Rebecca Smith - Garden design & consultancy

Hampton Court Round-Up

I have not been to Hampton Court Flower Show for several years now so decided to venture out this year to see what I have been missing. As it is sometimes looked upon as the poor relation to big brother Chelsea Flower Show in May, I wanted to see if this has changed. The baby buggies and pull-along trolleys which are banned from Chelsea were out in abundance yesterday making progress in the marquees difficult at times but the crowd was polite in their straw hats and floral prints. And it is hard to be cross when someone is trying to see 'the perfect plant'. 

Fibrex Nurseries Display

Press Day was lovely, cooler temperatures and nice people everywhere. The atmosphere was buzzing as we headed into the Floral Marquee. The Fibrex Nurseries display of zonal and scented pelargoniums was a joy.


There is an agapanthus for everyone here. And dahlias...

The display from the National Dahlia Collection was grand. 

Dahlia 'Mary Evelyn'

Dahlia 'Karma Choc'

Dahlia 'Karma Ying Yang'

Dahlia 'Karma Lagoon'

And my total favourite from the day...

Dahlia 'Totally Tangerine'

 Moving outside to the show gardens, our first stop was to see the Blind Veterans UK: It's All About Community Garden designed by Andrew Fisher-Tomlin. Awarded a Gold medal, it also won the Best Construction awards for contractors Landform Consultants. 

Blind Veterans Garden, Hampton Court 2017

 The willow work pieces were created by artist Tom Hare to provide a sensory experience through texture. 

Tom Hare seat, Blind Veterans Garden

The woven willow seat is an amazing thing.

Oak garden building, Blind Veterans Garden

Underneath of the roof, Blind Veterans Garden

Carved Rabbit, Blind Veterans Garden

The carved animals on the oak uprights of the garden building were a delightful and charming addition. There were different areas of planting in the garden. I loved this small area of meadow planting. 

Meadow Planting, Blind Veterans Garden

Plus the most amazing cabbages to ever grace a garden. Please note that they tone beautifully with the wrought iron railings which enclose the garden. 

Cabbage Heaven, Blind Veterans Garden

Kale and Cabbages, Blind Veterans Garden

And the most lovely allium sphaerocephalon, the drumstick allium, which was covered by bees the whole day. 

Allium sphaerocephalon

I had a great day at Hampton Court and was happy to see that there were still some 'big' name designers with show gardens as well as some lesser known names. I do find it a bit of a maze and I think it would be great of the show gardens were grouped together rather than spread out between trade stands. Tomorrow I will write more about my days at Hampton Court and feature the garden designed by Andy Sturgeon 'RHS Watch This Space Garden' which reuses several items from the past decade of show gardens.

Amy Hannigan and Rebecca Smith at Hampton Court 2017

Of course Amy and I had to test sit on the willow seat in the Blind Veterans Garden. It is very confortable.

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