A much needed day out – Hampton Court #FlowerShow

The entrance to Hampton Court Palace, site of the flower show

This has been a very strange week. My father died on Thursday – not at all unexpected – he was 98 and had been sent home from hospital over a year ago, to die at home. Their estimate of his remaining lifespan was short by about 11 months. It was a merciful release, but the emotions that come on the back of such an event are mixed and confusing, so a day out at the weekend looking at beautiful plants and gardens was a welcome diversion. I wasn’t sure until the last moment that I would go, but I’m glad I did.

It was a glorious day, at times too hot, especially as I forgot to take an sun crème, and so did the friend I went with. This entailed many stops in the shade for cups of tea, ice cream etc. – you understand 😉

A very civilised lunch setting – quintessentially British

The show was a little less interesting this year than previous years, in terms of stands. Obviously the financial climate is taking its toll, and many of the smaller, more unique stands were missing, replaced by the big fellas with their expensive garden furniture and buildings. There also seemed to be less in the way of show gardens, with many rather monotone palates, not my sort of thing – if you are going to have a garden, surely it should be filled with colour? I know mine is.

So when I found a really colourful garden, I thought I’d present you with a picture

Now that’s what I call colourful!

We also braved the tropical conditions inside the butterfly dome – something we’ve not found time to do previous years, and with the reduced number of interesting stalls, we decided to go for it.

Here are a few of the beauties we found

 

Aren’t they beautiful?

And hey, in the floral design marquee we found a close relative…

It was extraordinarily hot inside the butterfly dome, so standing on the pontoon bridge over the long water provided a much needed opportunity to cool down as well as to admire King Henry VIII’s palace from a distance.

I was rather taken with this quirky building in the edible garden section – there were other tentacles rising around the garden but I couldn’t fit them into the photograph

 Yes, those are gigantic (plastic) rabbits on the path…

And then it was home with the spoils – less than previous years, as the garden at home has only a few gaps to fill where plants have died or vanished, as plants do.

I needed one rose to fill a gap in the border, and this divine orange one goes by the name of ‘Living Daylights’. For a Bond fan, that couldn’t be more appropriate.

Did any other UK garden fans go?

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15 comments

  1. So sorry for your loss, but a beautiful way to share your family’s love in pictures and a celebration of life!

    1. Thank you Deb, I wore the bright dress in Dad’s honour as he always liked it – he had a good life to celebrate.

      1. Sounds like you were Daddy’s little girl, as I was too. We were very close. We lost him December 2000, but I know he watches me from heaven. Dad was supposedly 100% Scottish, born in the U.S., and I look like his mother who died 3 days after my father was born. We never knew what she looked look like until a small tin-type was found 30 years ago. It was blown up and suddenly I realized I was a Bowman because I certainly didn’t look like anyone else in my all-brunette family. Dad’s hair was light, but not red. TMI, I’m sure. I’m being reflective, I guess. Here’s a toast across the seas to two red-haired lassies!

      2. Hi Deb, thanks for sharing, this is one of those times when friends really come into their own as the support network we choose for ourselves. Cheers!

  2. That was glorious. I felt like I was there with your amazing pictures. Loved the butterflies!

    1. Aren’t they fabulous? And I just picked out the best photos, they were so amazing I couldn’t stop snapping! They also had a slightly alarming habit of landing on people (me included) and settling for ages. Such beautiful creatures.

  3. Deb, you already know my sentiments. And I’m glad you got out for a bit on the weekend. Looks like a fabulous time. You’re looking good my friend, and love the dress and the beautiful butterflies. ❤

    1. Thanks Deb, I really appreciate your support.

      1. You got it girlfriend! 🙂

  4. I’m sorry for your loss. Your great photos and account of your much needed day out, shows that plants and gardens have a great healing power. Take care.

    1. They do that, I always turn to nature when my soul needs comfort. Thanks for dropping in.

  5. Claire@LinleyRoss · · Reply

    Sorry for the loss of your dad – and what an impressive innings he had! I haven’t been to Hampton Court in forever, and as my parents live in Richmond I really have no excuse – thanks for the reminder!

    1. Thank you Claire, and no, you have no excuse! Mind you, we always tend to ignore attractions and events close to home, don’t we? Such strange things, human beings.

      1. Claire@LinleyRoss · ·

        So true! I know cities I’ve never lived in so much better than those that have been home!

      2. Oh yeah. 😑

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