RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is the show for real gardeners and growers. i-D’s Gardener-in-Residence Scarlett Cannon reports…
Click images to enlarge.
After taking in the show gardens I moved on to the aptly named Plant Village where many nurseries, some of them specialist, treated visitors to a glorious array of plants, all available to purchase and take home there and then. Heavenly!
My favourite displays in this nursery area included a particularly beautiful herb garden planting, a very traditional ensemble of tall uprights including delphiniums and lupins, and a rather exquisite black leaved dahlia named ‘happy wink’ -the perfect flower for i-D perhaps! Dahlias are very under-rated plants in my opinion and this one was a cracker. A good number of the show gardens had featured Poppy ‘ladybird ‘ and the luscious Salvia Microphylla ‘hot lips’ so it was great to see both of these plants available to buy at many of the nurseries, and selling out fast.
Then I moved indoors to the Floral Marquee where colours and smells assaulted me at every turn. The first plants that caught my eye were the orchids at Writhlington School Orchid Project where dense and vibrant colours of the tropics invoked a holiday feeling in me as the rain continued to drizzle away incessantly outside. But cosy under tented cover, I happily swooned over the amazing colours and shapes in many varieties of Streptocarpus, delighted over simple but always effective Dianthus, and enjoyed the interesting combination of bright, strong Lupins together with Dierama and its fairy-like wands. I particularly enjoy natives and natural planting so being able to see a large choice of Achillea (yarrow) varieties on display together was interesting and informative for a gardening gal like me, beautifully planted with Alchemilla (ladies mantle) and a particularly gorgeous purple Salvia Nemerosa ‘caradonna’.
Plants for perfume are also extremely important in my garden. How many varieties of lavender can you exhibit together? Downderry Nursery showed us plenty and the smell was out of this world!
Next time….. Food growing at the show, the Growing for Taste and Great Taste & Artisan Food marquees.
Text and Photography: Scarlett Cannon
From left: Dianthus (pinks) at Rotherview Nursery; Writhlington School Orchid Project; Lavenders at Downderry Nursery; Ladybird poppies at Barton Nurseries; Lupin and Dierama at Westcountry Nurseries; Delphiniums, lupins and other gorgeous flowering perennials at P& K Davis; Black leaved dahlia ‘happy wink’ at Knights Garden Centre; Orchid at Writhlington School Orchid Project; Streptocarpus at Dibleys; Jekka’s Herb Farm; Various Achillea, Nepeta and Salvia at Barnsdale Gardens; Salvia ‘hot lips’ at Glebelands Nursery.