I braved the crowds at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Hampton Court Flower Show. It is billed as the largest show of its kind in the world. Certainly the sprawling encampment of stalls selling the gamut of gardening equipment and accoutrements, food and drink outlets such as bistros and tea rooms, display gardens and larger floral marquees occupies a space that is difficult for the visitor to cover in one day. The Edible Garden display occupies the largest area on the site.
As I parked up at 2 in the afternoon I was already feeling jaded and disinclined to ever visit the Show again. The drive from Junction 1 on the M3 at Sunbury, to the Palace, was achieved at a snail’s pace with gridlock on the roundabout which takes traffic feeding off the motorway.
I gave the show 3 hours and covered less than a quarter of the grounds. I lingered long in the RHS Floral Marquee and took many photos. This houses wonderful plant displays including new cultivars. Some of the companion planting was stunning and gave me lots of ideas.
In another large marquee I found the Festival of Roses and chose a climber, The Generous Gardener, for the wall of the hosta bed at the front of The Old Workshop. Here were specialist stalls for things like Eucalyptus, Carnations, Buxus and Auricula.
Inevitably I bought plants but fewer than last time, I also found some inexpensive but sturdy green wire plant supporting frames to add to those I have in Dorset and St Vaast. When I could carry no more booty I headed for my car. As I approached the exit I glanced down and caught sight of a ‘mob’ of meerkats, small wooden beings on sticks as garden ornaments. Perhaps Nick could make some for the grandchildren ……….. Simples!!
I drove without too much traffic pain to Godalming, to a wonderful welcome from Ted.