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Monday April 19 , 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!

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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!)

There were some stunning show gardens.  Gold medal winner and Best in Show was Bridge over Troubled Water and I absolutely loved the planting scheme in this garden.  It was a fairly breezy day when we were there and the whole bridge just seemed to be alive.  A beautifully executed design highlighting a distressing condition - overactive bladder (OAB).

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I really liked the Contemporary Contemplation garden too.  Calm subdued planting - this garden made the most of stunning Agapanthus and clipped Buxus - and if you've never believed me when I've said that hostas and ferns can fit your contemporary ideals you only need to look at this garden for proof!  I particularly liked the 'floating' step and the repetition of the white ironwork throughout.

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The Russian Museum Garden - Portrait of a Masterpiece - was eyecatching.  The shaped hornbeams really gave a flavour of the St Petersburg skyline with its swirling turrets and although I'm really not a fan of Russian dolls they fitted the theme and the inspiration - Russian artist Kazimir Malevich - perfectly.

Another show stopper for me was the sunken low cost, high impact garden.  Not only for its innovative use of recycled scaffolding planks but for the overall effect and finish, achieved with a budget of £7,000; a fraction of the price of many of the other show gardens.  It was by no means second best either - it was a space I would love to spend time in and I found it 'real' - I could see it working in any back garden in Earlsdon!  There would be less opportunity to make use of the Bull sculpture in Coventry perhaps but it was no less eyecatching and impressive! 

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The willow weaving its way along and through the fence panels of the Badger Beer Garden was brilliant.  Living walls are beginning to become a standard ingredient for many show gardens now and we have been excited about them for some time.  It was good to see them as both focal point and as backdrops or foils to other planting areas - not only do they make sense in a small space but they are massively versatile from a design perspective too.  We are just itching to design a garden with a living wall so if you are strapped for space and like the idea of doing some vertical gardening instead of the usual horizontal type do please give us a call - we are brim full of ideas for maximising the space you have!

There was so much more to get excited about - the bumbleareum for one in the bee house, the conceptual gardens, the summer gardens, the endless gifts and gadgets, and of course the stars of the show, the plants and flowers - but there is just never enough space or time to cover it all.  I hope I've managed to give you a flavour of the show this year and inspired you to book your tickets early for next!

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Nicki Jackson is Blue Daisy's garden designer & owner. A former HR consultant Nicki still finds the time to run Blue Daisy, design gardens and planting plans, write a blog, keep our gardening clients happy and offer IIP advice and outplacement support through Blue Daisy Consultancy.

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