Joe Swift, Rachel de Thame and Alys Fowler join Monty Don to celebrate the 2011 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Rachel visits the Festival of Roses.
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There's a distin theme this year. From Alice's adventures, we have
spent the week in a gardening wonder land. We are here today and
tomorrow with full one-hour programmes, bringing you the very
best from the Hampton Court Flower Show. I tell you, it's very good.
Joe and Rachel are looking at medal winners in the large show gardens.
I feel like Cathy in Wuthering Heights up here. I have been re-
visiting the work so of of our greatest poets in a series of
gardens inspired by them. It is the about the killing of the
Jabberwocky. Alys Fowler has paid a visit to the
floral marquee, to seek out some of the legend dri stories behind some
of our favourite flowers. marquee is packed with incredible
plants. This year, it rivals the Hello, welcome to the 2011RHS
Hampton Court Flower Show. The medals have been awarded and
obviously the normal upsets and surprises, but on the whole, I
think tough, the medals. Possibly. There are three Gold Medals this
year in the large show garden category. That is two more than
last year. Some of the silver-gilt people may feel aggrieved. It means
the judging has been of a high standard. The winner is a goody.
Habit the floral marquee? Plenty of -- Hapbt the floral marquee?
Plenty of medals in there. Paul Harris wanted a gold and got a
bronze, but the public loved him. They loved the conceptual gardens.
This one got a silver-gilt. She is still pregnant, carrying twins.
had the babies yet? Not yet. One of the interesting things about the
show gardens is they have a message, a plea to plant more apples in our
gardens to a passionate plea to stop world poverty. The fact that
designers seemed able to express these beliefs through the medium of
horticulture is in itself very interesting. After the medals were
awarded, Rachel and Joe went along to see if the messages had reached
designer. It is about older people getting their heads around the
internet and getting lost. Clues are in the planting. The monkey
puzzle tree and this wire netting plant. That tangle of confusion and
the internet, literally, I it comes over very well. I quite like this
hedge at the back, the way it is lumpy and bumpy, it is not
perfectly trimmed. It has a brilliant texture. It might be
indicative of woolly thinking. draws the eye up - it was as if
that was there especially. This backdrop you get at Hampton court
is unique to this show. It sets off the show gardens a treat. This one
got a silver medal. This garden, Diamonds and Rust, by
Tony Smith, whose work we are more familiar with. The thought process
is deep with Tony's work. This is about time. We are sitting on a
Pyramid here, which represents thousands of years. There are hills
which are geological structures obviously, which represent millions
of years. Then, in the middle we have these chimneys, which are
man's influence on the landscape. They are hundreds of years old.
There are some really clever ideas behind the garden. If you knew
nothing about the concept it still really works. I love this sort of
dark satanic mill here and these soft hills - very beautiful. I feel
a bit like Cathy in Wuthering Heights up here. The public are not
allowed up here. We are privileged. Have you noticed how the turf is
alive - it's getting full of mushrooms!
The Naked Garden is about transparency. The plants are
growing without soil in oxygenated, oxygen-rich water. Everything is
made from see-through plastic or glass.
This garden will go on to form part of the courtyard at a hospice after
the show. It is a calming space. It is also cheerful and uplifting. You
have the oranges there and that lovely magenta of the cosmos. And
the pavilion has an Asian feel to it, it reflects the diversity of
the Leicester area. It is a lovely It is so graphic. There's an
important message behind it. have the world of haves and have
nots. Trying to deliver the message for world vision, who work in 100
countries worldwide to create child welfare through health and
education. How does that narrative work in the garden, with the dome
and then the hole in the water? have a concave dome, which
represents half the children in the world live in poverty, and then the
convex stone is the children in prosperity. Then the reflection in
the water, the world in harmony. becomes more intriguing. I really
like the screens as well. It is about everything sharing the whole
vision. In reality people only get glimpses why they are the haves and
have-nots. Nobody can see the reflection apart from a couple of
points in the garden. That is what we should all aim for.
