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Saturday March 06 , 2021

Blue Daisy Blog

Blue Daisy blog written by Nicki Jackson & Jules Clark - for news, views, garden design, gardening and plant observations and thoughts.

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2012 - a first-timer's view!

Posted by on in Garden Visits

hamptoncourt-10Had a lovely day at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show at the weekend.  It was my first time there and first impressions were good.  Thankfully they stayed good too.  If you've never been the site itself is impressive... (well, if it was good enough for Henry VIII...) and as you approach the flower show you are allowed glimpses of Hampton Court Palace and some of its gardens - it definitely looks worth a visit in its own right. 

The show ground feels immense - we were there all day and we still felt that we hadn't covered everything but by the time of our departure our senses were well and truly saturated.  Around every corner there was something to grab our attention and to say that we all regressed to 'kids in a candy store' mode it will probably give you an idea of our response!  Here are some of our favourite bits... (click on the thumbnail images for a larger view!)

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Charlecote Park

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houseviewLast weekend I visited Charlecote Park a National Trust property in Warwickshire.  The estate is said to have been in the ‘Lucy’ family since the 13th Century but the house was completed in 1558.  The house itself has been ‘dressed’ as it would have been in the Victorian times and there really is a lot to see and experience.   When we first went into the house there was a talk that had begun about clothes ladies wore in that era and even how items became fashionable back in Tudor times when Elizabeth I reigned.  All the rooms were amazing from the attention to detail in carvings to the opulence of the lifestyle, you could really imagine what life for the aristocracy was like back then.  It was just like walking onto the set of a historical drama!

The library was just stunning it is said to be one of the top three libraries cared for by the National Trust – I just wanted to get a horticultural book out and sit, read and be lost in time!  There were staff or volunteers on hand in most rooms answering questions and telling quirky tales to bring it alive.

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Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew

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kewIt may sound like I'm jet setting off all over the place now that my course has finished but I have been treated to a few niceties to celebrate being a fully qualified garden designer and a visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew was just what was needed!  I've been before many years ago and remembered how much I enjoyed it and the inspiration I got from the different areas within the gardens.  We spent a whole day there and for me that wasn't enough time, I think we were one of the last through the gates as they were closing at 6.30pm!

We entered through the main gate as there are a few different entrances and passed Kew Palace which was once the family home of George III, it had a formal garden at the rear and a flower and vegetable garden to the side.  Parterres and Knot Gardens have their place and whilst they aren't a favourite of mine I do appreciate them and the history of them.  I particularly liked this combination for contrast of both form and colour.

Tagged in: Kew Gardens
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A visit to Highgrove

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A few weeks ago we went on our last college trip to Highgrove home of HRH Prince Charles. We were very lucky to go as one of the people on my course works there and used one of his allocated two visits a year for a mini-bus full of us students!  I hear that there is a two year waiting list for a two hour tour so we were very lucky to get access.  Our guide, our fellow student, took us around the grounds after we had got through security and ensured our cameras were left on the mini-bus.  I was disappointed that I couldn't take photos, it's something that you can look back on and remember your own personal experience. Instead we can buy his book or look at the official website (that link is at the end for you if this has whetted your appetite!).

Tagged in: Highgrove
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Privately Owned Gardens

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We visited two very different gardens recently on a college outing near to the village of Fladbury in Worcestershire.

The first garden was quite contemporary, we were met by the garden designer who chatted about her brief and then let us wander around.  It was in almost 4 sections or rooms, the first was mainly a lawn area we understand is used for entertaining, the second was a contemporary prairie type planted room with areas to sit and relax.  The third section was laid to lawn with a small water feature and the fourth section was a wildflower meadow which sadly, we had missed due to the time of year.  The second area was by far my favourite it had lots of tall grasses.

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