RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2013 Part One

by Culti-Vate

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2013 – The Great Garden Festival!

On Monday the 8th of July Culti-Vate was lucky enough to get a pass to attend the press day at Hampton. Hampton is a show we have visited many times, as members of the public and as exhibitors. ( I even did my work experience week there when I was at school!)

It was very different visiting on press day than on members day or a standard public day, there was a buzz of excitement in the air for medals, photo calls and for the preview gala that evening. Finishing touches were happening in the floral marquee and the sundries were unpacking and arranging ready for the throng of excited gala guests.

The show gardens at Hampton are quite spread out with different categories in the different show zones such as Escape & Inspire. The plant plots and their displays all in the Grow zone along with the floral marquee and kids scarecrow competition – which is always fun!

The long water entrance & the wonderful flowing coloured zone flags placed around the show site.

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All of the gardens below are featured in the Escape Zone of the show site.

Macmillian Legacy Garden, designed by Rebecca Govier

The Macmillan Legacy Garden was created to highlight the importance of leaving a legacy. Each element of the garden reflects different parts of the long journey people face while fighting cancer. The dark waters represent the fear of becoming ill, while the angular pathway through the water symbolises the difficult and changing journey. There are aluminium figures dotted throughout the planting that represent the Macmillan professionals who give support all the way.

IMG_9704 copy The garden itself was planted beautifully, it it had a very wild natural woodland feel, which was complemented by the modern structure that created a shaded viewing area to enjoy the garden in. The shadows and silhouette of the angular structure looked beautiful against the backdrop of the wispy grasses, tall sanguisorba’s and other colourful spires. IMG_0145 copy IMG_0147 copyIMG_9713 copy

The QEF Garden for Joy, Heather Appleton in association with accessiblegardens.org.uk

The Garden for joy was designed as an easily accessible garden for wheelchair users to enjoy and be a part of. The garden is planted with an array of grasses, with lush tones of gold and yellow. The garden also had celebratory bubbles throughout with the bubbling water, the copper screens that edged the garden & the concealed bubble machines around the planting.

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Athanasia one of the smaller summer gardens, designed by David Stanton & The Hot Stuff Garden, which is another summer garden, designed by Victoria Truman, Liz Rentzsch & Marcus Foster.summer gardens01

A Valley Garden, designed by Sophie Walker

This summer garden was one of our favourite gardens of the show this year. We loved the concept behind the garden, recreating a valley landscape that can feel intimate when inside and surrounded by the lush exotic planting whilst still showing the dramatic scale of a valley from the outside. The dark water in the angular point reflecting the foliage added to the sense of depth within the garden. Also the idea that it could be recreated again as ‘pop-up’ installation while adapting the planting to suit any surroundings. IMG_0157 copyIMG_0161 copy

The Witches of Macbeth, designed by Jenna Stuart. There was a lot of filming happening on press day, including all those essential close up for the coverage of the show. IMG_9744 copy

Willow Pattern, designed Sue Thomas with a wonderful display of Eryngiums IMG_0163 copy

Willow Pattern summer garden and Between The Lines, designed by Maurice Butcher.
The Willow Pattern garden seemed to shine in the afternoon sun, with all its silvery blue, lilac and white shades. summer garden02IMG_9747 copy

Also in the Escape zone was the Roses & Floristry Vintage festival marquee, which was packed full of colour and heavenly scents! Included was an array of abundant floristry exhibits from a variety of flower academies & colleges each showing off their creative talents with the theme of vintage. Along with these were the top rose growers David Austin and Peter Beales, which filled the tent with aromas of a variety of roses. The delightful vintage theme in the marquee meant there was a very fun summer feel to all of the exhibits in this tent!

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There was a special bee and butterfly zone this year, to promote awareness and understanding about these much needed insects. There was a specially built garden just outside the eden tropical butterfly zone that was filled with native butterflies, showing the ideal habitat to attract our  beautiful native butterflies. IMG_9775 copybutterflies01

Right in the center of the Escape area is a scaled down recreation of one of the Eden projects Biomes, inside you are plunged into the streamy humid jungle while being surrounded by tropical butterflies. Around the Biome there are facts and information about the butterflies, you can also witness chrysalises popping open and new butterflies emerging. Above you can see lots of Owl butterflies feeding on the sweet fruit table. This is a must if you are taking your family along with you to the show, great fun & educational.

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PART TWO COMING SOON! Featuring the conceptual gardens, more show gardens, plant plots & a few extras!