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12.07.2017- Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

One of the highlights in my calendar each year is, without doubt, making an annual pilgrimage to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Since I first visited back in 2014, it's been a place which has become semi-sacred in a way- a plant lover's paradise, and one which is really worth seeking out- even in sweltering hot temperatures. This year the show was, as ever, full to the brim with beautiful blooms, inspiring installations and an abundance of glorious gardens- and visiting on a weekday gave us lots of opportunity to explore with a bit more time, avoiding the crowds of the weekend to take it all in at a more leisurely pace:


Starting off with our now customary jaunt across the river from Hampton Court Station to the showground, it was lovely to see (even from a distance), so many exhibits- most notably, The Butterfly Dome, making a welcome return to the show after debuting last year. It's a wonderful space, and one which I think is really well positioned near the beginning of your journey through the show- especially as it makes you more mindful of being butterfly friendly with your prospective planting purchases! Of the conceptual gardens, for me the most striking this year was the Not For Sale installation, highlighting the plight of the African Elephant and the sheer senselessness of the ivory trade. Thought-provoking and emotive, this garden was very deliberately under planted to highlight the significance of the message at the centre of the display, as was all the more powerful for it.  

Moving across to the Floral Marquee- which was, as ever, full to the brim with blooming beauty. Particularly eye-catching amidst a riot of summer colour were divine dahlias, simple yet effective succulents and a bounty of meadow inspired plants- perfect for evoking a wilder feel even in the most suburban of spaces. Meandering over to the Festival of Roses- always a highlight- lots of stunning specimens on display- many of which had been utilised hugely creatively in the Floral Design Marquee. Truly heaven on earth! Finally, a quick look at the show gardens before heading back across the river- favourites here included By the Sea and Colourbox- both vibrant displays creating their own pockets of tranquility amidst the hubbub of the showground! 

What are your summer calendar highlights?

(Image and video credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

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