacy garden  designed by Anne Marie Powell had a beautiful pod to sit in. The frame is made of metal but it is covered in plants. Highlights here were the chamomile lawn and the lovely planting of Verbascum ‘Cotswold Beauty’ and ‘Astrantia’ and are the orange flowers Cosmos?
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The formal Victorian garden ‘A Growing Obsession’ was inspired by the Victorian writer, Jane Loudon’s book ‘Gardening for Ladies.’ The garden features carpet bedding so it is out of tune with today’s taste, but nevertheless very elegant.
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I liked the exuberant planting in the Turkish Ministry of Culture’s Garden of Paradise. This garden won the best World Garden award.
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We made quick dash into the stifling rose marquee. I always like to look at David Austin’s display.
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The theme for the conceptual gardens this year was ‘Sensations’. I didn’t think much to this one called Ready, Aim, Flower.
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The best Conceptual Garden Award was won by the garden Equilibrium which was inspired by a shingle beach on the Sussex coast. The posts are old weathered groynes. The restrained planting uses plants found growing on the coast.
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Best in Show was won by Hadlow College with their garden, The Green Seam. The idea is based on the regeneration of a disused coal mine in Kent. I love the idea of it. The one criticism I would make that the planting, though just right for a disused coal mine, is not varied and interesting enough for a prestigious garden show like Hampton Court.


By the time we had been here 9 hours, I was very hot and very, very tired and it fact I was beginning to feel like this chap sitting on the bench.
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Still it was a lovely day.

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41 Responses to A Taste of Hampton Court Flower Show. 2015

  1. mattb325 says:

    It looks like a wonderful day out. I don’t remember London every being so cloudless! I do like that all-white garden; it looks very restful on a hot day

    • Chloris says:

      London on a hot day is stifling. The white garden was my favourite. I used to have one and it is actually difficult to do really well. I was never quite satisfied with mine.

  2. pbmgarden says:

    Wow, that’s some front yard. I agree the white garden is irresistible.

  3. Kris P says:

    The UK does have the very best garden shows. I’d seen the Urban Healing Garden on another blog and loved it but I think I like the City Twitchers Garden even more – how I wouldn’t love to have a woven willow nest to rest in when working in the garden.

    • Chloris says:

      Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows are very special. I do wish they weren’ t so crowded though. The Twitchers Garden was beautiful and yes, how lovely to have a woven nest.

  4. Gina says:

    Thank you for the photo show. I couldn’t get there this year although I enjoyed seeing it on the TV. I’m off to Tatton Park at the end of the month, that’s a show I love as it’s even more relaxed than Hampton Court

    • Chloris says:

      I’ ve never been to Tatton Park Show but I always wanted to. It is such a long way from here. I hope you will write a post and show us some pictures.

  5. I went on Saturday and after such a hot week I was worried that everything would look bedraggled, but it was fine. I like your highlights and agree about the gun garden and Green Seam. My favourite was the Equilibrium Concept garden. It was just so evocative and balanced!

    • Chloris says:

      I was wondering how they would keep everything fresh – looking in the intense heat. Did you take any photos? I would love to see some more. Really it needs a couple of days to do it justice. The last few hours were wasted for me, as I was so hot and tired. I would love to have done it in 2 shorter days.

      • I’ve just posted …. I was in two minds about it given other coverage. We did miss some of the gardens, but you are right that it would take much longer to see it all.

  6. Christina says:

    I do think that the Hampton Court Show has improved a lot over the years. I remember going on a very hot day, as you describe, many years ago. I’d love to go again but I’m not sure what would be worse, a hot day like this year or torrential rain and all that mud! Glad you had a good time despite the heat.

  7. Flighty says:

    A most enjoyable post, and wonderful pictures.
    I enjoyed my visits to Hampton Court far more than Chelsea, but wouldn’t have last week when it was way too hot for me.
    I think that garden with the gun was in poor taste and should not have been accepted by the RHS.
    xx

    • Chloris says:

      I agree about that gun. Awful. I think in the conceptual gardens designers are often trying to come up with something original or maybe something to shock.

  8. AnnetteM says:

    Lovely post. I really enjoyed the top gallery and have resolved to buy some bright green Heucheras and some more Astrantias! I love the white garden – I tried to lighten up a dark corner with white plants, but I think they mostly prefer full sun and they are not doing too well.

    • Chloris says:

      I love Heucheras and Astrantias. I have never had any luck growing Astrantias from seed which is annoying as they look lovely growing en masse.
      I think white flowers in Summer are lovely, specially at dusk.

      • AnnetteM says:

        That is worth knowing. I have seen some paler (but not white) ones growing in my friend’s garden and hope to do a swap with some of my darker ones. I think they will go very well together. Mine are growing in rather a sunny spot which is not ideal for them, but it says a lot about our climate here that they are doing well and spreading! I already bought a lovely fresh green Heuchera!

