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  • Ellen Mary

Hampton Court Garden Festival

What a treat to enjoy Hampton Court flower show on press day this year. Apart from the obvious celebrity spotting (I can't pretend I don't enjoy a sneaky looks at the likes of Craig Revel-Horwood and Jeremy Clarkson), it was simply lovely to be amongst plants and people after a long period without the inspirational garden shows.

The floral marquee is without a doubt the place to be at a flower show and despite the first sunshine I had seen in weeks, it was inside the marquee to go. All the Peonies, Fuchsia, Orchids, Succulents...and...houseplants! There was fragrance and fun in the air. Some of my favourite plants I discovered included a wonderfully fragrant Orchid 'Psychopsis mariposa' and the most beautiful Hostas - yes I said beautiful Hostas! A new Streptocarpus from Dibleys nursery called 'Mabel' is a definite one for my list and I am now officially in love with Echeveria 'Ruffles Red'.

It was great to see the show gardens and I always appreciate just how much hard work, dedication and talent goes into them. There was a great deal of dense planting this year and much was to raise awareness of climate change. However, I have never seen such a controversial show garden as the plane wreck garden! On a mound of rubble, surrounded by grass and taped off - was a plane wreck. I know various corners will argue over it's importance to raise awareness of such a critical matter - I am a huge advocate for fast action to slow down climate change - but after the really tough year we've all been through I can't say it provoked the right emotions. It was meant to shock, and shock it did but I feel it was greatly misplaced and inappropriate at the show this year. But thats another blog...perhaps.

I loved the allotments! So much to inspire people to get growing their own food in small spaces and Kate Bradbury with her wildlife plots as well. The No Dig garden by Stephanie Hafferty and Charles Dowding was simply the most divine of all! What an achievement to build the most talked about show garden, perfect vegetables and educational talks about the benefits of no dig gardening and the importance of soil.

There is plenty to see as always and it really did feel like we are back on the road to recovery and that horticulture is truly thriving. What a wonderful day - even down to the vegan carrot cake and peach iced tea. Not to mention the huge Alocasia 'Zebrina' I walked away with!

We also recorded a review of the show for the podcast from the boot of Michaels car, where we were recognised as well! I still find that insane! The episode is available to download on all good podcast libraries including Apple Podcasts HERE.


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