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Hampton Court Flower Show - 5th July 2000 (continued)

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We did look at a few of the hundreds of stands outside, but I have to say it was more comfortable inside. We looked at the flower marquees and ogled all the amazing displays.

We liked this water feature:

Water feature

Fuchsias to die for.... or more appropriately "to pay for"! Yes I know about my little overload problem, so I only bought five new ones. Neesie bought a few and Fran bought one. Fran bought some other stuff too but I can't remember what (see her note at the end of the report for details). One of the fuchsia nurseries was quite close to us, we've been a couple of times since!

Here’s a few:



The lilies were so cheerful too. I've only just started growing these, but I think I'm well on my way to another “obsession”! I think these were “Princess” lilies:

Princess Lilies

The begonias had flowers the size of dinner plates! If mine grow to anything like that big, the flowers inevitably get too heavy for the stalks and they snap off at the base. Clearly there’s a trick I don't know about. Those are delphiniums in the background:


There was the thyme garden. How gorgeous and all done just using different types of thyme. Got to have a go at this!


And for those that like such things, there was a rather interesting and imaginative “green” garden:

Green garden

Other little finds.... As usual lots of cheapy bits like white plant labels - 1p each. I stock up at Hampton Court because I've never found them cheaper anywhere else. Rubber cane caps, kind of essential when one has 40 outdoor tomatoes! 20 for a quid. Locally they are 6 for a quid! We also found a really good aromatherapy place with some gorgeous oils. Check them out at:

We stayed six hours and were on our feet for most of that time. I would say to see the whole show you need about 8 hours. It was easier when the weather was nice on our last visit. There weren’t enough places to sit under cover really and we were very foot sore. Neesie and I treated ourselves to the ferry back to the car! Our acquisitions were feeling very heavy by the time we got there.

It was a great day, a great show. We’ll be going again without a doubt!

Addendum from Fran

Yep - Fran exercised her plastic too smilie. Actually - that's another god tip - always take plenty of the folding paper stuff - 'cos you'll find the very stand you want to buy from doesn't take plastic Frownie. In the plant Dept I bought two Fuchsias (the second one was small, so Chris prolly didn't see it) One was a largish Lottie Hobby - a 'miniature' fuchsia which is supposed to be as tough as old boots - so this one will spend the winter outside, instead of in the greenhouse like last year’s one did - and perishedFrownie. The second was a small rooted cutting of Thara ( a 'stargazer' variety as I have since discovered). [Editor’s note: isn’t that Thamar?]

In addition to this lot I also lugged home a Monarda (Bergamot/Bee Balm)' Ruby Glow', a Digitalis mertonensis - which allegedly has 'rosy mauve and copper flowers' (can't wait for that one), and a grass (I hope it's the right one) Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln' - which I hope has large fluffy seed heads - like a squirrels tail Smilie.

Then of course there was the Gardener's World subscription - £28/year with a free pair of rather nice hand shears which turn through 90 degrees to cut at whatever angel you require - handy for topiary or a quick trim round the privet hedge which always encroaches more around the gateway than anywhere else (and showers you with rain whenever you brush against it)

All in all a great day - wonderful settings - and I don't mind the driving - saved having to lug all those very wet 1 litre pots across London...........

I'd like to do it again next year!

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