The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show has been running since 1993, and is now recognised as the world’s largest flower show, with the site covering 34 acres.
I was lucky enough to be invited to take a look around on press day, and here’s the first instalment of photos showing scenes from around the Inspire and Grow zone.
The Inspire zone is charged with “encouraging visitors to re-think their preconceptions of contemporary garden design, with horticultural creations pushing boundaries and championing innovation,” and much like last year, there was some fabulous creations on show.
I rather liked this Teletubbie-esque turf sculpture.
The Conceptual Gardens were designed around the theme of the seven deadly sins – one garden for each sin.
The best conceptual garden gold price went to ‘Sloth – Quarry of Silences,’ which was designed by Sheena Seeks and built by Eden Landscape Projects.
Here’s how its creators describe the work:
The theme of this garden is sloth. As individuals we start out in life with more or less the same tools, physically and intellectually. Each spade (a tool) represents a person.
We all climb the hill in pursuit of a goal in life (represented by a golden stone). Some slide down the slippery slope into sloth and end up in the graveyard of lost dreams and ambitions.
The garden features a large sand cone at its centre.
150 spades climb up one side of the cone to reach the gold stone at the top. A black basalt and slate cone slope has three graves at the bottom. Each of the graves has a shovel within it, with one grave holding a brain, one a heart and one a pair of boots to represent the mind, soul and body.
The Gluttony garden won gold and highlighted the huge amounts of food that are being consumed and wasted every day in the UK and other western countries.
The rather wild ‘Wrath – Eruption of Unhealed Anger’ garden, depicting “uncontrolled feelings of anger as emotional pressure, self-destructiveness, violence and instability.”
The garden won a gold medal.
The Stonewall garden: ‘Breaking Down The Walls Of Pride.”
This regal chair forms the centrepiece of the Greed – Dichotomy Garden, which collected a Silver Gilt medal.
The work had an accompanying wildflower garden. Read more here.
The silver award winning Lust Garden, designed by Rachel Parker Soden and built by Burnham Landscaping Ltd.
I really liked the Adlstrop stand and we had a lovely chat with the people behind it.
Adlestrop is a now-closed station which once formed the subject of an evocative Edwardian poem. Read more: One hundred years on, a special Adlestrop train commemorates the evocative Edward Thomas poem.
The Macmillan Legacy Garden garden interpreted the legacy of Douglas Macmillan, the founder of Macmillan Cancer Support, and was created to encourage visitors to support Macmillan’s work by leaving a legacy in their will.
The rolling fields of Castle Cary in Somerset, where Douglas Macmillan grew up and retired, have inspired the design. In the charity’s early years, voluntary nurses used bicycles to travel to visit patients in their homes, providing a lifeline to those in need. Rows of planting and clipped hedges set the scene of the rural communities where this vital support from Macmillan nurses was gratefully received.
Designed by Rebecca Govier and built by Big Fish Landscapes, the garden took silver prize.
The gold medal winning garden called, ‘Connecting with the Real Sound of Nature.’ The design featured a vegetable plot and sound-producing elements.
Relaxing in Jordans Wildlife Garden. Designed by Selina Botham and built by Scotscape, the silver award winning garden was developed to encourage visitors to bring a little bit of the British countryside into their gardens.
The World Vision Garden. Inspired by the 30th anniversary of the Ethiopian famine, The World Vision Garden offers a retrospective on the successful development of the Antsokia Valley over the past three decades.
Designed by John Warland and built by Indoor Garden Design, the silver award winning garden features wooden aid crates that have now evolved into shipping crates now being exported from the once-barren dustbowl of the Antsokia Valley.
Being press days, at times it felt a bit like a scene from Monty Python’s Whicker World, where TV presenters kept popping up in gardens.
Silver Gilt award winning ‘Green Is The Colour’ garden.
Awarded ‘Best Summer Garden’ this garden was built from recycled industrial materials. Read more here.
Garden of Solitude, built for a ‘budget’ £15,000 using upcycled materials and featuring a small waterfall and reflective pool.
This year’s scarecrow competition encouraged pupils from schools across the South East to put their own imaginative twists to traditional scarecrow designs reflecting the theme of the World War I centenary.
The Lest We Forget Garden designed by Steve Mann marked the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, and features a recreated trench and landscape of the Western Front.
A chap takes it very easy indeed!
Photos from the 2013 Hampton Court Flower Show:
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2013 – butterflies, blooms, bumblebees and beautiful colours
The weird and wonderful concept gardens at the 2013 Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Roses & Floristry Vintage Festival at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
More about the 2014 show:
2014 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show official website
2014 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show awards
The show runs until 13th July 2014.