This year’s RHS Hampton Court Flower Show was blessed with wonderful weather for it’s 25th anniversary! It was a busy week for Jenny Blanc as her son Olivier Blanc’s award winning Henri Le Worm garden attracted hundreds of visitors.
Henri Le Worm is a animated character designed to inspire children to grow, cook and eat good food through an interactive and educational app designed by Olivier Blanc and Charlotte Salt. Henri’s colourful world was brought to life at this years RHS Hampton Court Flower Show by BBC gardener Chris Collins.
Jenny still found time to explore the show and admired the high quality of this years exhibitors. Here she shares some of her personal highlights.
Award winning gardens…
The Turkish Ministry of Culture & Tourism’s Garden of Paradise caught my eye with it’s riot of red, purple, orange and white blooms. The garden played with scale and proportion, placing tiny, brightly coloured wild flowers like heather and borage alongide stately lillies and exquisite ‘Benjamin Britten’ and ‘David Bussel’ roses to create a garden full of depth and interest. I really admired the bold use of colour here and encourage anyone who is considering dipping their toe into the water when it comes to unusual colour combinations in the garden to take the plunge!
It’s a well known adage that colours in nature rarely clash but it couldn’t be more true! Combining different shades and tones from the same colour pallete can look really sophisticated, especially when placed alongside lush green foliage and brilliant blue water features as seen here.
Another gold winning garden which I adored was the Noble Caledonia ‘Spirit of the Aegean Garden’ which used shades of cobalt, aqua and cornflower blue to evoke ‘the timeless notion of unspoilt lands, beautiful scenery, and lime-washed villages’. The bright blue wall inlayed with white trellis matched the curved outdoor seating, resulting in a garden which looked cool and inviting. I love using bright, clear colours for outdoor living as softer colours which may look vibrant indoors often appear washed out in the sun. Even in 34 degree heat this garden looked refreshing thanks to its cool colour pallet and carefully placed water features.
One of my favourite tips is to combine plants of different heights to create a layered effect, adding interest to boarders and flower beds. Try brilliant blue Agapanthus and white Cephalaria Gigantea alongside purple Veronicastum. Petersham Nurseries in Richmond is close to our London showroom and always has a wonderful selection of plants to choose from.
Beautiful garden accessories…
As regular visitors to the RHS Hampton Court flower show will know, there is much more to see besides the gardens themselves. This year’s exhibitors pulled out all the stops to create inspiring displays of accessories for outdoor living. I was pleased to discover Historic Royal Palace’s fantastic range of gifts for garden lovers featuring three wonderful new prints. These wellington boots and garden kneeler, featuring a crimson and viridian Tudor rose print, were my favourite and felt very apt given our location! They are also available in Baroque and Royal Crown prints from Historic Royal Palaces.
Sourcing outdoor furniture that is both robust enough to withstand the rigors of the British climate whilst harmonising with a natural setting can be tricky. Luckily for those at the flower show there was a fantastic range to choose from. The furniture and accessories that I selected for the Henri Le Worm Community Garden featured sustainable, natural materials in rustic, organic shapes like this coffee table/bench, rustic bench and side table. The organic shapes of the wood harmonised with the rest of the garden and provided an attractive focal point, even when not in use.
Of course garden furniture doesn’t have to be rustic – I also love some of the more contemporary pieces in the range like this steel topped table which would be fantastic for outdoor dining or as a dramatic focal point in a conservatory.
These glass hurricanes are so versatile – filled with delicate eucalyptus branches and topped with a floating candle they make a wonderful centrepiece for a dinner table or could be used as part of a wedding scheme to add height and create atmosphere. In the Henri Le Worm Community Garden we filled them with a display of rosemary and chillies to showcase these vibrant, fresh ingredients. You can get really creative with whatever materials you have to hand which is what makes them so popular in our London showroom.
After a busy day in the sun, this garden hut by Breeze House looked most inviting. Breeze House produce some wonderful garden buildings in which to entertain and dine – or just relax with a good book! Full of tropical style, the buildings feature Scandinavian Redwood frames with Canadian Forest Cedar roof tiles, completed with natural reed thatch. Each hut is big enough to accommodate a dining table and is the perfect way to bring some Island style to your garden. I think they would look wonderful styled with some of the home accessories available in our London and Barbados showrooms!
Wonderful British food…
Outdoor living goes hand in hand with outdoor dining so it was no surprise that this year’s show was full of wonderful things to eat. I was so pleased to discover Ogilvy’s British Orchard Honey – a raw honey, sourced from apple and pear orchards in Kent. Nothing beats the taste of real, artisan honey – it’s an entirely different experience to the overly sweet, mass produced variety that you find in the supermarket. I always try to buy my honey locally to support the independent farmers who do so much to protect our honey bees and to benefit from the wonderful anti-hayfever properties that local honey affords.
Simple Simon’s Perfect Pies were simply marvellous – I enjoyed their Highland Scotch Salmon pie so much I even took one home for supper. You needn’t take my word for it though as Simon’s pies are available to order online by the boxful and keep in the freezer for up to six months. They’re the perfect thing to have on hand when the cupboards are bare and the British Summer leaves you firing up the wood burner and reaching for a cardigan.
Now Summer is in full swing I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the RHS Flower Show through my eyes and are feeling inspired to introduce some big, bold floral colour into your garden this year. If you went to this year’s show do leave me a comment and let me know what you enjoyed the most!
For more information about Henri Le Worm (as well as delicious recipes!) visit the website here.