  9. Meriel Murdock, Co. Wicklow, Ireland says:

    Great to see such good pics when one can’t get there! I hope to some day though!

  10. Amazing what can be done with a small space. I agree about the gun garden..think those are Bright Lights Cosmos above?

  11. Tina says:

    The gun garden seems like something I’d see here in Texas…:). Interesting post, thanks for sharing. That white garden is stunning.

  12. The last time I was at the Hampton Court Show, it had rained for days and I was in mud up to my ankles. The group had a visit to the palace in the afternoon, so I ended up purchasing a pair of over-priced rubber boots and threw my ruined shoes away. I still chuckle every time I think about touring the palace in a pair of red boots with dog paws on them.

    HC is a great show and July is a much better time for garden travelers than May, but everyone wants to go to Chelsea at least once. Did you go home with a car full of plants and plenty of extras? I would love to have one of those willow pods for my back garden.

    • Chloris says:

      Oh lovely, red boots with dog paws is not how I imagine you Marian. You must have been desperate.
      I did end up going home with quite a lot of plants. I have no willpower at all.

  13. Debra says:

    Wonderful flowers. Love that white garden. I agree with you about the heat: when it gets hot liek this I sometimes feel just like that skeleton. Too funny. I have to say the Ready, Set, Flower thing is offensive on about 500 levels. Can the image of a gun ever be seen as playful in these times? Even the title fails. What our natural and human worlds need is a whole lot less coercion. I have to wonder what the artist was thinking …

  14. homeslip says:

    Really good to read your review, but you must have roasted last week and you’re right there is always too much to see. I used to live in Hampton when the flower show first started 25 years ago and in those days I was a rower and we used to row from Teddington Lock to Hampton Court and back again for our training. I recall there was a bit of a carnival atmosphere on the river for the duration of the show. Despite being fairly local and a RHS member I’ve been only once and that was in 2006, another hot year. I remember the water gardens very well as I discovered Lilies Water Garden Nursery wherevI bought my water plants for my new pond. The rose tent was magical too but everything else passed me by I think.

  15. snowbird says:

    Having never been, this was a real treat for me! I love blue and white gardens and really enjoyed the healing garden, how calming!
    Gosh…..isn’t that woven willow nest seat splendid? I really want one of those!
    Goodness, I do admire your tenacity spending all that time i the heat, I would have wilted!
    Soooooo…that’s were my missing skeleton is!!! Y’see….there is a demand for such marvelous….erm….weird garden art! Wish Dougy was wrought iron!xxx

  16. Chloris says:

    Oh but it wasn’ t my tenacity that kept me there so long. It was my daughter’ s. I couldn’ t tear her away. Four hours would have been more than enough for me.
    Yes, a wrought iron skeleton adds a certain something to the garden. If you like a memento mori sitting on the bench mocking you when you are exhausted, then wrought iron skeletons are just the thing. What’ s wrong with a jolly little gnome?

  17. Splendid, paradisiac except the last picture 🙂

  18. Excellent tour. You had me almost swooning with all that flower power in that first part. Delighted to see our American Lady Slippers at Hampton Court. As for the conceptual gardens, though, they are generally not my cup of tea. The orange flowers do look like Cosmos, maybe C. sulphureus?

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Jason. I am crazy about those orchids, I already have 3 but I couldn’ t resist buying another whilst I was there.
      I think you are right, it is Cosmos sulphureus.

  19. Peter/Outlaw says:

    So much to enjoy! Sorry about the heat, it can really drain the energy and lessen the enjoyment of the day. I especially loved the woven willow seat. Must feel very nest like. Having played King Henry VIII for six years with a local chorale’s Christmas madrigal feast, I always love seeing “my” palace!

  20. Chloris says:

    I love that seat too. So you are Henry viii? Wonderful. Do you dress up for the part?

  21. I made my first visit to Chelsea this year. I am pretty sure I could only manage one garden show a year! Loved Chelsea far more than I expected to. I thought it would have very little relevance to my garden which is high and wild and teeters on the edge of being a field but I was wrong! I too love the white garden, although I have never had one as I just couldn’t cope with the restraint, and the urban healing garden. I think I have probably had a better time reading your blog than I would have done trailing about in the heat and crowds!

  22. Annette says:

    I’ve just planted a similar Sanguisorba in my new border this spring called ‘Stand up comedian’ which is flowering beautifully. Like the pod to sit in, must feel very private. The orange planting looks wild and stunning. It’s funny that although I love orange, I don’t have much of it in the garden. I should reconsider perhaps? Thanks for the tour – you must have had a great day out.

  23. Cathy says:

    Thanks for this taster, Liz. The inevitable tiredness is one of the things that puts me off the big shows – and the parking charges at the NEC for Gardeners World Live!

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