RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2017

long water, framed, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

 

For those who love tennis and gardens, the south west London / Surrey border is the place to be at the beginning of July in 2017.

 

 

Wimbledon and RHS Hampton Court are within ball hitting distance of each other. Well, maybe not quite that close, but close enough.

 

 

Although you would find it difficult to fit the two into one day, watching tennis on the centre court one day and visiting the Flower Show the next would be a treat for many people visiting the capital.

So, what’s on offer in 2017? Gardens of course…

 

Garden categories

  • Show Gardens
  • Conceptual Gardens
  • World Gardens
  • Gardens for a Changing World – a new category
  • Flower and Vegetable Boxes

charleston garden, fountain, palms, world gardens, great gardens of the USA, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

Plants and Flowers

For florists, and those who love flowers; includes the

  • Floral Marquee
  • Festival of Roses
  • Floral Design Studio

 

You can also visit the Butterfly Dome, see the scarecrows, admire views of the Long Water. Then for those who like their retail therapy, there are

  • Trade Stands – some of the displays are impressive; they get judged too
  • Plant Village – yes you can squeeze in another choice speciman (I couldnt resist buying some unusual herbs)
  • Country Living marquee

 

risotto in a pot, , rhs kitchen garden, show gardens, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

And there are plenty of demonstrations in the cookery theatre – grow it and eat it! Family activities on the weekend and music from the bandstand to enjoy whilst you eat your lunch.

Too much to fit into one blog! So let’s head for a round-up of what took our eye: design and planting ideas for your garden from the gardens at RHS Hampton 2017.

 

Show Gardens

The biggies. The gardens that get the prime time TV coverage. W’ve tried to find a different angle for you…

Journey through life garden sang with colour – just imagine this contrast on a snowy day on the north of Scotland.

journey of life garden, Show gardens, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

journey of life garden, Show gardens, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

 

a different approach – the Colour Box garden

colour box garden, Show gardens, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

 

always check round the back…

at Southend

artwork, southend on sea gardens, Show gardens, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

and on a Viking cruise

verbena, allium, viking cruises world of discovery garden, Show gardens, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

 

 

birds & roses, blind veterans uk garden, Show gardens, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

birdsong and scented roses in the Blind Veterans garden; plus entwining wicker work sculptures – a feast for the senses

blind veterans uk garden, Show gardens, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

Contrasting planting with planting; and planting with structures – always adds interest and depth to a garden. Try soft flowers and spiky bracts or featherey grasses with industrial materials

on the edge garden, Show gardens, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

 

Playtime! Not a teddy bears’ picnic at the beach, but a walk on the wild side with swings, treehouse, stream – and lots of scope for adventurous children.

teddy bear, southend on sea gardens, Show gardens, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

childrens wild garden, swing, zoflora and cauldwell, Show gardens, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

childrens wild garden, tree house, zoflora and cauldwell, Show gardens, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

 

RHS Kitchen Garden

So it seems almost mundane to consider the excellent RHS kitchen garden, filled with edible plants (my kind of garden!) As you probably know, edible gardens figure large in both my personal and professional life as a garden designer. There was plenty for me to get excited about. I really liked the fact that most of the ideas were easily adaptable for those with large kitchen gardens and those with small spaces – even a balcony.

 

seating, raised bed, herbs, dahlia, rhs kitchen garden, show gardens, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

built in seating and raised bed

 

edible vertical wall, rhs kitchen garden, show gardens, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

edible vertical wall

bay tree and thymes, rhs kitchen garden, show gardens, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

 

Conceptual Gardens

The Conceptual Garden category is there to make you think. They definitely generate a lot of discussion. For example: Are they gardens if they don’t have plants in them?  Generally speaking, they do have plants. Nathan and I see this as a creative category; ‘gardens as art’ ; ‘gardens as science’; gardens to make you question something you might not have otherwise thought about. Concept gardens are the taking of an idea or a cause and using a garden to illustrate it. Yes, sometimes they do feel a bit like modern art – you know, without the explanatory board next to the painting its just a red square syndrome. But sometimes, they really, really do what they should – make us question how we treat this planet and the other inhabitants on it, be they vegetable, floral, or animal.

not for sale - tusk garden, shadows, RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2017, London

We felt the ‘Not for Sale’ garden in support of Tusk was outstanding. Did you kow that over 20,000 elephants a year are killed for the ivory of their tusks?

not for sale - tusk garden, skull, RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2017, London

not for sale - tusk garden, nathan, RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2017, London

 

