RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is the show for real gardeners and growers. i-D’s Gardener-in-Residence Scarlett Cannon reports…
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Absolutely enormous, the show features everything a gardener could ever need. As well as a range of show gardens to admire and inspire, there are several marquees – for flowers, for shopping, for food-growing and for food as well as one dedicated solely and entirely to roses. Outdoor furniture, greenhouses and conservatories, garden sculptures, organisations and initiatives, plant nurseries with a wide and interesting range on offer, seeds, composts, hanging baskets and all manner of other lovely little gorgeous things for the gardener can be purchased here. Once you’ve seen the plants there is a fabulous and varied range of garden shopping, always my favourite kind.
The dreadful British summer weather didn’t bother me. Like a child in a sweetshop, over the course of two very grey, wet and drizzly days, I excitedly gathered a smorgasbord of gardening delights to share with you all. Throughout July I’ll be posting a series of articles revealing the treats I discovered.
Gardens fell into different categories: World Gardens, Show Gardens, Summer Gardens, Conceptual Gardens and Low Cost High Impact Gardens as well as featured installations such as The Edible Bus Stop’s Garden, A Riot of Colour. This garden is an interpretation of the after-effects of the London riots last year. It includes a vandalised, burnt out red telephone box and an overturned black taxicab. Nature’s got involved and is making the damaged space beautiful again. As a supporter of EBS since its beginnings in 2011 I have to admit to being somewhat biased, but this was by far my favourite garden of them all.
Entering the space at Milestone Academy’s Work, Rest & Play, an interactive horticultural therapy garden “designed as an outdoor environment for people with disabilities of any age, including profound, severe and complex needs”, was a very moving and uplifting experience. I especially liked their fruit and vegetable walls. Preserving the Community appealed to the make-do-and-mend, backs to the land, Dig for Victory spirit in me. I enjoyed the plantings at Bridge Over Troubled Waters and at The Badger Beer Garden, and I found peaceful solace at The Poets Retreat. There were two gardens featuring butterflies – Las Mariposas (hopes of a Nicaraguan girl) and Butterfly Jungles Transitions, both very special and beautiful. The British Bee Keepers Association were there promoting the importance of bees, something I am increasingly interested in. The Bee Garden was of course behind fine netting. Possession was an intriguing installation, a large block covered in artificial grass with secretive plantings inside. Not my usual cup of tea but I liked it a lot. You can find out more about all of the gardens at the RHS website.
Coming next… Plant Village and the Floral Marquee.
Text and Photography: Scarlett Cannon
Images from left: Interactive buttons at Work, Rest & Play; The Edible Bus Stop’s ‘A Riot of Colour’ – designer Will Sandy and EBS founder Mak Gilchrist;’Possession’ Garden; Veggie wall at Work, Rest & Play; The Bee Garden; Bridge Over Troubled Water; Badger Beer Garden; The Poets Retreat; ‘Preserving the Community’; Butterfly Jungles Transitions; Butterflies at Las Mariposas; More butterflies at Las Mariposas.