This forthcoming week I will not be at RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival, which is a double sadness as it was postponed until September and then cancelled completely. I was not hugely surprised it could not go ahead in September and like everyone I only want it to happen when it can be safe; but I was still sad to cross off another event in the calendar.
I associate RHS Hampton Court with heat, it is often a very warm day when I visit. It is not a show I visit all the time, though I have in the last couple of years fallen rather in love with it. It is a big show, I think the biggest and so I have to make sure I have plenty of time to get around it and, often not so successfully, try and see everything I want to see.
Being large though does mean that there is a lot of room to enjoy looking at where there is to offer.
The plant sales are good at RHS Hampton Court. I miss plant sales, I love plant sales. Sigh.
I also miss seeing the show gardens and exhibition gardens.
When I was looking through my photos and found this one of this magnificent Sitting Spiritually bench I did not need to remember how much I loved it at the time, it remains a thing of beauty.
Of course there is also the Floral Marquee which is always a joy. I remember this display from 2018 with a real smile on my face. I would have this in my garden if I could..... We can still buy from the nurseries that would have been exhibiting at the show and it is important to remember that for many of these nurseries it is at shows where they make a significant part of their annual income. With a whole year wiped out for shows they will need our support and so it is our duty to buy from them online (well that is my excuse anyway....) The RHS has links to the nurseries here.
I always associate RHS Hampton Court with roses in particular. I am very fond of roses and they have what I call the 'rose tent', or as they call it 'The Festival of Roses' (in the rose tent...) every year. They announce the 'Rose of the Year' at the show and this year this will happen 'virtually'. I shall be awaiting the announcement with great interest.
When I was looking back on plants I bought from the show I was surprised to find I had bought my Fuchsia Lady Bacon from the show in 2014. I still have this plant and it is a very good plant, I just had no memory of where I acquired it.
I also bought this albizia from there last year and this is still growing well. I saw that I also bought a Paulownia tree from the show and I had noted I had little success with them. Dear reader, true to form, I have killed it.
As ever there is no point in dwelling too much on what cannot be, let us think ahead to next year. A year already tinged by the knowledge that RHS Chatsworth will not be going ahead due to the economic impact of not running shows this year. We shall set our chins upwards, look for clear blue sky and look forward to next year's RHS Hampton Court Festival.
Until then, stay safe all.