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Hampton Court Flower Show.


I was lucky that my husband agreed to take me to the Show this year. He’s not a gardener! However, as our daughter lives within half a mile of the ferry, we can stay with her and see the family as well as the Show.

We caught the ferry from Richmond and floated off down the Thames.

It’s a delightful way of getting to the Show – no traffic or parking problems.

In my innocence, I had thought that going on a Members’ Day it might not be so crowded – wrong!. I think everyone else had the same idea!

The Show was divided into three ‘Areas’ this year; ‘Grow’, ‘Inspire’ and ‘Escape’ – all colour coded on the plan and in the catalogue, with matching banners to show you the way round. I think it would be impossible to see everything, though.

We started by looking at some of the Conceptual Gardens. ‘Ashes to Ashes’ is all about the dreadful Ash disease, and the new hope of breeding disease-free trees.

It was a bit scary, with its gravestones!

This heap of fridges was called ‘Tip of the Iceberg’ and was meant to show that something beautiful could be created from human debris.
Each fridge has plants spilling out.

Apart from the Conceptual gardens, there were Show Gardens – my favourite was inspired by a Wedgewood plate, and was planted in blues and whites.

I couldn’t get near enough to look at the next garden – it was surrounded by press photographers and BBC cameras. I just caught a glimpse of a familiar face!

Apparently, she had been presenting a trowel to the Young Gardener of the Year.

We moved on to the Floral Marquee – where nearly a hundred Nurseries display their flowers and plants, and sell some, too. I spotted Plantagogo and our Vicky, and managed to say hallo to her.

This is part of Blackmore and Langdon’s stand – I loved the deep purple Delphiniums!

And Waitrose sponsored a huge display – this is one corner of it.

Each Nursery had their own display and some were awarded medals for them. The one that I’d have give a ‘Best in Show’ medal to was by Squires’ Garden Centre – they called their garden ‘After Jekyll’ and they’d created a wonderful cottage garden, with Gertrude Jekyll’s favourite plants in it, plus the rose named after her, naturally. They’d added some modern touches such as these glorious coral-coloured Delphiniums.

Two photos of the garden from different angles.

One more lovely stand in the Marquee – all those different Lavenders en masse were stunning.

Off out again, to see the Biome with the tropical butterflies in ‘Escape’ Zone…via the plant village, of course, where I lingered and bought three plants, including this white Campanula and the Fatsia ’Spider’s Web’.

Campanula ‘White Octopus’

Fatsia japonica ’Spider’s Web’

We had to queue to get into the Biome – they let small groups in at a time, so that it didn’t get over-crowded. The butterflies were free to fly about amongst tropical plants. They were amazingly beautiful, but very difficult to photograph as you can imagine.

We went in the Rose Marquee to see and smell the wonderful selection of roses in there, shown by over 20 growers…every colour and form of rose you could imagine! The ‘Rose of the Year’ was called ‘Miss Marmalade’, but I spotted this one which I found hard to resist.

Rosa ‘Burgundy Ice’

I didn’t take one home, though. How restrained was that?

Back out, we decided that it was time to go to the ferry. We walked past many, many interesting stands selling everything you could imagine for a garden… tools, gadgets, ornaments, plant supports, outdoor furniture and so on.

Time to go back to Richmond, with a detour up river past the Palace with its tudor chimnies.

Float down past Teddington and Kingston, with tired but happy people, most of whom had plants with them!

And back to Richmond Bridge and our dock.

Oh, a week after this wonderful trip. I still couldn’t get that rose out of my head – you’ve guessed it – I’ve ordered one, and it’s coming tomorrow!

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What a lovely way to start the day......floating down the river, beautiful plants and gardens......thanks Spritz, what a treat.......

18 Jul, 2013


you and your roses :o) it is gorgeous.
I enjoyed your trip to Hampton court.

18 Jul, 2013


Getting the ferry made that an extra special day! Burgundy Ice is a beauty.

18 Jul, 2013


Thanks for the blog it was like being there.

18 Jul, 2013


A lovely blog and I really like Burgundy Ice :o)

18 Jul, 2013


How lovely, much nicer than the TV programme, I was very disappointed in that.

18 Jul, 2013


Beautiful photos, thank you so much for sharing, you won't go wrong with burgundy was a new one to me, had to have two...they are doing very well, even whilst still small, one of them is blooming its cotton sock off, it is such a romantic it...:)

18 Jul, 2013


Looks like you had a good day spritz

18 Jul, 2013


Great blog Spritz...My sister and me went to Hampton Court a few years ago and also travelled on the Thames..Her son lives in Richmond and we stayed for a week.....wonderful....Love that rose!!!

18 Jul, 2013


Great blog, I really enjoyed the tour, hope you enjoy your new rose!

18 Jul, 2013


A grand day out - hard to choose from all those lovely things but you did get some fine plants to remember it all by. Well done with the butterfly pics - not easy as they tend to fly off if you get too near don't they?

18 Jul, 2013


Thank you for sharing your day with us all.

19 Jul, 2013


It was a lovely day, too! Glad you enjoyed the day with me.

My new rose is coming today, plus the rose of the year for 2012. I liked it last year, and my friend got it, so I know it's a good one. It's called 'You're Beautiful'. I'll take its photo when it's planted with 'Burgundy Ice'.

The Cistus I took out to make room was badly affected by the flood - it certainly didn't like getting drowned! I'd already had to prune out about half of it, so it's no loss.

19 Jul, 2013


My friend and I went on Sunday, the last day but the heat spoilt it a bit for me, I ended up at first aid ? I did buy a couple of plants, but we didn't get to see as much as I'd have liked.

Thank you for sharing your pics.

19 Jul, 2013


Its certainly a lovely day out providing the weather is good I missed the show this year I really envy you, it was lovely to see your beautiful photos .

19 Jul, 2013


A wonderful way to travel to the show, would suit me!! not surprised you fell for the rose, a real beauty.

19 Jul, 2013


It's certainly that, Dd. I got my boxes from Cant's yesterday afternoon, so I'll be planting them today.

The river trip is so civilised compared with driving and trying to find a parking space. It makes the day extra-special! :-))

20 Jul, 2013


I'm playing catch up and have just spotted this blog. Thank you for sharing. I felt as if I was there with you. Blackmore and Langdon are based in the next village to where my daughter lives. I like to pop in and admire their plants. Vicky comes up to Gardening Scotland so we see her fantastic displays here too.

21 Sep, 2013

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