A Grand Day Out yesterday at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show – the largest annual flower show in the world.
But – shock upon horror upon more shock – I photographed very little of it! There is so much of it, had I clicked merrily away I might still be there and certainly would have burned several midnights’ oils editing them and uploading them here, there and everywhere. So I didn’t/haven’t.
I must say it was liberating. Something I noticed from Chelsea, where I captured the detail but sometimes missed the whole, I saw these gardens as one – taking in the design, the journey on offer, the sweep and interplay of colour/form/balance/symmetry and enjoyed this very much. Not focusing on one plant or one combination of plants gave me a greater feeling for each garden. The same is true for the Floral Marquee and the Festival of Roses.
And I loved the Floral Marquee in particular. A riot of colour and fragrance with a huge number of nurseries displaying their plants. And, being free of major photography duties, was able to buy – and carry – a few plants. Some glorious and blowsy Begonias, a classy Begonia ‘China Curl’ and a deep hot pink Streptocarpus ‘Hope’ (these last two from Dibleys), and a clutch of double oriental lily bulbs ‘Isabella’ which are already planted in pots at home.
I rather feel that I should go back for another visit, so that I can photograph the life out of it – but that is entirely the point, sometimes by focusing on the parts, you can miss the whole. In your case however, you are missing out on both. I’ve put together a number of links below where there is the coverage you might have expected me to deliver and trust you will forgive my day free from the tyranny of the camera. The coverage online and on TV will increase naturally as the week continues (the show is on until Sunday).
Normal photographic service will be resumed quite soon, I’m sure.
A few links …
The Tijou Screen
The Tijou Screen, as the twelve panels are known (details from 5, here), form the south boundary (river boundary) of the Privy Garden, created for William and Mary by Jean Tijou, a Huguenot iron worker, who had probably worked at Versailles – and in England worked at St Paul’s Cathedral and Chatsworth. The gilding is a recent innovation as indeed is the black – historically the grey ‘lead’ colour (and a dark green ‘bronze’, at times) is correct – and does bring out the 3D quality of the work that is lost in the flat black presentation. This gentleman, Patrick Baty, painted them and much else in the Palace.
This last, rather uninspiring image, is of the south border in the Rose Garden – these roses were planted, bare-root, earlier this year by members of the Historic Roses Group (I referred to them in a tweet earlier as the Heritage Rose Group but am confusing them with the American group who hosted their conference at Mottisfont a couple of years ago to say goodbye to Head Gardener David Stone, but I digress…). These roses are alive but not thriving I must admit. They were planted with care and a gluey mix of mycorrhizal fungi to give them the best start but the weeks after planting were very dry and there is no additional irrigation. We’ve had wet weather certainly since so I am hopeful for great things as the season progresses.