Hampton Court 2014

On Tuesday Mum and I made our annual RHS Flower show trip and 2014 is a Hampton Court year. Pimms, pretty flowers and rain were the standout features, as usual.

The conceptual gardens were based around the seven deadly sins and my favourite was Wrath – Eruption of unhealed anger:

Conceptual garden - Wrath

Wrath

I also liked Pride and Lust. I always find myself prefering the conceptual gardens that are more garden and less conceptual. I don’t doubt that they can be done well but the curse of the conceptual garden is that they often feature an unpalatable combination of heavy-handed teen-poetry symbolism with gimickry and a sprinkling of pretentious wankery.

There were also turf sculpures. I love the soft green shapes of turf sculpture (though I have to silence the irritatingly practical side of my brain that insists on piping up with ‘well, that’d be a bugger to mow.’)

Turf sculpture

Turf Sculpture by Tony Smith

The ‘Your Garden, Your Budget’ gardens had us saying ‘not my budget, love.’ My previous rant on the subject is here (Got ten grand to spare on a garden?) and applies to this show too as the gardens had similar budgets.

I wouldn’t expect to like the winner from this category if I had read a description; it is pale to the point of iciness, modern looking and clean-edged. However, the designer (Alexandra Froggatt) has succeeded in creating a beautifully calm atmosphere, cool and still.

Peaceful and pale

Peaceful and pale

My favourite show garden was the Jordan’s wildlife garden which only got a silver (one of my conclusions from this show is that  I have no idea how the judges score the gardens). I wanted to walk into it. The textures of wood and straw, the turf which was mostly ‘weeds’ and the colourful beds of flowers to attract the bees and butterflies were very appealing. None of my pics of it are very good though so this will have to do:

Jordan's Wildlife Garden

Jordan’s Wildlife Garden

On the plants front – my next garden will contain this combination seen on the David Austin stand:

Roses 'Summer Song' (orange) and 'LDBraithwaite' (red)

Roses ‘Summer Song’ (orange) and ‘LDBraithwaite’ (red)

This Digitalis featured in several of the gardens and we hunted it out in the floral tent to find out what it is:

Digitalis 'Illumination Pink'

Digitalis ‘Illumination Pink’

And now that I google it I find that it was Plant of the Year at RHS Chelsea. Which goes to show how much attention I’ve been paying to the gardening media over the last few months! Oops.

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