• The Hampton Court Flower Show reflects the Recession

    5th July 2012Hampton Court Flower ShowStephanie Donaldson

    I found the big show gardens a big disappointment. It’s telling that I took very few photographs of them, while I took plenty of my favourite small gardens. I did photograph a few for their curiosity value rather than their inspiring ideas.

    The Azorean Garden reflects the fact that volcanic activity has largely wiped out the indigenous flora and most of what grows on the islands has been introduced over the centuries. Everything from tree ferns to strelitzia and hydrangeas intermingle in this ‘anything goes’ garden. The most interesting feature is the vineyard with each vine enclosed by walls of volcanic rock that help them establish in such a seemingly hostile environment. Rather than being trained in the usual way, they are allowed to scramble over the walls.

    swiss alpine garden at hampton court 2012
    The Swiss Alpine Garden seemed to rely on the clichés of an Alpenhorn player and a later guest appearance by St Bernard dogs to distract from the rather poor landscaping and planting.

    discover jordan garden at hampton court 2012

    The ‘Discover Jordan Garden’ confirmed what I already knew about the country – that it is largely desert and there are some nice ruins, but not many plants!