Chelsea may have been a disappointment but this week's Hampton Court Flower Show more than makes up for it! The small gardens are, in particular, a triumph especially the 'Low Cost, High Impact gardens' created by members of the Association of Professional Landscapers.
Four very different but equally impressive gardens showed what wonderful results can be achieved by good landscapers on a budget ranging between £7000 and £13000. I know that it's still a significant sum of money but it was inspirational to see just what can be done on what, in garden landscaping terms, a modest sum.
I also loved the Milestone Academy Work, Rest and Play garden which was designed as an outdoor environment for people with disabilities of all ages. It was a pure joy with a dancing water display, colourful containers and raised beds packed with vegetables and herbs, frog house and nesting box with camera that could be viewed in the sound and vision room! Whilst I was looking round it a group of children arrived and loved playing with the dancing water that jumped from one side of the stand to the other. It was great fun.
The plant stands were as tempting as ever. I thought Hayloft's display was really good and I bought a wonderful new Crocosmia 'Prince of Orange' from the Cornish based Trecanna Nursery. Inside the rose marquee, pride of place was given to the new Rose of The Year, the gorgeous pink 'You're So Beautiful'. Wandering back to the car park I bumped into the hardworking QVC crew who were filming the show with Matt Biggs. I'm really looking forward to seeing Matt's highlights when they go to air and re-living what, to my mind, is one of the best flower shows I've visited for some years!