Beautiful planting. You got a gold - a brilliant garden.
designers have based their gardens specifically on individual poems.Ly
come back to look at some later. -- I will come back to look at some of
them later. The Reverend Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis
Carol. The tales of Alice Through The Looking Glass provide an
influence for many of the exhibits here.
In 1865, when the book was published, standard roses were at
the height of their popularity. You can see them within the pictures in
the book. Since then, they've gone in and out of fashion. There's one
exhibiter here at Hampton who reckons there could be a standard
rose for everybody, using a stem. Some people call them tree
roses because they are in fact a miniature tree. It's a tree that
you can manage. You just give it one hard prune a year and it will
always keep its shape. A better look, the standard rose can grow
for 20-30 years. They were becoming unpopular in the
80s and 90s, mainly because the varieties selected were often too
tall growing and there was a lot of wind damage. Also the heights the
graphs were being done made them flower at seven feet high sometimes.
We have reduced the height of the stem. They used to be graphed at
700 centimetres. We have brought that down by a foot. Therefore, you
can then plant them into pots and still have a flowering plant at eye
level. This is a -- what we produce our standards from. We buy the
stems in from Holland, plant them by hand in March time.
We leave them to grow. Normally by the end of June, early July, they
are ready for budding. This is what we call bud wood,
which is taken from the previous year's roses in the field, which
are roses you would associate as garden roses with flowers on them.
What we have to do in the shed is remove all the thorns. When you do
the budding you cannot wear gloves so, you need a good clean stem that
will not prick your fingers. We take the bud wood to a cut into the
stem and pull it down. Then we remove the wood behind the eye.
Then we have to make a T--cut on to the stem. We get the eye from the
stem and put it into the cut. Then we cut off at the bottom, leaving
the eye in the stem. We do this process four times. We put four on
because we want to end 7 with a -- up with a standard with two
branches, one on each side of the stem to become a first-quality
plant. Then we put a patch over the eye. The reason for the patch is to
keep out the dust, not let it dry out and also to keep out rain.
This one here is Flower Power. It is a nice patio, pro-fuesly flowers
and has a delicate scent. This is a quarter-standard. It is on a
shorter stem. It creates a different interest in the heights.
This has one long blush of colour lasting six to eight weeks. The
cascades get longer as you leave them to grow throughout the summer.
Planted like this you can create that romantic feel.
The purpose of grafting at this height and Victorian times may have
been to protect the dignity of the lady of the house. By having them
at this house she would not have to bend over to smell and tend her
roses. In the Alice In Wonderland book
they talk about painting roses. We want to include striped roses. This
is called Brush Strokes. It has red and yellow stripes, produces lots
of flowers on the head and is extremely healthy. You either love
or hate striped roses. At Hampton magnificent on the display? Can you
graft any variety in that way? can put any rose on a standard stem.
In practise we need to stick to shorter varieties. All that will
happen if you have a tall one on a standard is they will get wind
damage and probably flower at six or seven feet rather than eye level.
What are you particularly proud of this year? Our new introduction
Truly Scrumptious. It flowers into December, even through the hard
frost. We have lovely pink and apricot tones. I love how the
colour is reflected in that deep purple stem. For a hybrid it is a
small flower, so neat as well. Very, very pretty. You have captured the
whole Alice theme with your red and white roses. It looks a treat.
Thank you. Chris and Margaret are not the only
rose growers embracing the theme this year. All the big nurseries
are back with a hint of fantasy and a host of new offerings.
New from Harkness Roses is this lovely shrub which is named after a
famous actress. It is very reminisce sent of the old hybrid
musks. It grows to about a metre, one metre 20 in height. It is broad,
so it has a domed shape and works very well in the mixed border. It
has a lovely colouring. The way it bleaches as it grows, as it matures
from this delicate peach and opens through a creamy yellow and becomes
paleer as the time goes on. Best -- paler as the time goes on. Best of
all, from this distance, a You have been aregarded -- awarded
this lovely vase? That's right. We are very, very proud.
Now, what is it that you look for in a rose to get that sort of
accolade? You want to look at the amount 6 colours, the fragrance,
the health, how it grows, how it looks in the garden.
