07 July 2015 By Sam Duke
This year we joined together to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hampton Court Flower Show. It was a scorcher; amongst a colourful army of parasols and the scent of coconut-laden skin, exhibitors and garden designers set out to create an inspiring event.
The Alitex Kitchen Garden
This year we collaborated with our friends over at The PIG; they grew an edible crop with a difference and brought it along to our kitchen garden. Their nasturtium ‘Golden Gleam’, along with a little Dwarf Peach tree called ‘Crimson Bonfire’ attracted a lot of attention. They had also bought along some of their Tree Spinach; the green leaves can be cooked and wilted like normal spinach whilst the purple tips are a delicious addition to a leaf salad. Visitors also commented on the ‘Olive Green’ colour of our greenhouse, many liked the almost Mediterranean feel that ensued when they walked in. The team from The PIG helped us on the stand throughout the show and were a wonderful addition to our show team, thank you! To view some images from our stand, visit our Pinterest board here.
The Show Gardens
Conveniently placed in the ‘inspire’ zone at Hampton, the gardens this year were as varied as you can get. Ann-MariePowell Gardens created a ‘bubbly’ space that won gold and the SMART Vision Garden: Having the vision to see beyond mental illness, designed by Steve Smith, was an intriguing favourite, encouraging visitors to peek through the metal container to view the stunning tree-filled garden inside. As well as receiving a gold medal, the ‘Best in Show’ garden ‘Hadlow College Green Seam’ reflected the mining heritage of Betteshanger in Kent and the regeneration undergone there. Designed by Bethany Williams & Stuart Charles Towner (Hadlow College graduates), the garden presented industrial materials alongside delicate flowers, to show natural regeneration occurring in the most inhospitable places.
Other show highlights
To celebrate a quarter of a century in this stunning location, this RHS Flower Show featured a giant birthday cake made of 3,456 Begonias along with an anniversary maze spanning 900 square metres. South eastern schools involved in the RHS Campaign for School Gardening project were asked to create scarecrow’s using elements of recycled materials and plants; the largest stood at seven meters. Hampton Court Flower Show wouldn’t be the same without their famous festival of Roses and the rose of the year went to ‘Sunny Sky’ (Koraruli), a Hybrid Tea rose that produces large flowers and gives off a fruity fragrance.
Did you visit the show this year? Let us know what your highlights were on Twitter @Alitex or comment below.
If you are looking for a little more gardening inspiration, join us on the 10th September for our annual lecture with garden designer, writer and broadcaster Matthew Wilson. He will be talking about his time at RHS Hyde Hall and Harlow Carr. Read more here.