As often as I can I will visit gardens while travelling. However I do not have to travel too far as there are many gardens large and small that I can visit almost on my doorstep. During the next few months I will be writing an occasional series on gardens I have visited and mixing travel with gardening.
Yesterday I visited the Royal Horticultural Society’s Hampton Court Flower Show. It was feast of ideas, new plants and planting schemes for gardeners willing to get their hands dirty. However, there are plenty of show gardens that can just be admired for their design, use of plants and hard landscaping much as you admire a painting or a sculpture in an art gallery.
Just as there are many forms of art, both contemporary and traditional so it is with the gardens on show. There were some I disliked and others I fell in love with.
This year there were seven Concept Gardens that were designed to represent a theme. The Seven Deadly Sins was the brief with each designer being given one of the seven. Whether you liked them or not each garden was thought provoking and sometimes controversial. My personal favourite was the wrath garden. It was hellish looking with planting on volcanic rock that I can only describe as seething anger planting.
If you are lucky to be in London in early July the show is worth going to. The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) have a number of other shows in their calendar including the jewel in their crown, the Chelsea Flower Show. There are two, one in spring the other in late summer, at Malvern; and another further north at Tatton Park near Manchester. They also hold smaller shows. Full details of all these and their dates are on the RHS website.
The Royal Horticultural Society also have four gardens around the country that are well worth visiting. I will be looking at visiting these on a day out in the next gardens and travel post.
There are more photographs of my day at the Hampton Court Flower Show on the Travel Unpacked Facebook Page.