05 July 2012 By Billy Hawkins
After a brief downpour and not very encouraging weather reports I had expected Hampton to be quiet and, well, ...wet. How wrong could I be? The blue sky emerged and it was warm with a few showers but it certainly did not deter the crowds – gardeners are a hardy bunch!
Alitex showed the Hidcote greenhouse on The National Trust Garden Collection stand this year. We were joined by Oak Leaf Gates, Scott’s of Thrapston, Westland Stones and Gaze Burvill (who will be attending our Open Day with their lovely wooden outdoor furniture). The National Trust Garden stand was designed by Zeno Perfetti, a graduate from the London College of Garden Design; the stand won a merit award for attention to detail.
The wonderful joy for a gardener at Hampton Court Flower Show is that the gardens are open and can be wandered through for the most part. The gardens become much more interactive and personally I found that they were better to respond to – you’re not just looking at them from behind a rope, you become part of them. Of particular mention the Badger Brewery garden had walkways with upside down brown bottles on sticks in placed in perfect waves through the garden – willow was also used to great effect, swooping and twisting around the boundary line. I also loved the underwater garden – created with blue thick plastic tarpaulin mirroring the four walls of a room with a water ripple reflected across the top. As daylight shone through the blue and the water onto the cacti beneath the magical colours were transformed – it truly felt like you were snorkelling; very surreal.
We managed to meet lots of visitors on The National Trust Garden Collection stand and it was great talking gardening with some of our past clients – we always love to hear how you are using your greenhouse and the features which are proving to be indispensable. The Hidcote looked particularly attractive in Wood Sage and received lots of admiring comments. The planting had been supplied by Thrive, the gardening charity which helps people change their lives around. Thrive supplied the plants for our stand at Chelsea this year so they readily understood what would work. We really are very lucky to have such a great relationship with such a worthwhile charity which chimes with the interests of our clients.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit Hampton Court Flower Show yet, do try and get along and visit – the weather is brightening each day! Come along and say hello – we are TH52, next to the pink butterfly exhibit.