Hampton Court Palace Flower Show was almost a wash out for me. Not because it wasn't a great show, but because our lovely weather decided to dump a considerable amount of rain on my head.
but, this is what boots and an umbrella were designed for, so we trooped off to discover the treats on the sprawling site of the show last week.
As last year, I was distinctly impressed by some of the conceptual gardens, which were pulling the crowds and challenging the idea of a 'show' garden.
A particular favourite was the sunken garden 'hard to see' which had a wonderful sunken pit edged with mirrors and filled with a plethora of lush planting. The pit surround was black rubber shreds which, even though they seem to be a defining feature of a HCPFS conceptual garden, worked extremely well.
A lot of the other gardens were nice in a lot of ways, but my other votes have to go to the wonderful Tony Smith with his Quilted Velvet garden and Sarah Eberle who created what I felt to be the most exciting element of the show - the sustainable 'hub'.
The floral marquees were stuffed to the brim once more, but it was the edible pavilion that really got me excited. Fantastic exhibits and I am in love with the beautiful lablab bean. Simply stunning.
The floral marquee was complimented by the floristry marquee, which we toured during one of the very many thunderous downpours. As expected, one of the busiest stalls was that of Jane Packer, who had chosen the British 'tea party' as her theme. Densely packed roses looked the part as cupcakes on oversized cake stands, but I was both shocked and amazed at how much they were charging for a vintage teacup containing a rose and a bit of florists sand. I'm in the wrong business.
Met up with some more chums who were actually working and not on a jolly, including Toby of HME, BioTecture, Ian Gill and the ever lovely James Alexander-Sinclair.
All in all a good day, but would have been soooo much better in the sun...