Archives for June 2008

No comparisons please

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Louise Danks - Researcher Louise Danks - Researcher | 11:46 UK time, Friday, 27 June 2008

It always seems unfair to compare anything, but I often hear people doing just that with The Chelsea Flower Show and The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show "Oh I prefer Hampton because..." or "Chelsea is far superior to Hampton because..." I found myself guilty of this at the weekend when someone asked me which show I liked best. I ended up talking myself round in circles, listing the things I love about both shows and in the end I hadn't answered the question at all! Very unhelpful. Hampton's setting is beautiful and it is lovely to have a little more space to enjoy the stunning Show Gardens, you have the added bonus of the Water Garden category and the fairly new and often controversial Conceptual Gardens, not forgetting the gorgeously executed Small Gardens. I sometimes think it must be harder to distil a garden's spirit into such a small space than to design a Show Garden, but then, does a larger space equal more stress (there I go again, talking myself round in circles!)? Having never created a garden for a horticultural show I can't answer that, maybe one day... My downfall at Hampton is the fact that you can buy plants, at any time. You don't have to wait for the bell like you do at Chelsea. There's still the big sell off of the gardens and the floral marquees but there are nurseries selling tempting morsels at every turn. This year I have a very valid excuse, I literally HAVE to buy plants because now I have my own garden, perfect, no one can argue with that surely?

Busy times at the nursery

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Dave and Rob - Exhibitors | 19:44 UK time, Thursday, 26 June 2008

We're still a little shell-shocked from The Gardeners' World Live Show, and our Gold medal winning exhibit. Unbelievable, we expected to win silver at the most!!! It was a great show, busy all week, and the weather was kind for a change. Back again now and Hampton Court is looming. As well as our own Desert to Jungle floral exhibit, we are supplying and planting all of the plants for an entire garden. Not as you might think an exotic garden, but a Devon Lock keeper's garden! Created by The Libra School in Devon, a school for some very great young people who we have had the pleasure of working with for the past 15 months. The garden includes a fruit and veg patch, a cottage garden, aquatic plants in a section of the Tiverton Canal and even some stinging nettles! Planting starts on 30th June. However a jungle floral exhibit looms too. What are we to display and now the bar is raised higher since our NEC Gold. Hopefully, we should be fully banana'd out for the show along with cannas and other luscious leafy stuff. And hopefully another massive gunnera, which enthralled the visitors to the NEC many of whom had their photos taken under one of its huge leaves. Deep joy, Hampton Court means that we camp out in a field and sleep in the back of our van. Ok if the weathers nice but like Glastonbury if its not...And they say that show business is glamorous!!

Veg take centre stage

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Tom Sumner - Producer Tom Sumner - Producer | 22:16 UK time, Tuesday, 24 June 2008

It doesn't seem five minutes since the end of Chelsea and now the Hampton Court Palace Flower show is just over a week away. One thing that I'm really looking forward to this year is the Growing Tastes Marquee, a new feature at the show this year that aims to show us what we can do with all our home grown produce. By then I should have plenty of courgettes and tomatoes on my plants at home so hopefully I can get some ideas on what to do with them.

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