Rebecca Smith - Garden design & consultancy

Hampton Court, Part 2

I have decided that to thoroughly see everything at the Royal Horticuluture Shows, two days is necessary. On Monday, Press Day, I got distracted from looking at gardens by seeing lots of lovely people in the industry and stopping to chat. Or have champagne, thank you Craig at London Stone for that! But suffice to say, I did not see everything which I wished to so I headed back on Thursday afternoon to finish looking. 

RHS Watch This Space Garden designed by Andy Sturgeon

In particular, I wanted to have a second look at the RHS Watch This Space Garden designed byAndy Sturgeon. Using recycled pieces from his own and other designers past show gardens, this garden was built in association with GoLandscaping, BALI's initiative to encourage greater number of people to go into landscaping as a career. 

Watch This Space Garden with Andy Sturgeon fins

The 'fins' which were originally designed by Andy Sturgeon in his 2016 Gold medal and Best in Show winning garden were used here in an entirely different setting. Although they are not quite to everyones taste, when I was there on Thursday two elderly women were banging on them to establish what they were made of and tutting under their breath, I thought they looked settled in amongst the planting in this garden and provided a strong vertical counterpoint to the low hedge planting.

Paving, Watch This Space Garden

Can this also signify that 2017 marks the return of crazy paving into our gardens? This sharp, almost abstracted paving is absolutely gorgeous! Using sawn stone with a thin line of grouting lifts it from the chunky Arts & Crafts associations and makes it into an incredibly attractive puzzle. I love it and can see it working well in a courtyard or urban setting.

Watch This Space Garden by Andy Sturgeon

Watch This Space Garden by Andy Sturgeon

Watch This Space Garden by Andy Sturgeon

Watch This Space Garden by Andy Sturgeon

I also made it into the Festival of Roses to search out that perfect rose for clients; the one which bloooms continuously, smells amazing and lasts well once cut. I tend to use paler tones at the moment and was drawn to the following blooms.

Jacqueline du Pre rose from Harkness

I love this Jacqueline du Pre shrub rose from Harkness roses. A white rose which will grow to just over a metre tall, it has an unusual red colouring to the stamens which can make it look palest pink. It has a long flowering period and serrated petals. 

White Fox rose from Harkness Roses

Another one from Harkness is this floribunda rose, White Fox. More strongly scented than Jacqualine du Pre, it is pinker earlier in the seaason than lightens to cream. 

Olivia Rose Austin from David Austin

The Olivia Rose Austin shrub rose from David Austin is one that I see and wonder why I do not yet have it in my garden. It is highly fragrant, repeat flowering and disease resistant, pretty much all you need in a rose!

What I'm Reading Now:

In addition to the John Grisham novel which came with me on my recent holiday, I took a copy of 'The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession' by Andrea Wulf which is totally fascinating. If anyone would like to know the history of plant arrivals in the UK from America or the how Carl Linnaeus came to his classificaton system, this is an engrossing and interesting read covering the 18th century's quest for new plants and knowledge.

Having read Margaret Willes 'The Making of the English Gardener: Plants, Books and Inspiration 1560-1660' over the winter, this is a logical follow-up for anyone interested in garden history.




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