What is it about the rose, apart from the fact it looks stunning
here, that makes it so special? Most of the time it has shown
really, really good performance. The rose is exact, and really,
really healthy and the sheer Flower Power it flowered all the year
through. You should have called it Unstoppable! It would have been
very apt! New this year from David Austen Roses is Wool tonne Old Hall.
It is a good, upright shape and a knock out fragrance. It was not
looking its best for Chelsea, but here you can see it in its full
glory at Hampton Court. There is a new rose at the show,
gloirgloirgloir and 'Katie's Rose', a double with intense -- 'Norfolk
Glory' and 'Katie's Rose', a double with dark green glossy fowliage.
P&O epo are showcasing this, "Camelot" With wonderful, rich pink
flowers. It is very pretty. It grows to about three metres in
height. It has this lovely glossy foliag and the stems are plyable,
so you can wrap and train them around a pergola and arch. It
should make a for a really good garden feature.
Pococs are also showing 'Pure Poetry', aptly named. Look at the
colour in the purple, and it opens and it fades to the magenta. I
think that the shape is misleading. It has the traditional pointed bud
and then it opens up to this broad flower, packed with petals. Luckily,
the stems are strong to support the heavy blooms. In the garden it can
be used in containers, in the bedding and in a mixed border
situation, but it is also very good for cutting. It lasts well in a
vase, so I recommend growing some for that. It is yet another
highlight in what is for me, truly a wonderland of roses.
The influence of Lewis Carroll is found all over the -- over the show
this year. I'm in the Poet's Garden. This is a garden based upon Lewis
Carroll's poem, Jabberwocky. This terrible beast, the jaber wok
is slain. What I like about this, is that this garden, made by Kid's
Company, seems to celebrate not just the poem, but also their
experience. These are children with all kinds of problems, but it comes
through and it is fun. Yvonne Matthews's garden is based
on Lord Byron's poem, Love's Last Adieu.
Whereas in the 21st century we are rather uncertain how to handle
death, this uses the poem to create upon a poem by Rudyard Kipling
called My Boy Jack a lament to his son killed in the First World War.
The First World War theme is picked up by the poppities, the grass and
the graves made out of the bay. It is a tribute to the graveyards
where so many of the young men who died in that war were buried.
Jane Tomas has designed a garden based upon the poem of Shelly's
Mont Blanc. It is ambitious with 40 tonnes of rock. Based on four sides
with a waterfall. As you move around a wood lank section and then
is based on a poem by William Wordsworth. It is a simple dity who
are three lads, who build a stone building and the wind knock it is
down and they build it again. That is at the core of the early 19th
century row monthcism, but there is a message that is pertinent. There
is juniper growing. Juniper was common in the Lake District when
William Wordsworth was writing, but it is not there at all anymore. It
is telling us in the to overlook our own endangered native plants.
The final garden is made by Barry Chairmaners, based on his life long
love the of the sea and also on the poem by John Keats, On The Sea.
That is where Barry went, to the Isle of Wight, following in the
foot steps of the poet to seek inspiration.
It keeps eternal whisperings around Desolate shores, and with its
mighty swell. Gluts twice 10,000 caverns, till the spell of Hecate
leaves them their old shadowy sound. I'm doing one of the English poet's
gardens, based on a sob et by John Keats called On The Sea. I wanted
to do a garden about the sea, not presented as a coastal garden, but
a garden that provokes images of the sea and of a summer storm. For
me, the sea, in much the same way that Keats writes in his sonnet is
about washing away the mundane stresses and strains of everyday
life. Just clearing your head completely.
