It’s fair to say we love a flower event at the Laura Ashley HQ. After recently reviewing the Chelsea Flower Show, we were eagerly awaiting The Hampton Court Palace event. With the sun coming out to play, we couldn’t of picked a better day to visit the grounds. Our anticipation high, we made our way keen to see if this year could top the last…
The flower show is split into three zones: Inspire, Grow, and Escape. First up, we visited our favourite of the three, Escape, to see the fabulous Show Gardens, Summer Gardens and Your Garden, Your Budget.
Halo: Mediterranean-style garden based on the idea of a traditional Greek island with a budget of £13,0000
First up, we visited the ‘Your Garden, Your Budget’ section which celebrates high quality design on a budget. Landscapers were asked to submit a design with a budget of £7,000, £10,000, £13,000 and £15,000. We were overwhelmed with the quality of the gardens! Our favourite of the four was Bacchus which is inspired by the Roman God of Wine. We love the water features, rose coloured steps, and pockets of red flowers and plants.
Bacchus: A garden inspired by the Roman God of wine with a budget of £10,000
Garden of Solitude: A garden designed for relaxation and contemplation, with a budget of £15,000
After a quick wander round the site, we stumbled across this gorgeous Ocean Spray garden in Escape. A celebration of the picturesque wetland home of cranberries, and has been designed to bring the fascinating story of these vibrant berries to life. Crafted entirely from crimson cranberries, a majestic floating red rose will add a splash of colour to the iconic Palace Long Water. We just had to take a couple of snaps to show you all!
Ocean Spray: A Taste for New England
Next up, we made our way to the summer gardens, probably our favourite part of the site.
The winning garden, A Space to Connect and Grow was definitely our pick of the bunch. The garden is built from recycled industrial materials and is designed to improve the local urban environment whilst also being a pleasant place to spend time. Key features include the pavilion with a living roof at the back of the garden and an underplanted metal stage for performances.
A Space to Connect and Grow
Other favourite of ours was Al Fresco, a modern outdoor entertaining space that takes you away from the stresses of everyday life. That’s what we call fine dining! Wouldn’t it be made complete with some Laura Ashley furniture?
We then stumbled across the beautiful NSPCC garden. This garden focuses on the NSPCC’s work throughout its time and the legacy it’s created. We loved the touches of children’s toys that were dotted around the garden, highlighting the charities message.
Last but by no means not least, another favourite from the Summer Gardens was ‘Forgotten Folly’. With dry stone walls, waterfalls, and overgrown flowers, we felt like we had stumbled across our very own secret garden.
Summer Gardens: Forgotten Folly
We then made our way on to Conceptual Gardens in the Inspire zone. The conceptual gardens are deisnged to engage, provoke, and stimulate debate and are always a talking point within the team. Themed around the seven deadly sins this year, the gardeners were challenged to create a garden that signifies a specific sin.
Conceptual Gardens: Anger
Conceptual Gardens: Lust
Conceptual Gardens: Gluttony
Our pick of the bunch had to be the Gluttony garden. We loved the modern and fun design of the piece, and were left thinking about it long after we left. The design highlights the huge amount of food that is being consumed and wasted every day in the UK and other western countries through the use of oversized sculptures. What was your favourite from the seven deadly sins conceptual gardens?
A trip to the Hampton Court Flower Show of course wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Festival of Roses and Floristry Marquee in the Escape zone. As one of our favourite flowers, we were eargerly awaiting to see the blooms in display by some of the best florists. We definitely recommend visiting this section, you can have your photo taken with a floral mermaid, or be amazed by the floral circus elephant…
Peter Beales Roses
The Elephant Spectacular - McKinlay Gibson Floristry
Our favourite in the marquee was the glorious display by Jane Packer Flowers. Creating a whole circus show, we were in awe at the floral displays of a gypsy caravan, a mystic mermaid, a strong man, and freakish blooms. You can even take a picture of yourself with the display!
Jane Packer Flowers
Any flower show wouldn’t be complete without a stand from David Austin, and as ever his roses were absolutely breathtaking…
David Austin Roses
Next up, we stopped off at the huge 50 years RHS Britain in Bloom garden which is the UK’s biggest gardening campaign. Up to 30,000 passionate volunteers work all year round on the green spaces to protect, transform, and care for the environment. The garden represents their achievements over the past 50 years, and they have certainly achieved a lot! Many communities from around the UK were involved with the creation of the garden…
50 Golden Years: A Celebration of Britain in Bloom
We then made our way over the bridge to the ‘Grow’ section, greeted by a huge sculpture over the stunning Lake.
Escape: Orla Kiely
In Grow, our final stop was at the Floral Marquee. This is where keen gardeners will have access to a range of garden nursery displays and plant stalls. There’s also plenty of RHS advisors on-hand to offer expert tips to take back to their own gardens! There was over 95 stalls in the marquee and it’s fair to say we stayed a while. Just look at all those beautiful blooms…
Due to the size of the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, there were plenty of attractions we didn’t even have time to visit. You can see planting close up, get some real expert advice, experience some fine dining, see live music, and even enjoy some retail therapy. We could easily spend the whole day there!
Don’t miss the celebrity tent for some household favourites including Charlie Dimmock and Gloria Hunniford, there’s even an appearance from one of our favourite bloggers, Rona Wheeldon!
For those lucky lot attending on Wednesday and Thursday, explore the growing taste marquee with inspiring and entertaining cookery theatre. Expert advice will be on hand from the Queen of baking Mary Berry on Wednesday 9th!
Hampton Court Palace
A great day our for all the family, The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is a fantastic day out regardless of your gardening ability. With plenty of things to see and do, you are spoilt for choice! The perfect event for a summers day, experience it all now up until the 13th July.
Will you be attending the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this year? What garden takes your fancy?