Monday, July 02, 2012

Postcard from Hampton Court: Monday

Sorry (again): another long silence.

I have been camera-less which has left me bereft and strangely incapable of wittering on as I usually do. Not sure why not having visible proof silences me quite so efficiently but luckily (or unluckily, depending on your point of view) another flower show came along forcing me to buck up my ideas and acquire a new camera post haste. Canon SX40, since you ask, and yes it is far more complicated than the last one and no I still haven't got further than the auto setting.

The show, of course, was the wonderful RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show: huge, fizzing with energy and ideas, slightly exhausting, thought-provoking, unmissable.

The extraordinary garden in the picture is Anoushka Feiler's 'Bridge over Troubled Water', which won a gold and Best in Show: and for me it stood head and shoulders above the rest.

Show gardens at Hampton Court can be a bit hit-and-miss: what Tony Smith was doing sticking plastic bottles on Arundo donax for Ecover I don't know (his paving conceptual garden was a bit... mmmm... too). Still: at least they try to push the boundaries and do something different, even if it doesn't always come off.

But Anoushka's garden was pure gold: or rather pink. It was the most sensuous, feminine, diaphanous garden: passionate, loving, emotional. The idea behind it was quite simple: a bridge as a journey over hardship (more specifically, overactive bladder - but I did my best not to think about that too much as it just made me want to cross my legs. Click the link if you want to know more.)

Either side were great banks of lush ivies and ferns dripping down to the water - a gorgeous and practical use for vertical planting - on which was built a sumptuous hummocky grassland of pinks and greens over which floated airy honey locust trees (Gleditsia triacanthos 'Elegantissima').

I adored the planting: here Echinacea 'Fatal Attraction' (mysterious and other-worldly without its petals), Dicentra 'King of Hearts', Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum' and, I think, the feathery plumes of Deschampsia cespitosa 'Pixie Fountain'.

We've seen Anoushka's work before: she created last year's upside-down conceptual garden, 'Excuse Me While I Kiss the Sky'. Another passionate creation, full of laughter and hope. I'm so glad she's back for more: and I hope we see a lot more of her gardens in years to come.


Artist's Garden said...

So glad you got a new camera, I love this planting,

The Constant Gardener said...

Me too! And yes the planting was sublime - how she pulls it off I'll never know, it was just gorgeous.

VP said...

I asked at the Ecover stand - it's because their source of plastic is from sugar cane, so the Arundo donax is standing in for it. And the bottles hanging from the trees are a sly nod to the usual lemons or apples or whatever which you normally get fruiting on trees.

It was still bonkers though, as was Chaos.

The Constant Gardener said...

Hmm... still not sure that absolves him from the why would you do that? problem. And I agree about Chaos: actually I thought Tony Smith had lost his usually very sure touch this year. I hope the blip doesn't last long...

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