7 Favourite Show Gardens from Hampton Court14th July 2013 • Hampton Court Flower Show • Stephanie Donaldson
Delicately beautiful woodland planting designed by garden photographer David Sarton in his first show garden. It deservedly won a gold medal.
I loved the scale and ambition of the lush Valley Garden by newcomer Sophie Walker who put this impressive garden together without any support from sponsors. She sourced many of the plants from Crug Farm and created a scaled down valley with a distinctly tropical atmosphere.
Arun Landscapes ‘Room with a View’ was subtle and interesting. I loved the muted colours of the planting and the reclaimed timber walls with a wind-filtering metal screen that could be wound into place when needed. The designer is from Brighton so both the planting and the design would be suitable for a seaside garden.
The Conceptual Gardens were the usual mix of clever ideas well-realised and those with ambitions that outran the reality. I particularly liked the interpretation of a natural limestone pavement in the Clints & Grykes Garden with the pavement (the clint) dissected by fissures (the grykes) from which shade loving plants emerged.
Desolation to Regeneration was another conceptual garden that succeeded in being both innovative and understandable. I loved the way the backdrops and the planting married together to put across the process from destruction to regrowth so effectively.
Quite how Chris Beardshaw manages to put together both a Chelsea and Hampton Court garden of such high standard is a mystery to lesser mortals, but he’s done it again this year. His McCarthy & Stone Garden was a cool and calm sanctuary that focused on the challenges and opportunities of later life.
Between the Lines by Maurice Butcher was simple but effective with flowing planting in a restrained palette that blended beautifully.