Hampton Court is Hot

Signage for one of the new themed areas - an amusing choice of material in view of the word ;)
After visiting several shows with accompanying cold weather and rain, it was rather a surprise to find this year's RHS Hampton Court show bathed in hot sunshine yesterday. It's decades since I last wore a hat (as I get 'hat hair'), but even I had to succumb to the inevitable and take shelter beneath a brim. Factor 45 sunscreen, plenty of water (with frequent top ups) and seeking shade were the order of the day. I even sneakily had a spray of water from the sprinkler on Chris Beardshaw's beautifully planted show garden in an attempt to keep cool!

Mark and Gaz have already thoroughly catalogued many of the show gardens with pictures much better than mine, and Matron has quite a bit to say on the edible side of things. So I thought I'd add some of the other things I spotted on the day which might otherwise get missed out.

A Blue Morpho butterfly and exotic planting in the butterfly dome
A last-minute exhibit was the exotic butterfly dome, put on in conjunction with the Eden Project. This was an indoor area complete with tropical planting and free flying butterflies, some of which had already escaped into the outdoors. There were plenty left to marvel at though and this exhibit was being thoroughly enjoyed by me and the other visitors before moving on to the bee exhibit next door. Be warned if you're visiting the show later this week: you will need to drink plenty of water after walking through this exhibit, it is seriously hot and humid inside!

I spotted these natty little bio-domes in the Floral Marquee courtesy of Borneo Exotics. Each houses 2 baby Nepenthes ready to start your own pitcher plant collection. I can see this being the perfect present for people like my young nephew to get hooked on gardening (he thought garden centres were 'really boring' until I showed him some venus fly traps there).

Not all the hot-house flowers were confined to the Floral Marquee
I found this gentleman and colleagues fairly early on in proceedings. I asked him if he'd still be smiling at the end of the day. He said 'If I'm not, the make-up artist will come along and paint one on'!

New in the Floral Marquee this year
I like the idea of the programme of Potting Bench Demonstrations put on by various exhibitors in the Floral Marquee. It's a real chance to learn from the experts on a whole host of topics - there's a similar programme of goodies available in the Plant Heritage marquee :)

Perhaps the biggest surprise this year was finding this gentleman on holiday and having a rather surreal conversation:

Me: Fancy seeing you here Santa!
Santa: Ho Ho Ho! Well, my dear I needed to find somewhere unusual for my holiday this year and get away from it all.
Me: But you must be rather hot in that suit?
Santa: Yes, though my elves have kindly gone back to the North Pole to fetch some ice to cool me down. Now tell me, have you been a good girl this year?
Me: (chuckling) Of course I have Santa!
Santa: (sternly) Well, that's not what I have down in my book, there's a couple of things I've had to make a note of.
Me: Oh dear, I thought I'd got away with those...
Santa: Well, if you behave yourself for the rest of the year, then I'll see what I can do. No promises, mind.
Me: OK, but I can't make any promises either ;)

Damn, my chances of having an iPad for Christmas this year are thoroughly scuppered!


  1. My one visit to the Hampton Court Show was made on a blazing hot day VP. One of my anti heat remedies is a small aerosol can of Evian water which you can spray on pulse points, face etc as and when. It's most effective :) Don't give up on the iPad yet - you have a few months to redeem yourself :)

    1. What a good idea - I saw a similar technique being applied to the plants in the Floral Marquee!

  2. It was great to catch up again and also see some different shots from the day. We missed Santa, but perhaps that is just as well, I can live in hope i'm still in teh good books!

    1. Great to see you and Mark again :) That Gingko tree you bought is fab!


Post a Comment

I love hearing from you and welcome thoughtful conversations :)

Comments aiming to link back and give credence to commercial websites will be composted!

Your essential reads

Jack Go To Bed At Noon

That blue flower: A spring spotter's guide

Salad Days: Mastering Lettuce

Testing Times: Tomatoes

Salad Days: Salads for Damp Places

The Resilient Garden

VPs VIPs: Derry Watkins of Special Plants

Chelsea Fringe 2014: Shows of Hands - Episode I

#mygardenrightnow: heading into summer with the Chelsea Fringe

Introducing the #mygardenrightnow project