Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Hampton Court Flower Show is absolutely my favourite of the gardening year! It's the worlds largest flower show and the setting is just spectacular. No jostling for a tiny bit of elbow room here, there is plenty of room for everybody.
In recent years there has been much more focus on the Grow Your Own enthusiasts and this year the new look in the Growing Tastes Marquee is set to give even more inspiration to those thinking about growing a little of their own food. For the first time growers are cheek by jowl with artisan food producers giving visitors information about a whole range of produce.
Novice gardeners can learn all about successfully growing their own vegetables, herbs and fruit, with advice from the best growers and ‘old hands' can chat about new concepts, ideas and varieties. Delicious foods will be available direct from the producers and there will be daily demonstrations and tasting sessions of real food on its short (hopefully) journey from plot to plate. So, with its new look for 2013, maybe the Growing Tastes Marquee will inspire many of you to dust off your garden tools and start growing delicious food - we know you can do it!
We gardeners are always trying to encourage wildlife into our gardens and the RHS have collaborated with the Eden Project to feature a stunning Butterfly Dome with an array of tropical beauties - they didn't forget our native butterflies and bees either and there is a series of talks and activities to help us understand how important gardens are as part of our diverse wildlife habitats. The Pollinators Garden, Bumblearium and Marquee will keep children engrossed and encourage us all to make the effort to make an even more inviting environment for the wildlife and pollinators that visit our plots.
The show gardens were awash with naturalistic planting with lots of emphasis on creating wildlife rich habitats. Lots of the frothy umbellifers loved by bees and hoverflies, Astrantia, Eryngium, Geum, Achillea, Erigeron, Salvia, Hardy Geraniums and grasses were everywhere with lots of dark foliage from plants such as Anthriscus Ravenswing and Actea simplex creating wonderful areas of focal interest.
On a totally different note the show is hosting a fun henhouse auction the henhouses have been decorated by celebrity designers and personalities. Being a keen ‘chook' owner I was fascinated to see the weird and wonderful creations they came up with!
Don't forget your pen and notepad as you explore and enjoy inspirational grow your own exhibits, show gardens and plant marquees filled to the gunnels with a joyous array of tempting plants, flowers and must-have accessories until your mind is full to bursting with all the fabulous ideas you can't wait to put into practice!
Oh my - I really do wish I had a bigger garden!
Have a great day out at the biggest and best Flower Show in the world - I know I did!
PS. Don't forget your camera!