I thought I would share with you my favourite flowers in The Floral Marquee at RHS Hampton Court on Monday.
Before this, I made sure to pop in to the ‘Festival of Roses’ exhibit. I did try to like the other rose growers’ stands, and the Peter Beales stand was quite nice. But rather like at a school play where you enjoy the performances of the other children, you are just bursting with pride when you see your own child up there. You only really have eyes for them when they are on stage.
It was very quiet at this time in the morning, and I spotted Rosarian Michael Marriott being interviewed. No one else was around, so I earwigged a bit, whilst sniffing some of my favourite roses. ‘Desdemona’ was particularly fragrant.
The roses looked a little odd in the bright white indoor lighting of the marquee. I will try to remember this the next time I see myself in the mirror under harsh strip lighting. We all look better in natural light.
I found myself hanging on Michael’s every word, and a dozen questions popped into my head, but the interviewer would go on. I sniffed a few more roses. The journalist finally started packing up her recording equipment. I was just about to approach Michael when another interviewer appeared, asking for five minutes with Michael Marriott. Being a nice person though, he said that I had been waiting first.
We talked about flower-form and fragrance, and how much this varies. Obviously I could have chatted all day, but was conscious that Michael was a man in demand. I was touched that he was happy to talk to a humble blogger.
I heard one radio interviewer later saying that she couldn’t stand gardening. I expect this comes across to the exhibitors, who have put their heart and soul into this show. So maybe it is nice for them to mix it up a bit with genuine enthusiasts. And you can’t get much more enthusiastic than a garden blogger.
I had to cross ‘The Long Water’ to get to the Floral Marquee. I was stopped in my tracks by this allium sculpture by Ian Gill.
The first exhibit on entering the Floral Marquee was the National Dahlia Collection. If you love ‘Café au Lait’ you are probably going to like ‘Café au Lait Royale’ even more. I do.
Then there was ‘Hardy’s Plants’ who are introducing this new Crocosmia, ‘Firestars Scorchio’. It was very appropriate.
I didn’t note the nursery for this Echinacea ‘Hot Papaya’. Echinacea doesn’t like me. It sulks in my wet clay over winter. So I have to enjoy it elsewhere.
The Roualeyn Fuchsias stand was my favourite.
I love the colour variations you get between the newly opened and the mature flowers.
This next combination was my favourite of the whole marquee.
I had a lovely chat with a woman from Plant Heritage. They are the organisation who overseas the National Collections. I was completely taken with this Geranium nodosum ‘Fielding’s Folly’.
I could have included all the ‘Halo’ hollyhocks, but will limit myself to Alcea rosea ‘Halo Apricot’. I grew this from seed last year, along with ‘Halo Cerise’ and ‘Halo Lavender’. There is also ‘Halo Blush’ and ‘Halo Candy’ and ‘Halo Cream’ and they are all as lovely as one another.
I have never grown Cleome, but this photo tempts me.
I will leave you with another Dahlia, ‘Marble Ball’. I do love a splish-splashy petal.
Which is your favourite? Would you have been tempted to buy?