Yes, we know - we have missed commenting on Chelsea but as always it was a most successful time for us (busy, busy, busy).
It's the inspiration gained by show garden revellers that is most striking - people flock to Chelsea to see exquisite and beautifully turned out gardens and go home and look at their own plots with fresh eyes, noses and ears and want to add, change revamp their plot.. It's the same as when you visit a designer show home - as soon as you get home you instantly dislike everything you have stuffed into your drab rooms. (Or am I the only one who thinks like this? Erk...) The same with Show Garden Voyeurism. Beware any jarring, misplaced, and obviously out of place plant/shrub when I get home - compost heap for you.
So, Chelsea has come and gone and well done to all those who took part. It is such a glorious way to really rock into our British 'summer', swiftly followed by Wimbledon - and then the Hampton Court Flower Show begins.
Hampton Court is a real show off for our British Heritage - with its Tudor backdrop, stunning gardens and glorious deer park. The 'new' Privy Garden is one of the most accurately reconstructed gardens because so much was recorded about the original 1702 garden. Unfortunately for the gardeners and workmen, William III died before it was completely finished (even more unfortunate for William no doubt) and all the gardeners were so scared of not being paid that they submitted the fullest accounts for all their work. (garden designers take note) Luckily for the recent garden restorers as everything is logged and can therefore be easily recreated.
While Chelsea's emphasis is on showy gardens (not to mention the guests), Hampton Court's has a slightly different character, focusing more on environmental issues and community issues. It is also the largest flower show in the world - good grief - that is quite an achievement and well worth a visit just for this fact alone.
Stoneballs popped down to Hampton Court this week and saw for ourselves the amount of work that goes on to transform a grassy field to the largest flower show in the world. Amazing really. And what preparation goes into every last garden, stand and exhibit. We were particularly interested as a supplier in the Queen Elizabeth's Foundation (QEF) Garden for Joy designed by Heather Appleton and constructed by Big Fish Landscapes. Although still at the build stage when we visited it promises to be a vibrant and joyful garden. 'The QEF logo has inspired the uplifting theme of this garden. The design captures the bubbly atmosphere at QEF’s residential home for disabled young people, where every achievement, however large or small, is recognised and joyfully celebrated.' (RHS)
Good luck to the whole team involved in such a massive but worthwhile task.