Oh ye! Who have your eye-balls vexed and tired, feast them upon
the wideness of the sea. I really get the sense of,ing down to the
sea, everything being alleviated and you are left with the hypnotic
sense of watching the waves. As a child we spent a lot of time down
at the beach in the summer holidays. We had a beach hut. I remember
playing with my brother, running along and seeing how close we could
get to the waves, splashing up and down as they fell on to the
promenade. I've come to have a look at how the
wild flowers are growing here in a monks all of the grass. Obviously
they are really low down and hugging the ground to keep out of
the wind. There is lots of d arcrossgarotta. They are lovely
little plants. Quite pinky, but when they come out to flower, they
come out quite white and frothy. It would be nice to include some of
these on tonne of the cliff areas. That tides in with the flowers at
the back of the sea garden. There is lots of this bird's foot
trefoil, but it is on the more grazed down areas. I'm not sure if
we would include it on the top of the cliff. Even here there is still
stitchworth growing. That is something that I would like to
include. It take as bit of time to recreate
a really wild area of planting, but I find it really quite fun to put
the plants in such a way that they look like they have been sewed by
nature. In fact that genre laets really to the rest of the garden.
The rest of the guarden is about plants that would self-seed and a
garden that would in fact be, at least, in part, be redesigned by
nature each year. Now, I last saw you by the seaside,
planning out your planting for the cliff-top. Did that work out OK?
Have you got the plants you needed? Well, as you can see I've gone for
a chalk life. I think when people think of the Isle of Wight they
will think narrally of chalk. So what I have on the top is chalkland
planting. There are hair bells, just high
enough so that there is this dramatic professional.
OK. To what extent did the poem limit you or direct you, or did it
just provide inspiration? It has evolved a little bit in that I
injected my personality. For me it is a summer storm. This is one of
the storms where myself and my brother would run along the rom
inadequate and the great waives were would be crashing to the front
and we would be daring to see how we could get closer and closer to
all of this water coming down above our heads. It is carefully planted
but you were saying that you like things to set seed? To go op off on
their own? I really enjoy when a plant turns up somewhere, you think
well, let's give that a go. Another one is somewhere near and suddenly
there is a plant association that you never thought of trying. That
is the real joy of gardening. Why did you decide to use mirrors
along the edge? To recreate the wideness of the sea that Keats
talks about. So there is a little bit of distortion in them that adds
to the watery storm, the effect I was looking for.
I love the way that the grasses of -- and the white, and the idea of
you and your little brother running along the sea as children, that
will stay with me. Thank you very much.
The floral marquee here at Hampton Court is the largest of all of the
floral markis. We will be catching up with some of the 92 exhibitors
there later on. However, there are lots of other nurseries displaying
their wares elsewhere in the show. Here is a whole cluster of them
each with their individual display. Joe has been there to visit them.
This is the Total ally Planting areas. Where the nurseries put
together their plants and you can come sand see the plants here and
buy them on the spot. It is Totally Plants! Back here at Hayloft Plant
Ltd, there is a box of Goodies. Look at this, this is stacked so
high! Now they are famous for the plug plants that they send out in
the spring. Here they have grown them on, potted them up into nice
big pots and they are looking fantastic. Just waiting for the
plantaholics to snap them up! This is the Coblands Nurseries Ltd stand,
look at it, it is beautifully planted. So bright and colourful, I
wish I had brought my sunglasses, but you can't beat the silvers and
the blues together. This is so tactile. The cat mince
and the lovely deep purpley blue salvia at the book. A lovely come
binnation there. If you have not got the sun, they have everything
here, they have laid out the exhibits, look at this, "I love
chalk", I love clay" And look at this, Annabelle, that is beautiful.
With hostas next to it, and ferns at the book. You can see how a
corner of your garden could come together. A plant emporium! Grasses
come into their own later in the season. Hampton Court is the
perfect chance to start to show people how to use grasses, as a
screen to look through. A container plant, to cover an unsightly wall.
Have you new varieties? We have one over there, that is Short Stuff. It
is a nice short selection we have been working on.
It does not always flower in the UK, but we are pleased with this one,
it is shorter, so it will flower each year.
You have the grasses next to more grass, but they work brilliantly
with other plants? It is with the other plants that they are so
effective. With the person eenials of the special water garden
category. Now water is incorporated into a lot of the show gardens.
