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A day at the Palace

14 July 2014 by Jonathan Hill

Not Crystal or Buckingham but Hampton Court. There are few more pleasing sights than when you see your own products being used to engage all strata of society with the beautiful, educational and sometimes intriguing. Welcome to the summary of my trip to this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

Centre stage has to go to a bold RHS move, celebrity turf sculptures. 7 guests from varying backgrounds were asked to create sculptures, in just 2 days, that inspired by the land art movement, show how our landscape and art can be closely linked. Tony Smith, Sim Flemons, Adam Frost, Matthew Biggs, Paul Jones, John Humphreys and Andy Hyde shaped soil and Rolawn Medallion turf into a range of inspiring forms. Tony kindly gave me a guided tour of the installations (and the rest of the show for that matter) where the turf we supplied to the RHS looked fantastic, having rooted rapidly and knitted together so well that joints were virtually seamless. The natural colour was superb especially against the bright sky backdrop. An intriguing part of my visit was to mingle amongst the visitors and, as subtly as possible, listen to their observations. ‘Amazing’, ‘Wish our lawn looked like that’ and ‘How did they do that’ being the most frequently heard. Along with, ‘How do you mow it’, ‘That’s not real’ and ‘Can I lie on it?’

Turf sculptures were a new feature for 2014

Our turf was also used by the RHS to dress their 4 metre high by 10 metre long ‘Inspire’ signage, along with trimming ‘The One Show Garden’ and the ‘7 deadly sins’ conceptual gardens. Medallion was then shown in its most traditional position as part of the garden celebrating 50 years of ‘Britain in Bloom’. The beds were a riot of colour in stunning contrast to the rich lush green lawn.

Medallion turf was used by the RHS for their Inspire signage

Contrast in colour and perfect presentation have always played a part with our involvement at RHS shows and at Hampton Court this year we proudly supplied Peter Beales Roses, artists David Watkinson, Susan Long, Matt Maddocks and Tim and Emma at Guruve.

A garden which I would have loved to have spent more time on was ‘The Forgotten Folly’ by Horticolous Landscape & Garden Design. Unfortunately, being a wonderful design, it proved so popular I was barely able to get anywhere near it. Proudly, I did look on at the planting scheme as it has all been cultivated in our organic compost, peat free soil conditioner and mulch. Lynn and Mark utilised the products to meet their specific needs with stunning medal winning results.

The Forgotten Folly by Horticolous Landscape & Garden Design

The show was so packed with wonderful exhibits from all branches of horticulture that I ultimately ran out of time, one day was not enough. Being late for dinner with my family, a fine orchid was purchased from Dave Parkinson Plants as a peace offering and I drove away from the show highly delighted with the role our products have played at this year's show.

The One Show Garden and designer, Alexandra Noble

Visit our Facebook page for further photographs from the show.