A Couple of Fine Concepts6th July 2012 • Hampton Court Flower Show • Stephanie Donaldson
The conceptual gardens at the Hampton Court Flower Show are always a mixed bag – the best are challenging, exciting and genuinely innovative. There are two that I loved at this year’s show. The Los Mariposas garden (supporting Amnesty International’s Butterflies of Hope campaign for the women of Nicaragua) has a kaleidoscope of tropical butterflies flitting amongst lush planting within a bright pink cube building set in a meadow of grasses and blue catanache. The garden is designed to contrast equality and freedom with pain and containment, reflecting the abuse and poor status of many women in Nicuaragua. The second conceptual garden to get my vote was the extraordinarily clever ‘Coral Desert’ where, within a cube of deep blue glass, a bank of cacti and succulents was planted densely together to resemble a coral reef. The garden drew attention to the increasing threat to coral reefs by recreating its beauty using desert plants. Very clever.