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Hampton Court 2013 Newsletter

Welcome to our special show newsletter from
RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2013

The Hampton Court Flower Show is always one of the must-see shows of the gardening year because it manages to combine all the glitz and razzamatazz of Chelsea with a real passion for plants. The glorious riverside location with the palace at its heart is hard to beat plus there are always lots of gardening products to see as well as plenty of show gardens to explore.
The great thing about the timing of The Hampton Court Palace show is that plants are naturally keen to flower in July, unlike earlier shows where bad weather in spring can be a real challenge to exhibitors.
There is always something fresh and exciting to take away from the Hampton Court show and this year there are even more attractions, with three new zones to visit.
The Grow Zone, the Inspire Zone, the Escape Zone. They’ve been themed to create different moods and help visitors find the exhibits and exhibitors they most want to visit.
If you’re going to the show have fun, we really enjoyed our day, see what inspired us, and read our suggestions for getting the best from your summer garden. We promise you won’t need to live in a palace to copy our ideas.

Happy gardening!


In the Grow zone: We loved: Everything! It was our first stop of course, being keen gardeners we were drawn immediately to the exhibits in the Floral and Plant Heritage Marquees and the Plant Village. There are more than 100 plant exhibits and demonstrations and lots to see.
From the National Collection holders who are celebrating 35 years of Plant Heritage (their centerpiece is called ‘Jewels in the Crown’) to the specialist nurseries and professional growers. Hampton Court is definitely the place to indulge your passion for plants. Take a notepad because it’s also the perfect place to ask questions from the experts; they know their plants inside out and are always happy to share tips.
You’ll see well grown, healthy plants every where at the show. And just as you’d expect from gold medal nurseries the plants look entirely pest free! Pristine flowers and foliage with not a blemish in sight; even normally slug-prone hostas are immaculate.



Ideas to copy
If, like the exhibitors, you have a passion for plants take a leaf out of the exhibitors’ book, and check plants over as you water them. Look carefully for signs of damage from pests and disease. Prevention is always better than cure but be prepared to act fast to nip any small problems in the bud before they turn into a major infestation.
If the plants in your garden have leaves that look more like lace doilies it’s time to wage war on slugs. Whether you garden organically or resort to pellets there are plenty of different ways to minimize slug damage. One of the newest is Grazers, already well known for deer and rabbit control, they’ve got a brand new product that targets those slimy molluscs and claims to reduce them considerably.
Nemasys slug control uses microscopic nematodes; an effective tried and tested treatment. Use the pack as directed and water in when the soil is warm and already moist.
Whatever plants you grow vigilance, good growing conditions and the right pest and disease control products will keep plants as pest free and healthy as the plants at the show.


We loved looking at the smaller exhibits that run alongside the show gardens. We guarantee you’ll be bowled over by the amazing School’s Scarecrow Competition.
We spotted gorgeous plants and great products, including some amazing henhouses!
And if you love growing from seed the heritage seed swap is bound to be a favourite.
If you’re after some retail therapy it’s a real shoppers’ paradise In the Escape zone and offers plenty in the way of temptation from edible treats to practical ideas for combining food and gardening.

Ideas to copy throughout the show! There are plenty of ideas to take away for our own gardens whether it’s flowers, fruit and vegetables or garden products that are on your shopping list.
Be inspired to plant perennial plants such as monarda and penstemon that attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Find inspiration for unusual hanging baskets and containers.  Add edible plants such as violas and nasturtiums to displays and bring decorative herbs, fruit and even vegetables out of the kitchen garden and into the border. Most herbs like poor soils and sunshine and herbs such as borage will germinate quickly if you grow them from seed; or buy herbs as young plants.
Families aren’t forgotten at the show with plenty for younger growers to enjoy. .Making your own scarecrow is a great idea to copy; a creative way to keep the kids (and us) amused in the summer holidays!


We loved a lot of the gardens in the Inspire zone, they always fire the imagination and if you’re anything like us we promise you’ll take away new ideas for plant combinations and ways to make even the smallest garden into a paradise. Some show gardens were ultra modern, others were more traditional.
The Hot Stuff Garden was inspired in part by Christopher Lloyd’s tropical planting at Great Dixter. The designers Victoria Truman and Liz Rentzsch wanted to create something fresh and environmentally sound that could be copied on a domestic scale; they summed up their design style as “Less hard landscaping, more plants and lots of fun!” That’s a sentiment we definitely agree with here at Unwins.



Ideas to copy Dense planting with hardly a glimpse of soil is the hallmark of show displays. Planting like this looks spectacular and it’s also a brilliant and very practical way to keep weeds at bay; there simply isn’t room for unwanted seedlings to get a foothold if you plant densely. (Not that any weed would stand a chance on any of these well manicured displays!).


We loved the environmentally friendly planters that were designed by celebrities such as herb specialist Jekka McVicar, veg gardener Pippa Greenwood, and a host of other well known gardeners and garden designers and sponsored by Ecover.
Our favourites were ‘Abundance’ designed by Ann-Marie Powell and Toby Buckland’s ‘Honey Pot’ garden.
Anne Maries’s mix of monarda and centranthus combined with flowering herbs such as borage and the pretty edible flowers of violas is full of edible perennials, she says, “It’s a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds”
Toby Buckland’s ‘Honey Pot’ garden is a great mix of perennial plants including salvias and hardy geraniums plus easy to grow climbing annuals such as nasturtiums and ipomoea that twined up the central metal urn that doubles as a climbing frame.
Sustainability, saving water and recycling were recurrent themes.

Matthew Childs’ Ecover show garden raises awareness of all these issues and shows it’s possible to create a garden that is kind to the environment and good to look at.



Ideas to copy
The garden A Moveable Feast was inspired by the army wives, it is jointly sponsored by Surrey Heath Borough Council and many Forces personnel are situated within the Surrey Heath area .This garden, designed by Kate Turner is bound to be a real crowd pleaser especially for gardeners with limited space or who rent a property and need a temporary but workable growing space.
If you are inspired by the planters and some of the smaller gardens look at ways to get more growing space in the garden, use temporary Gro-beds on the patio or greenhouse or make some more permanent raised beds and fill them full of flowers and veg.



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