This is beautifully planted with water lillies. We have this Texts a
-- Texas Dawn. We have Lucida, that pink. Black Princess, that dark,
sexy red - a really nice colour. That is a taste of some of the
nurseries out here. And the fantastically imaginative displays
they put on, using their own plants. Alys Fowler has been at the show
this week. It was great to catch up with her. We met up in the small
show garden. The last time we worked together was at Berryfields.
A long time ago. Here, at Hampton court, what have you seen that has
particularly caught your eye? small gardens have impressed me so
much this year. The design is so well executed, the ideas are clever
t planting perfect. The bar has definitely been raised. I was
walking past here the other day and stopped in my tracks on this garden
and thought, that's lovely. I thought, it's heathers, I don't
like heathers. I had to review my world order of plants and how they
can be used. It is a gift. You cannot ask for more than that.
these gardens a as the same thing, which is leaving enough space. They
have all edited so you can go into the gardens and get lost. Which is
your favourite? I am going to be a little contrary and say I love the
Bulgarian garden. That is completely mad. There's something
charming about this man's love of Bulgaria and the fact he's made all
these pots himself. I am touched by his dedication. You walk around a
show like this and you find these bits of gold that strike a chord
with you, even if other people might not see it in the same light.
Yes, there are always some. Alys Fowler will be in the small gardens
and the Floral Marquee. If there is anything you want to know about the
show or Hampton court, you can go to our website:
You will get information there and also you can read Rachel's blog
about roses. Now, all of these gardens, whether
big or small are based upon a story and a theme. The Floral Marquee,
every plant has a story to tale. This was named a passion flower who
took it to represent the passion of Christ, including the thorns and
the wounds in his side. It has been brought to Hampton court by Jane
Lyndsay, who has over the years, built up a remarkable collection.
Every plant tells a story. And the most fascinating story related to
the passion flower is the legend. It is always based on caerulea. The
ten apos tells are represented by the ten petals. The five wounds are
symbolised by the five stamens here and the three nails by the three
stigmas. The crown is represented by the filaments and the trinity by
this three bracks finally the purity by the white of the flower
and heaven by the blue of the flower.
As nice as the legend of the passion flower is, we move on to
the harsh realities of nature and the passion flowers in the wilds of
South America are a food plant for the butterfly. The passion flowers
have built up with their own self- defences.
On this one here, this is a final example of the egg mimicing glands.
These represent the false eggs of a butterfly. So the butterfly comes
to lay their eggs, they think, oh, no, something has laid on there.
They move on to another plant. This is how they have evolved with their
own plant defences. Passion flowers come in all shapes,
sizes and colours. This is a good example of the sizes you can get.
You have alata here, which is brightly coloured and this one here,
which is also a species and probably the tinniest of all the
passion flowers. And this shows how different they are, but have the
same characteristics. This grows beautifully as a house plant, keep
it at 18-24 inches. It is a pretty climber. They have a long flowering
period. Most climbers you may have a set period of flowering. These
will start around April or May or if the weather warms up. They will
go on until Christmas. Even though you will not have an abundance of
flowers you will have flowers for seven or eight months of the year.
When one pops out you get the wow factor because they are such an
intricate flower. Well, you have certainly achieved
the wow factor. I hope so. beautiful display. There are your
passifloras. People will want to know which ones they can grow in
the outside. There are only true which are hardy, this one here, the
caerulea gives good coverage. Flowers from the middle of the
spring until the autumn, even up to Christmas in the Christmas is right
-- if the weather is right. It will produce fruit. Then you have a pure
white flower, that thrives in semi shade. It is very happy in semi
shade. Very useful. Not as rampant. It keeps a better shape. What about
if you want to try something else which is not a passion flower, but
is hardy enough to grow in the UK. One of my favourites is this one
here, it is evergreen, it produces a ready floilage in the summer. It
really is a firm favourite of mine. If you want a bit of colour, I know
this one here is not hardy. If it is a mild winter and in a very
sheltered aspect they will survive the winter. Really best pot-grown,
taken outside for the spring. End of September, October time, then
you will have a mass of flowers throughout the summer. And worth it
for that extra effort? Definitely. There are lots of Roman tick
histories surrounding many of the plants here -- Roman tick histories
packed with incredible plants, from romantic flowers to unusual trees
and sh rucks. This year, it -- shrubs. This year, it rivals the
best of them. I love orchid displays like this. They show you
immense variation. Many people grow this because they are easy to grow.
