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Sunday, 13 July 2014

Hampton Court Flower Show

I've never been to an RHS Flower Show before. It's one of those things that I've always wanted to do, but just never quite got around to. Then a Peterborough artist and garden designer called Jeni Cairns told me that she'd been sponsored by an arts organisation to build an urban community garden which would go to the show, and then come home to the city centre for everyone to enjoy. So I've been following her progress and writing about her story for the local magazine. It seemed only right that I should go and visit the garden at the show and see Jeni and her co-designer Sophie with their wonderful achievement. I was able to go on press day, which meant no crowds or queues, and what a lovely time I had. There was just so much to see in every kind of style, and in such a gorgeous setting by the River Thames.

As well as the amazing show gardens, there are stalls selling garden furniture, accessories and plants, of course. I took so many pictures and I don't want to bore everyone, so am just selecting a few to show you. Here are some of the show gardens, starting off with Jeni and Sophie's gold medal winning A Space to Connect and Grow, which Monty Don, no less, declared his favourite in the whole event!

Everything in this garden is recycled: old scaffold boards make the planters and pavilion sides, oil drums are cut in half to be seats and to create a decorative wall. The orange and green water feature is constructed from parts of an old combine harvester.The plants include vegetables and herbs. The space in the middle is a stage, where artists performed all week.

I just love these oil drum panels, with old grilles, bicycle wheels and plasma cut shapes inside. The large metal heart that I wrote about in a previous post was made by Jeni. I do love the way she combines delicate designs with the industrial metal.
Elsewhere in the show, I saw minimalist Zen gardens, cottage gardens, vegetable gardens and I loved the naturalistic planting in the Jordans Cereal garden and the Macmillan garden.

Jordans Cereal garden

Gorgeous planting in the Macmillan garden.

Precision veggie planting

The view from the John Lewis tree house!

Demonstrations (and live music through the arch!). 
The floristry tent had a theme of circus. This gypsy caravan was vibrant!

And the nurseries who were selling plants had pulled out all the stops with their displays.

Thanks for stopping by, and to everyone who has followed me on Instagram. I am really enjoying it over there, where I post regularly @fionacumberpatch.


  1. Amazing, a truly delightful post. You were certainly lucky to be able to go with no crowds. Brilliant.

    1. I was lucky. When I saw the highlights on TV I couldn't believe how many people were there! Thanks for your kind words as always x

  2. Visiting a RHS show is on my list of things to do too. I looks like you had a wonderful time and no crowds either!

  3. Your pictures are fabulous - I would love to have gone to the show but seeing your tour of the best bits certainly has helped a lot!

  4. What a lovely day, that caravan is lovely, I am going to start using my camera more and visit more gardens and just enjoy lifes simple pleasures x

    1. Yes, it is a lovely way to spend time. Taking a camera just makes me stop more and look at things I would otherwise miss.

  5. I have read that its nicer than Chelsea and lovely to visit without the public which always puts me off these things as when I went to Chelsea as a child with my Father gardening wasn't so popular. Glad you had a lovely time and your friends garden looks good.