This week I was well chuffed to be a junior journalist for First News at the world’s largest flower show, RHS Hampton Court Palace.
Quite simply, it was top!
The actual setting of the flower show is amazing and I was so giddy to check out the different show gardens. Hampton Court Palace is pretty special, I’ve never been before and it blew me away. I would love to return one day, to look round the magic garden, maze and water features.
There were lots of different types of show gardens – water, world, conceptual, city, front gardens and fruit and vegetable boxes, each with their own theme, inspiration and message.
The most mind blowing were the Concept Gardens – they are a bit weird, a bit strange, a bit quirky – but I liked them all the same. One of the most powerful gardens was the ‘Border Control’ Garden, which was pretty current as it was about refugees. The picture below shows my support for the risks people take; I pull a ‘thumbs down’ and sad face in recognition of their fight for a safe place to live.
Another garden was the ‘Striving for Survival’ which is pretty important to me too, as it raised awareness of cancer survival rates. The stained branches represented those who do not survive cancer.
The Feel Good Front Gardens were all about the health benefits of gardening. It was great to see Manchester gardener, Garden Ninja (Lee) at his ‘Fancy a brew’ Garden. Here you could enjoy a chat and a brew on Coronation St style cobbles with a Manchester Ship Canal style water feature. I couldn’t believe how much planting Lee had packed into one small area.
I love water gardens and I found the WWT Working Wetlands Garden really inspiring. It was a beautiful, tranquil garden, great for attracting nature and a solution to flooding in our cities.
I loved the Beautiful Borders, New Horizon City Garden with South African inspired plants, including a Tibetan Cherry Tree, with an incredible bark. The designer, Lisa let me go on the garden and explained about all the plants – it’s really great when that happens as it increases my plant knowledge. There was a great spotted eagle owl here called Bamu from Hawk On The Wild Side, which I got to hold, twit twoo!
It’s really great walking round the gardens as there’s always something interesting going on, whether it’s Vikings, period costumes or dog sculptures!
I never miss up on an opportunity to speak to a RSPB staff member and we had a good chat about the wildlife in London – especially my favourite – ring necked parakeets.
Given the amount of greenspace and water at Hampton Court it wasn’t long before I had a great wildlife spotting – a heron sat on a really large nest looking after 2 chicks (not a great picture, but it was awesome watching them).
It was great to catch up with people who I have met over the past 2 years – Sue Biggs, the boss of the RHS, the RHS President, Sir Nicholas Bacon, RHS Ambassador Jamie Butterworth and garden designer, Ann Marie Powell.
The butterfly dome was awesome – it was specially created to house thousands of exotic butterflies. The colours and patterns of the butterflies was unbelievable. When me and my Mum went in one landed on my nose, it really tickled and another on my Mum’s leg – we were both whooping and laughing our heads off – it was AWESOME! The planting inside the dome was incredible, as was the native flowers outside.
It was well funny when we went in the RHS shop; I looked up and there I was on a banner – my mugshot staring down! Speaking of shopping, we did a fair bit; my Mum said she had 80p left in her purse at the end of the day!
For my pond, I bought a William Falconer water lily from The Dorset Water Lily Company and a solar powered water fountain from Outdoor Living UK. The water lily went straight in the pond when I get home and I can’t wait to receive my fountain it will look great and help to oxygenate the pond too.
I’d like to thank Rob from Hardy’s Plants, whilst I bought a beautiful, delicate pink Gaura lindheimeri, called ‘Freefolk Rosy’ from him for my Grandma Brenda’s birthday, he also introduced me to Hampshire Carnivorous Plants where I bought a sundew for my bedroom.
The RHS Campaign for School Gardening Rocket Science Experiment had 60+ scarecrows representing Tim Peake’s voyage to space. They were really creative using recycled materials and it’s great that lots of schools were involved. There was also this huge topiary rocket sculpture – blast off!
RHS Flower Shows are really great – they are just the best family friendly fun and I had a bloomin’ marvellous time!
It looks like you had a fab time George! It’s my last day of volunteering in The Jungle tomorrow so I’ll try and get some photos of the little gardens that the refugees have planted in amongst the tents and also some of the Women and Children’s garden that I have been working in for the last week. X
Hope it’s all been a success Rach. An amazing experience. Yes hope you get some photos of the garden
Such an exciting time George. Well done love reading your blog 😎
It was fab Claire I really enjoyed it
Great article George! I’ve been so busy chatting to people at Hampton court about ‘Fancy a brew? Take a pew’ I’ve only just gotten round to reading your blog! Sounds like you had a fantastic day.
I’ll be blogging about he behind the scenes at Hampton court soon once I’ve caught up on all my sleep and tended to my own garden at home!
Catch up soon and keep up the good work! Garden Ninja Lee
Hi Lee, bet it’s been a long week!! But great fun. Hope u have made lots of new gardening buddies. It’s raining in Manchester- for a change! Hope the weathers good for your last few days. George
Great day for you George, you are so busy with your life, it brilliant, you have achieved so much,and you are a great Ambassador for all children. Well done. Your visit to RHS Hampton Court Floiwer Show, looks wonderful..I think I would have loved to see , The Dog’s Trust one. And the Water Gardens..in plants I love the Black foliage of the Black Elder..but it all seems so beautiful to choose one. U do a great job. Keep it up..
Thanks Joan it was absolutely brilliant I think you would really like it too. Maybe Steve will take you !!!
Pingback: Life in the Jungle refugee camp, Calais – guest post from Rachel | Green Fingered George