Equally easy and less obvious are vandas. When they are high draited
they are green and when they are thirsty they go white. Once white
you soak them in water for 20 minutes. You get these
extraordinary, rather outrageous blooms.
Conifers were first popular rised by the Victorians who brought them
to grow in rockeries. This offers a sea of oasis in colour. You see
there is a variety in texture. The wonderful thing about this display
is it is all container-grown. If you don't have a garden but want to
grow trees, then perhaps these are for you.
This is a display you might not expect to find in the Floral
Marquee. In evolutionary terms the gingko is used for medical reasons.
It is said to improve your memory. The female tree produces a nut
which smells horrible, but tastes divine and improves digestion. Most
people think of this as being a huge tree. It is often used as a
street tree. Here, in this display, there is variation. This small one
can spend its life in a pot. I make no bones about the fact I am
crazy about violas, as is Roger Chapman. They were a favourite of
the Victorians. We this one here, it is a variety which during
Victorian times people would bring into the gardens. It is the mother
of all the plants you see here today as far as breeding is
concerned. It was called different names in Victorian times. One name
was "kiss me at the garden gate." They flower through to September.
The public come along and smile at these plants during this week. It
makes my job well done. If you want to fall in love, come and see the
violas. Sue, you are the Director-General
of the RHS. You have been for nearly a year. Yes. One thing I
have often wanted to ask is, Hampton Court, biggest Flower Show
in the world. Fabulous, really high content of gardens, plants. A lot
of people see it as Chelsea's little brother. They are siblings,
for sure. Very different. Chelsea is in a historic ground. Here we
are ten miles outside of London, in acres. It is a spectacularly
beautiful setting w the space for people to see their own gardens and
imagine themselves in their own gardens. Is there a deliberate
policy to make this more geared towards people's experience of
gardening, rather than the aspirational side of Chelsea?
the highest peak of horticulture. We have a variety between the small
gardens, we have the conaccept tuel gardens which are off -- conceptual
gardens which are off the wall. We have the normal, normally
brilliant gardens, the Floral Marquee, the roses and everything
else Hampton Court is known for. Hampton Court is connecting to
people, in terms they understand through their back gardens, do you
feel the RHS is connecting to people in terms they understand?
There is a perception that the RHS, as an organisation, is a little bit
stuffy, a little bit old fashioned, a little bit formal, whereas, if
you look around you, gardeners are not like that. Nobody at the RHS is
like that. That is the perception that we are working very hard to
try and change. We want to be more open, much more accessible. We want
to be relevant to everybody. And that means whether you live, well I
am from Yorkshire, whether you live in the north of England, whether
you live in the Channel Islands, wherever you live, whatever type of
garden you have, the RHS is for you, our science, our community work. We
want to reach out to everyone in this country who loves gardening.
Sue mentioned that we are all getting more and more interested in
growing our own. The RHS show is reflecting that. This year the RHS
have commissioned Anita Foy and John Wheatley to create a large
garden which celebrates our very British edible growing heritage.
We've been given the opportunity to build the most challenging garden
that we have ever had put in front of us. It comprises vinets which
introduce different elements of edible plants that people can grow
or pick in the UK. The site for the Edible Garden is nearly half an
acre. It is, in show terms, it is enormous. We try and give people
the opportunity to see these plants in a context that they can actually
grow them and also to demonstrate how they can be used.
One of the main reasons for coming to Kent today is to look into a
plant that is absolutely gorgeous to look at, but really hits you in
the nos trils as well, and that is -- nostrils and that is lavender.
