I used to be a enthusiastic attender of flower shows - then came the pandemic - but last week I treated myself to a nostalgic trip to the Royal Horticultural Society show at Hampton Court. I had an afternoon ticket but sadly it was not possible to make the trip from the station to the showground via a boat on the river this year, which was always a high spot. When I arrived, after a lengthy walk along the river bank and through the grounds of the palace - the gravel paths were hard going, like walking on a pebble beach - I was a bit disappointed, as everything seemed to be a bit low key and very crowded as it was a public day and I usually go on a members' day - but then I found the gardens and the flower tents and everything was fine. I didn't want to carry plants on the train back to Cardiff so I took lots of pictures of plants and labels so I can order and get them delivered to the door.
I enjoyed myself - and collected plenty of ideas for when my mostly container garden stops being a building site again. (I told you that the wall that appears in the picture at the top of the blog was coming down - when I got home from London it was gone!) What did I learn? The plant of the show seems to have been the Achillia - everyone seemed to have one in their bag, although I have to say they do nothing for me. There was the usual sprinkling of brave souls with plants that were bigger than they were. I picked out two roses I would like to try, lots of grasses and ferns and I'm going to have another try at Hostas. although that will be a running battle between me and the snails. Lilies, ditto. The overall look of the show I would say was ethereal - lots of wispy plants. meadow flowers and things beloved of insects. I fell for a stand of Angels' Fishing Rods - Dierama - which were delicate and pretty. Will have a go at those too. My ego was stoked at a stand showing agapanthus - a lot of buyers and the stall holder herself had lost plants in the winter. Mine are magnificent - more flowers than I have ever had. Even a mystery clump of leaves that I suspected was an offshoot but which showed no sign of flowering and which I have been threatening with the compost heap for several years has produced one flower stem - proving that is a cutting off the big white one that I brought back from Madeira a long time ago, when one was still allowed to do that sort of thing. At the moment they are all shoved out of sight around the corner at the end of the house away from the builders, but I hope they will still look good when they finally re-emerge.
I had a nice afternoon and I have pictures to prove it.
|Child of my Heart
|Angels' Fishing Rods
|The meadow look