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SW London
A semi-mature, hardy individual who tries to get away with doing as little as possible in gardening as in life, still expects the best results & wonders why she is frequently disappointed! She likes to keep a photographic record of everything, good & frequently bad!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Stains & spokes & rain, go passing by.........

……..not forgetting the bloody trolleys.

A slightly damper Hampton Court than I had anticipated/hoped for but that‘s weather isn‘t it!. We missed the show last year for the first time since its early days but as we felt so deprived we re-joined the happy throngs once again.

One of the first things we saw was the display of planted undies: I expected something quirky & amusing, a triumph of under-wiring & Y fronts, a cornucopia of brightly filled cups & boldly planted boxers. It was in fact a bit pants, a sad affair of bagginess & unmentionable stains. The dampness & grubbiness brought to mind a mass infant class accident, although I think that even in this advanced day & age 5 year olds do not wear basques!

In the show gardens I was completely enthused by the planting in the Sadolin Nature to Nurture garden. The square beds were a riot of colour in quite a very naturalistic way. I am going to be ripping all the plants out of one of my beds in an attempt to emulate this casual but no doubt very carefully planned bit of planting. It was very me! Well, perhaps not the carefully planned bit!
The Growing Tastes Allotment garden, which won Best in Show, was quite remarkable. I am always so impressed when veg look as though they have been in the ground since planting. It was packed to the gills with flowers & veg of all sorts, a greenhouse, cold frames, chooks, a children’s area. What was interesting was that there was not a raised bed in sight.

I always enjoy the conceptual gardens: they make you think a bit more. It’s Hard to See was a triumph in my eyes. It was the old’ simple yet effective’ approach to design & difficult to reproduce in a photo. Concreation was also one I appreciated.

There were no water gardens this year which was a shame. ,Instead we had the Six Wives of Henry VIII Gardens which were fascinating designs based on different aspects of each wife’s life, or indeed death! What was real fun though was seeing the scarecrows designed by local schools.

More excellent small garden’s: Pepa’s Karst Garden was particularly good & The Rain Chain was an excellently designed sustainable front garden. I would be very happy with that.

No Daily Mail pavilion this year which certainly did not bother me: although sometimes the planting can be excellent I was a bit tired of seeing some twee cottage surrounded by different areas of planting. The floral marquees were home to some terrific displays & although we were in them when it was chucking it down outside there was still room to move around reasonably well.
I think at this point I will have a rant. Bloody plastic fold-up trolleys. Now I know they are really handy for carrying stuff around & I know there is temptation all around but other than the slightly irritating ‘dededededededede’ sound of the wheels on the metal walkways outside, inside people do not have a clue as to what the trolley is doing to people behind them. As Mr B tripped over another one we heard a “Can’t you see that?” Duh, no we can’t actually, & why should we be looking at the floor all the time! Which brings me round to the brollies. Well it did rain a fair bit of course, but the first drop brought out them out by the score, with spokes at eye level: a dangerous game. At minimum they could at least wait until it was actually raining properly. One women even had her brolly up in the marquee until I put her right! Now I am sorry about the ranting. I am usually a very sanguine person, unlike Mr B, but just occasionally you have to get these things off your chest.

A fair bit of HRT took place: plants to suit my new bed, some nemesias which I had been planning to buy since having a long chat with a very nice man at Chelsea, some chrysanths & pinks for the allotment, sundry vegetable seeds at bargain prices, & the rest……………..
A thoroughly enjoyable, if exhausting day. I’m glad we went, even in the rain!


  1. I loved the planting in the Sadolin Nature to Nurture garden, it was absolutely gorgeous. I really liked the wild/ naturalised strip around the edge of the garden too. I'm thinking of doing the same at Tumbledown Farm, although on a larger scale with wildlife corridors around the perimeter of the garden.

    Biggest hate of the day was a woman whose umbrella was almost as wide as the enitre steel walkway. Not only did I stand the risk of losing my eyeballs every few moments, but I couldn't get around her to avoid it. Apart from that (and all the dirty pants) it was a fantastic day!

  2. Excellent post! That Nature to Nurture planting has everyone cooing. I suppose it would be a matter of a full sun position, with the perennials being divided every year or two and sowings of annuals between them.

    My HCFS tickets were due to arrive by post this week, so not good timing for a postal strike. I'm keeping my fingers crossed I can go on Sunday.

  3. RO, that sounds wonderful. I expect your corridors are wider than my garden :(

    Thank you Rob. You are very encouraging! I think you are right about the plants along with nothing too rampant. I do hope you enjoy your day, but beware of 'children free at the weekend'! I have nothing against children by the way :0

  4. Mrs B! What a dark horse of a lazy trollop blogger you are!

    It's about time the blogworld got to see your excellent photos and appreciate the LT lifestyle.

    Looking forward to the first blog from Kew..


  5. Yes - Oh bugger is about right!!! Someone is going to get boxed ears on Tuesday!

    Also I have publically admitted to owning a box trolley bought at Tatton, although have been too ashamed to allow it out in public since.

  6. Well, well, well. So here you are hiding. You kept this very quiet Miss B.