We are here to see Caroline Alexander, who has been helpful on
advising us on the correct varieties and talking us through
the usage of lavender. We grow 110 miles of lavender. Kent is a great
place to grow lavender. We have the right soil type here. It is a very
poor soil, very stoney. Lavender is a plant that originated from the
Mediterranean regions. It has adapted to specifically dry
conditions. And the oil from it is ago is ta variety you have gone
for? There are so many different types you could have gone for?
Producing a wowing effect, we have to go for a flowering type. We have
gone for this because it will be out in flower and it grows in pots.
Which is important in creating a guard no-one a short period.
If you want to use lavendar in cooking you need this type. This
one is folgate, although at the show, we are using hidcote, but it
is one that many gardeners relate It is a lovely colour and they are
great to use in cakes or to coat chick no-one the barbeque. There
are so many different ways to use Maiflt.
It is glorious! -- magnificent. Yes, it is glorious! We could not
come to Kent, without looking at your wonderful hops, because of
beer production in the UK, the national institution, we have to
have them in the garden. Right, absolutely. I have to thank
you for the biggest challenge of my horticultural career, you did warn
me growing in pots and containers, a deep-rooted plant will be a
challenge. That is why ours at Hampton Court will not be as tall
as these today. Well, you may be lucky, they can do
six inches a day if they really get going.
We have having stilt walkers, I understand that was the traditional
way of tending the framework for the hops? Whfrpblgts you have the
gardens and the hops, they are up to 1ft, 18ft in the air, you needed
a man on stilts to do the framework. It will be fun to see.
The RHS Edible Garden future is a fantastic opportunity to showcase
some of the very basic thing beings British growing that people can use
and get ral value from. -- And get real value from.
You said you wanted to see a real stilt walker in your own hop garden,
there you are. Didn't she look fantastic! And the
hops are a considerable size, really. I agree.
Are you happy with the way it has turned out? I think it is fantastic.
It has competed my expectations. It is almost not gardening? No. We
were really hoping to convey just what a wide variety of plants that
are edyibl. That it is not just about fruit and vegetable. That
there are many other things that we can grow ethat go into food
production and that we can eat. What is the feedback from the
public? Fantastic. They seem to love it. So it is great, so far, so
good. John, nice to see you and lovely to
see the garden, especially the lavendar it is looking good, isn't
it? It is fantastic. We worked hard to get it right for the show, it's
achieved what we set out to do. Also good to see a vineyard like
that, lavendar, a vine yard, we are all over the Mediterranean here?
That is correct. We are raising expectations to what you can do in
this country now. I'm optimistic, I think we are going to see a whole
new generation of gardeners and to encourage people that plants are
not just good as thetically, but that they have other purposes. That
is what we set out to do here. We want the garden to look great, but
to have a good go at growing the new crops and to have fun gardening
with them and eating them I think you have created the
message! I hope so. There are ten separate areas in the
garden. In this part of the garden there is
a large pond. Of course, ponds are perfect for attracting all forms of
wildlife into the garden. Around the garden there are reeds that
keep it nice and clean and willows that bring in the light and help
the soil. Behind the pond we have an area
which showcases food for free. So you can forest through the
countryside and find all sorts of food in our native hedgerows, so
Hazel where you get nuts from. Nettle to make tea or pies from and
blackberries, of course. There is nothing better than walking down a
country lane and finding a black box recorder that is ripe and
eating it. This has been beautifully done and it feels like
it's been here forever. Alistair has been to visit the
inspirational flower and vegetable garden.
It is obviously why I like this informal space so much. The mixture
of lovely edyiblles and cut flowers. It is done in such a beautiful way.
7 It moves in the yellows, the ochres and then it becomes so
wonderful with all of this food packed into such a small space.
Whether you want your vegetables to stand to attention or put a kale
amongst the rose, there is so much ipbsz separation here and lots of
ideas to try out at home. This is a really good edible garden.
And finally, Rachel takes a look at the cider orchard which looks as
though it's been here for years. Well, this area represents a
traditional orchard. So there are plenty of fruit trees, there are,
of course, apples, pears, but also Medlars and quinnss and cherries.
There are nuts here too, walnuts and haze elnuts, fantastic. In
amngs the trees there are active bow hives, so there are bees here
and also bee-keepers, not just looking after the bees, but if you
are thinking of keeping bees for the first time, they can advise you
on that. Also a cider press, wonderful. I think that John and
Anita have done an incredible job in this garden. Packing so much
into the space. Whether you have room for a single tomato in a pot
or a cherry tree, the garden showcases what we can grow in this
country. There are 11 small gardens at
Hampton Court this year, many of which offer romantic settings
within an urban environment. Chris Beardshaw has been looking at some
of them, starting with a garden that has more than a hint of 89
prehistoric. -- of the pre-historic. Romance is
best played out in a convincing theatre. There is little more
convincing in hard landscape turns than in these wonderful steps.
Apparently, these are a waste product from the quarry. They date
back to a period of time, as recent as 65 million years ago! And that
is exactly the same point in history when many of our flowers
plants started to evolve and emerge. One of the oldest and still
remaining flowering plants is on the garden, the magnolia. It relied
on beetles to pollinate the flowers. They could not fly into the flowers
but crawled up the stems, chewing their way through the base of the
petals and then ate the Nectar and pollen within the bloom.
Hethners a garden, it is maybe a -- hethers in a garden, it is Mable a
slightly unusual sight, that is why this green wall of wint ter
flowering hethers is such a wonderful sight.
Glrb The -- the subtle use of these
heathers as an edging plant in place of the rose mayy, the
lavendar, the thyme, as long as there is an acid soil rich in this
matter, why not use the heathers to tickle your garden paths! For me,
show gardens are at their maximum intensity and integrity when filled
full of design solutions and brilliant horticultural. This is a
bit of fun, a technological solution to contemporary living,
but it has some fantastic horticultural. It is very real. The
scourge of most people's garden, deep or dapled shade, cast by
buildings or trees, we tend to avoid those spaces, but what about
relying on the greenery and the structure of plants? Things like
this sensitive fern with the leaves, the tiarella with the foaming
blooms and then the requienii, that fills the space with this wonderful
aroma and with the TV screen in the garden, all you have to do is grab
yourself a bowl of popcorn, make yourself comfortable, sit back and
a flower show is a serious business, but not everything here is solemn.
Joe, Rachel, Alice and myself have enjoyed some of the most
fantastical sights to this year's Hampton Court Palace, so here, with
due respect to Lewis Carroll is Hampton Court's Adventures in
Wonderland. If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.
Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it
isn't. # I invite you to a world wrrb --
# Where there is no sense of time # And the girl that chased the
ravaged rank # The widens of the pilgrim
# Now, off with her head # Everyone is concerned
# You see there is no real inding # It's only the beginning
# Come out and play # Her name is Alice
# She calls into the window in shapes and shadows
# Alice # And even though she's dreaming
# She's a lot of meaning for you # This kingdom
# Good riddance # Her freedom
# And incense # And innocence. # So, what sort of
day have you had? I've had a wonderful day. I'm in my element.
When you are in the roses, I wonder do I go for a new variety or an old
classic it is difficult to choose. It is hard to pick any one thing
out, but as a group, I'm so impressed by the small gardens,
they encapsulate everything that you can do by yourself. I know that
lots of people have all kinds of things from the show garden. We
asked for your opinions, but we got lots, but this one caught my eye
from Max, he says, "I went yesterday with my school from St
Martins, and I loved it. I am haved in the flowers and the plants. I
loved seeing the flowers and the plants and I saw Monty Don getting
interviewed, the best trip ever !" If you have thought bsz the show,
there is still time to send them to us to the website.
The show is on until Sunday. We are here tomorrow at the slightly
Joe Swift, Rachel de Thame and Alys Fowler join Monty Don to celebrate the 2011 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.
There's a lyrical feel to the show this year as Monty visits the gardens dedicated to some of our greatest poets. The work of writer Lewis Carroll pervades the showground too as Rachel visits the Festival of Roses inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Alys Fowler enjoys her own adventures in the floral marquee seeking out the fascinating stories behind some of our best loved plants.