Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (Part 2)

Welcome to the Member Ideas area! This community feature is where our members can post their own ideas. These posts are unedited and not necessarily endorsed by the National Gardening Association.
Posted by @NEILMUIR1 on
Hampton Court Palace is in Surrey, which is to the west of London and lies on the side of the River Thames. The first Flower Show was held here in 1990 but it was not until 1993 that it became a Royal Horticultural Society Show. By concentrating on environmental issues, growing your own, and cookery, it was different from the Chelsea Flower Show. It also allowed people to test new tools and to buy plants, neither of which is allowed at the Chelsea Show until the last day. Please join me as I venture through the Surrey mud to see what I can find.

Some of these pictures were taken at long distance with a wide angle lens. Please enlarge them to see them at full size.

The rain persisted and at some points became worse, so I took solace in the Plant Heritage marquee. This amazing living library is part of our national plant collection. Here are some Dahlias from the  collection.

2011-07-14/NEILMUIR1/31471f                    2011-07-14/NEILMUIR1/7ba8db

Here you see lovely Hostas and on the right is Agapanthus, also from our national collection. It is strange being outside a Royal Palace looking at Hostas and knowing the Patron of the Hosta and Hemerocallis Society is Prince Charles. He has an amazing collection of Hostas at Highgrove, his home.

2011-07-14/NEILMUIR1/0d33ce                    2011-07-14/NEILMUIR1/c2bbe0

Now I can dart back into the floral marquee; the rain has eased a bit. In Part 1 we saw Aliums outside, here we see Aliums and Hippeastreum on a beautifully designed stand inside.

2011-07-14/NEILMUIR1/2ca63c                    2011-07-14/NEILMUIR1/c40f7a

This is the Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants stand and what a sight to behold! I could spend a long time wandering around here.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/d78798                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/9e765a

There were a lot of plants crammed on this stand and many of them were for sale. It's no wonder the stand was so busy.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/c3f60c                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/d03318

Alceas, or hollyhocks as they are commonly called, are wonderful. Seeing them in this display is a true delight. In the photo on the right you can see them paired with white Digitalis, or foxgloves, an awesome combination.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/6f4f52                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/78ddea

I love sea hollies. They grow so well in my garden and around this area. It's nice to see them coming back into popularity. Everywhere I went I could see people carrying bags that held an orange and rusty flower poking out of the top; I was intrigued. It turned out to be an Achillea; however one of the leaves managed to blank out some of its cultivar name when I took the picture.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/d0de34                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/c9bd10

This display was nicely done and looked good, but as anyone who grows Hydrangeas will know, we can't usually have pink and blue ones together.  Although they are the same plant, different soils will determine the color. It will have blue blooms if it is an acid soil, and pink if it is a lime or chalky soil. In addition, the blue Hydrangea in the picture on the right has a Buddleia next to it. Buddleias hate acid soils; in fact they grow between bricks in the lime mortar in the UK.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/68826f                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/437e4c

It is always lovely to go to a show like this.  As you turn away from one display, you might bump into an old friend. In this case it's a remarkable plant called Mandevilla. They are often grown in the UK as standards like Fuchsias and they are show stoppers! These are not standards, but see what you think of them.

2011-07-16/NEILMUIR1/3dccf1                    2011-07-16/NEILMUIR1/0800a5

There were a lot of Japanese maple stands, as there are at most shows I go to. Some of them were so spectacular, I was envious of the people who were carrying them out!

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/e33eed                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/2acf68

I admit to being in heaven with some of them; however I have enough already, so I do not need anymore.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/29a151                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/f12aea

I can see Strelitzia reginae, or the Bird of Paradise flower, from a long distance since we used to grow a lot of them.  This was a fine example. It also led me on to the orchids that follow this beauty.


The beginning of this display held everyone in awe. How breathtaking are some of these orchids!

