We visit Hampton Court Flower Show (and hang out with Sir David Bellamy)

Did you get a chance to make it to the lovely Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2011? If not, you can browse some of the beautiful show gardens here. It was great fun wandering around and hanging out in the foliage with the legend that is Sir David Bellamy (now there's a statement I never thought I'd be able to make). So...when the show is over and all that's left is a single piece of tumbleweed blowing in the breeze around the Hampton Court Palace grounds, we can be safe in the knowledge that the displays will live on in our hearts and minds, or at least here on the ACHICA Living blog.

First up, The World Vision Garden powered by Plantify (above) was a stunner. A still pool is punctuated by grass domes, which was designed by FlemonsWarlandDesign to reflect charity World Vision's work in almost 100 countries - one dome represents the prosperous nations that have, while the other dome is indicative of the half of the world that have not. It certainly made me stand and stare.

Paul Martin in association with Vestra Wealth's Gray's Garden (below), which won a Gold award at the show, is inspired by the famous 1920's furniture designer and architect Eileen Gray, with a pavilion modelled on Gray's architecture in the centre of the garden. It features multi-stemmed trees that provide some dappled shade, while long metal water troughs are nestling in clipped-box lawns...

The Virtual Reality Garden (below), designed by Bruce Waldock, has only the rocky forms to disturb its serene pattern...

With its clear message written on a revolving water feature that states 'Do you control your waterworks or do your waterworks control you?, the aim of the Control the Uncontrollable garden (below) was to highlight the problem of Overactive Bladder (OAB), which affects over five million adults in the UK. Who knew? I love the suspended pink tap...

WWF's 50th Anniversary Garden - Why we care about Chalk Streams - is designed by Fiona Stephenson and tells the story of WWF's water conservation work. It includes plants typically found around chalk streams or in alkaline soils such as meadowsweet and water crowfoot.

LOROS Hospice Garden of Light and Reflection (below) was designed by Dejardin Design to heighten the awareness of the therapeutic benefits of gardens. With its punchy jewel-like colours, the scent and texture of flowers and foliage and the sound of trickling water, it did just that.

The Naked Garden sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements (below) features its glazing technology, which is 'invisible to the naked eye'. Designed by David Domoney it exposes plants in a series of cleverly constructed containers using glass and other transparent materials that show the beauty of the 'naked' plants and expose what is traditionally left undiscovered...

The Copella Plant and Protect Garden (below) was a particularly refreshing site. It's here that I came across the very lovely Sir David Bellamy, who was working with Copella to promote English apples, a fruit he's passionate about. The layout of the space is inspired by the natural shapes of the apples and leaves of the trees used to produce Copella apple juice. And here's a little fact for you: Did you know that if you have two or more apples trees in your garden then it constitutes as an orchard? Nice.

Copella Garden (above) and the legend that is Sir David Bellamy (below) hanging out in the foliage...gotta love him!

If all this talk of gardens has got you inspired to get out in the garden and prune some hedges (erm...), then check out the Wilkinson Sword garden gadgets promotion at ACHICA today.

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Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor