My name is Maddie Eccles and I have been doing a week of work experience with Candide. I am quite new to gardening so Aldetha, the Candide Community Manager, and myself went to the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show to gather inspiration and enjoy ourselves. I took this time to take some photographs of gardens that I found interesting and inspiring so that I could produce this Discover article about the show gardens in the eyes of a young person. Other than the children in the play area, I think I was amongst a handful of teenagers at the show! But saying that, it was RHS members day.
We set off from Wiltshire at 6am and got to the Hampton Court Palace at around 9 am this gave us time before the show opened to walked around Hampton Court Palace Gardens; They were so beautiful and so well tended. I saw many interesting features in the gardens, such as trees that used to make longbows, bedding flower displays that were designed seeded using a computer programme (Aldetha will tell you more in a Discover story soon) and there was even a bird who had made its nest in the middle of a fountain!
At 10 am we entered the flower show. Everyone made me feel welcome and talked to me about the plants and how to grow them, which relaxed me into the day. I did see other young people as the day went on. I enjoyed my time there and greatly enjoyed looking at the flowers in the massive marquee and the amazing show gardens.
I have chosen three gardens that stood out to me.
The first garden I found interesting was Great Gardens of the USA, by Sadie May Stowell (www.sadiemay.co.uk)
This garden reminded me of when I was a child as all of the pineapples and bright colours reminded me of the kids show Spongebob Squarepants and his pineapple house, the added pineapple water feature helps this memory.
Pineapples are also seen as a rather fun fruit that you would eat in a hot country while on holiday during the summer and with the added flowers and bench, this garden seems like a lovely place to unwind and relax. The colours in this garden are fabulous, the golden pineapple fountain compliments the lush green leaves of the shrubbery around it. All of the flowers are brightly coloured and add to the summery feel of the entire garden. The theme of pineapples is supposed to represent Charleston in South Carolina as they have a huge pineapple fountain that lights up during the night. The garden is a great tribute to Charleston and I think it represents the summery vibrant feel that South Carolina has.
The second garden I saw was Brilliance in Bloom, by Charlie Bloom. (www.charliebloomsgardendesigns.co.uk)
This garden, to me, gives out a very calm, relaxed feeling. The rusty coloured fountain and the blue tiles below go together very well together; the difference with the warm and cool tones plus the cool theme of the water complement each other and bring this garden to life. They also used a mix of purple, pink, white and yellow flowers which make this garden feel modern but natural. This garden was created by many people on tight budgets to create a space for people to enjoy. The RHS website explains in detail that every element shows the skills of a different person involved and how they all harmonise nicely together.
The final garden I looked at was Santa Rita ‘Living la Vida 120’ by Alan Rudden.
I liked this garden because of the bright yellow pillars giving it a nice modern feel. The yellow contrasts nicely with the pale grey porcelain flooring, also the rough walls contrast with the smooth paving below. I also like the creative use of levels within all elements of the garden. The use of a small and relaxed stream adds a calm element as the water is flowing and it isn’t crashing and making a lot of noise, it’s so quiet that I didn’t see it at first. This garden is supposed to bring a feel of Chile to the show, Chile is a warm country and it really shows through this garden with the bright yellows and greens. I think this garden was my favourite overall. This Garden won a gold medal which I think was highly deserved.
I came away from this experience feeling that I had learned a lot about gardening and horticulture. I'm enjoying using the Candide app to add my photos of the day, see my posts for other photos from the show.
Thank you for reading my first Candide Discover article! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed my first RHS garden show! I'm looking forward to many more.