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/32fbad                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/7b6323

I like Cypripedium, or the Lady's slipper orchids; I was a bit lost amongst some of those on the South American stand. Although I do appreciate and admire them, I leave them to the orchid lovers out there.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/2a5c23                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/279c0a

This stand won an R.H.S. Gold Medal. It is easy to see why, considering the quality of the plants on show and for sale.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/e8ec7a                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/7174e3

If you adore orchids, I think you could have spent a lot of money on this stand.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/bb27ec                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/dbda8f

The next orchid stand had some interesting things on it; they were extremely pretty as well.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/0efe28                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/f9ba6e

The side of this stand held plants for sale and they were quickly being sold.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/2abc22                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/2d6e66

It is a shame that the whole of this stand had poor labeling on the plants. It was hard to see with the naked eye, and difficult to get with a camera. On some plants the labels were put in awkward places.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/122a16                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/d19309

Hopefully you can see what I mean with the picture on the left. The clearly printed label saying there are plants for sale is easily readable, whereas the orchid's label in front of it is not. I gave up with the picture on the right, fancy overhanging someone else's stand. It also points out the difference in standards between this show and Chelsea.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/f127ab                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/fcb874

The South American display did have orchids, as well as some stunning and unusual plants. See for yourself how you could easily get lost here.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/7dd6c5                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/30b85a

Here is a little more of the South American stand in all its beauty. This rather amusing and very informative exhibit called Desert to Jungle was superbly done. It had some of my favourite plants in it. On the left is Gunnera maniculata, a tree fern in the middle, followed by Musas, commonly known as bananas, on the right.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/dcb28e                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/4b5fcc

The scent in the air almost made one want to sleep; it was beautiful but intoxicating as well. Here is the culprit that I call a 'lavender cake'. Thousands of different lavenders are used in creating this show and lots of lavenders were for sale at a very cheap price.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/1843e7                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/f4e66d

There were a lot of carnivorous\insectivorous plant stands at the show and all had something special.  On the left is a little stand with plants for sale and on the right is a R.H.S. Gold Medal with a rather large Venus flytrap, or Dionaea muscipula, in the centre.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/2d2684                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/70692a

One more look at this lovely stand and then we'll move on to the next one.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/a240f8                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/4e01d1

Here's another truly delightful sight, Nepenthes and Sarracenias together.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/435c49                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/9694ce

A lot of people mistook the plant on the left for a Cobra lily or Darlingtonia californica, which it is not; it is in fact a Sarracenia X formosa.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/78f892                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/72d6fb

While enjoying these wondrous plants, you might wonder if you have space for more of them in your garden.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/e35e25                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/16b6bb

Here are two breathtaking Sarracenias; the one on the right being native to North America as a lot of Sarracenias are.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/689fa8                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/00ccfb

Now for an exquisite Drosera capensis or cape sundew; we do have Drosera in the UK as a native plant but it is a bit smaller than this. A majestic Pinguicula or butterwort is on the right. Again we also have native Pinguicula in the UK.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/3afcbe                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/059364

I am always scolded for forgetting the cactus; here are some of them, although there will be more later. Since I was young, Lithops, or stone plants, have always fascinated me. These totally unique plants have developed a way of looking like a stone so no grazing animal would think of eating them; here are some Lithops for you.

2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/daecc6                    2011-07-15/NEILMUIR1/5c8c95

I am off for some refreshment now as the rain has stopped and the sun is out. No, I do not drink Pimm's or Champagne. It never ceases to amaze me how the British can eat fish & chips, pies or sausages whilst standing in the rain, as they were doing earlier. That, of course, will be followed by strawberries and cream, washed down with Champagne. If you are wet on the outside, you may as well be wet on the inside.


It is amazing to think that the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show started with 25 acres of show ground in 1990, with the promise of more if needed. Now it is colossal and is billed as the Biggest Flower Show in the world. It is still a long walk from the train station, over the River Thames and to the Palace garden gate. Then there is another enjoyable trek through the Palace gardens until you finally get to the entrance to the show. From there you have over 25 acres on each side of the long water to walk around, while viewing the sights.

There is a lot more yet to see! Please join me for Part 3.



Part 1

Part 3

Hampton Court Palace.

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.


For Nancy.

Comments and Discussion
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Hampton Court Flour Show by GardenLordandLady Jul 22, 2017 12:56 PM 0
Beautiful!! by threegardeners Aug 3, 2011 10:30 AM 8
Love by marti Jul 26, 2011 5:31 PM 34
A taste of home by pajonica Jul 23, 2011 8:22 PM 1
wow by Happy_1 Jul 23, 2011 9:48 AM 3
Breathtaking! by mollymistsmith Jul 22, 2011 9:11 PM 7
hampton court by murielw1 Jul 19, 2011 5:55 PM 5
Wonderful beautiful article by CherieCoogan Jul 19, 2011 4:13 PM 9
Amazing as usual by kareoke Jul 19, 2011 8:31 AM 3

Explore More:

Member Login:

( No account? Join now! )

Today's site banner is by bootandall and is called "Clematis integafolia"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.