Following the wake of the Chelsea Flower Show, Hampton Court tends to be much more low key and relaxed event. This year press day was marred, like much of the summer (sic) by heavy showers that according to forecasters will continue throughout the week. However, this never tends to dampen the spirits of the designers, gardeners and exhibitors who, like their plants, are a hardy bunch that can always be counted on to do their best to make every show better than the last.
As usual the quirky gardens competed with the classical; the sublime with the ridiculous; but there is always something to delight everybody and there is never a shortage of things to admire. The Floral Marquee was a magnificent blaze of colour and this year over ninety nurseries and growers put on a stunning array of domestic and exotic plants and blooms.
Of the gardens, I particularly enjoyed The Discover Jordan Garden that took its inspiration from the lost city of Petra. Of the others, The Russian Museum Garden used a theme that was connected with St Petersburg (although I have to say, this was lost on me) and The Italian Job was a masterpiece in geometric design. There were a number of exceptional designs under the theme of ‘Low Cost High Impact Gardens’ that proved how a small space can be converted by anyone with a fairly restricted budget. Of these, among the superb examples I particularly enjoyed Live Outdoors that demonstrated what can be achieved with a budget of £13,000, although this is still wildly beyond the means of many.
The RHS Flower Shows throughout the country are always well worth a visit. I always marvel at the innovative way designers can plan, plant and create such beautiful creations on a temporary plot of land that remains for such a very short period and is then removed once the show is over. We cannot underestimate the talent of these people and it is pleasing to know that the British do this in such an auspicious way.
The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show continues until 8 July so you there are just a few days to enjoy this amazing festival of colour. I suggest you brave the weather and take a good look for yourself.