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Hampton Court Flower Show - 5th July 2000
Visited by Neesie, Fran and Chris
Written by Chris

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This was my second visit to “the world’s biggest flower show”. Neesie and I visited three years ago. On that occasion we went on a Friday, and although we picked up some good deals because it was headed towards the end of the week, many of the displays were really past their best. This year we visited on the Wednesday, which is an RHS members’ day only (entry £19 each). It was still very busy but the displays looked better.

What a wet day it turned out to be, but although muddy underfoot, it did little more than drizzle once we got there. Neesie and I traveled up (from the south) by car, it was a nightmare. The last five miles took us an hour and we ended up having to pay £8 for a car parking spot that was some considerable distance from the site. We would have been better off going by train as we had on the previous occasion. Fran on the other hand, approaching from the north had better luck and got a parking spot right aside the show.

We arrived at 11.40, but still no word from Fran! I phoned but there was no reply, so I assumed she was still driving. She actually arrived a few minutes later and eventually found us in the rose tent. In the meantime Neesie and I had a zombified look through the marquee with all the gardens in. We didn’t do it justice and should have returned later when we’d had a drink and recovered from the journey.

Roof garden

This might have been what put us off! It is a roof garden. The chap on TV covering the show the night before had said “I’ve been wondering for 4 days what this reminds me of, and now I know. It’s a garage forecourt. As a garage forecourt it’s very nice, but as a garden……”! Just look at it. Where are the plants, and in what sort of garden would you hang paintings of flowers rather than have the real thing. This is so “Chelsea” and not my scene at all. I wish they wouldn’t allow such “art” at Hampton Court.

There were some pretty gardens too, but it was crowded and I couldn’t get any really good pictures. We spotted the Thomson and Morgan stall and had a quick browse, but the T&M seeds we wanted weren’t at the show, so if we get them we’ll have to order them mail order.

We looked at the orchids. Neesie met a friend who was working on the stand.

Orchids

So off to meet Fran in the Rose marquee. This lifted the spirits nicely and I went a bit camera crazy. On the next page you’ll see all the rose pics, so if you’re not into roses, just skip to page 3!

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