By contrast Kinetica and Elements of Life gardens were very lush…

kinetica, conceptual garden, RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2017, London

 

elements of life garden, RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2017, London

 

 

World Gardens

Horticulture and gardens from Spain and three from the USA

pazo's secret garden, World gardens, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

the Pazo’s secret garden reminded me of Spanish holidays and local vineyards.

pazo's secret garden, vine, World gardens, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

 

Of the three Great Gardens of the USA , the Charleston garden made a real feature of its fountain, perfect for a hot climate, obviously, but a concept which would work well on a sunny patio in the UK too.

charleston garden, pineapple fountain, world gardens, great gardens of the USA, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

lights were central to the Fort Myers garden

beaches of fort myers garden, world gardens, great gardens of the USA, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

loved the seating  in the Oregon garden

oregon garden , world gardens, great gardens of the USA, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

In fact there were some excellent examples of seating being used as a decorative feature as well as a practical element in many of the gardesn. This is a subject I shall return to in another blog.

 

Gardens for a Changing World

A new category for 2017, the RHS describe it as “current thinking about our future gardens”. Quite a broad remit, and one which allows creative and practical solutions.

Dealing with the problem of flooding there was a rural solution, based on the real-life example of Pickering in North Yorkshire. And an urban proposal, for those who would like an ‘ordinary’ looking garden. Working on many urban gardens as we do, creating gardens that function as rain gardens without taking over the needs of the family who use it, is an issue we’re used to and feel strongly about. You won’t catch Plews paving over front gardens with impermeable surfaces and no plants!

streetscape holding back the flood garden , Gardens for a Changing World, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

 

urban rain garden, Gardens for a Changing World, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

 

Contrast was seen in the solutions for greening grey Britain put forward by the Power to make a Difference and London Glades gardens. The former sees wildlife friendly planting taking over from human created devastion, but in a fairly controlled manner. The latter garden is based on forest farming layering techniques and ‘hill culture’ where rottng vegetation gradually creates mounds and hillocks.

london glades garden, Gardens for a Changing World, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

 

The Brownfield Metamorphosis garden encapsulates these elements in an industrial setting; it is the most eye catching of these gardens.

brownfield metamorphosis garden , Gardens for a Changing World, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

brownfield metamorphosis garden , Gardens for a Changing World, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

 

On a different topic the charity Perennial had a journey through life garden with insect friendly and water resilient planting spiralling round.

perennial sanctuary garden, bee,Gardens for a Changing World, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

Flower and Vegetable Boxes

Recycling, celebrating a centenary of a garden society, saving the Elm tree, butterflies and more were the inspiration for these gardens in a box. One or two of these were actually bigger than some urban gardens I’ve seen, proving that it is possible to have a beautiful garden whatever the space available.

 

restful recycling, flower & vegetable boxes, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

 

duet in A majus, elm tree, flower & vegetable boxes, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

butterflies at dawn, flower & vegetable boxes, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

garden on a shoestring, flower & vegetable boxes, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

 

Roses, Scarecrows and more besides…

Too much else to fit in here, so the Festival of Roses will be a blog for you in a couple of weeks. Next week it is of course the How to Grow Gooseberries blog I promised you.

A slightly social conscience angle seems to have come across this year. This probably reflects the effect of the new gardens category; but it also reflects Plews passion for conservation, gardens that work for humans, wildlife and the planet. For example, whilst there was plenty of bee friendly, wildlife friendly planting we didn’t see anything to promote the use of  ‘safe’ pesticides.

Did we have any criticisms? The main one would have to be the lack of drinking water taps.  That’s not just our perspective, but a frequent comment we heard. There were only two, with ridiculously long queues all day.  It’s not only the plants that need watering!

Let’s hope I don’t jinx next year’s weather by asking for more drinking water taps to be provided. Or at the very least, for RHS to sell bottled water at a cheap price.

 

So who did lose their hat in the Long Water Canal?

long water, hat, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

 

Flower Show Perspectives

Free eBooks on Flower Shows for you to download from Plews website.

If you’d like to view previous years at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show this is a convenient and pleasant way to do so! Click here for RHS Hampton Court

 

 

Some other Gardening blogs you may enjoy

Summer Gardens – Questions and Answers
Strawberries and champagne – Grow your own Wimbledon treat
Herbs for Summer Salads
Five Yellow Flowers for Late Summer Gardens

The RHS Hampton Court Flower Show blogs are all still in the Garden Shows category in Plews Potting Shed 

 

beaches of fort myers garden, world gardens, great gardens of the USA, rhs hampton court flower show 2017

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