Hampton Court Flower Show

Last weekend I went to Hampton Court Flower Show with my parents. It’s not too far from here but feels like you are well and truly out of the city. It was glorious summer day with everyone in straw hats and rocking the linen trousers. And plenty of chances to eat ice cream or sip Pimms. Basically a classic English day out.

In theory it’s all about the show gardens. Here are a few…


This one has Winnie the Pooh on the bridge and was designed to celebrate his 90th anniversary.




However, it also has a large number of exhibition areas. There’s an extraordinary marquee filled with every rose on planet earth (at least it seems so).



And another hall with a variety of growers, many of whom specialise in one plant type. It was in there that I spotted this gorgeous orchid from a French company which my parents kindly bought me.


And there was pretty of other impressive displays as well. These guys were HUGE.





And then are the things that inspired me a bit. I came away thinking I could use pots more, especially to isolate plants that suffer from slugs like hostas.


And to try using decorative supports.


Or converting unexpected items.


I really liked these supports for beans, probably because I am struggling to grow my own this year. My dad felt pretty confident that these wouldn’t be too hard to make at home (but he quite good at that kind of thing).


The main thing I noticed was the planting style. I’ve always thought the trick to an attractive garden was the group types of plants together in drifts and that’s kind of what I have been shooting for – although that may not be that obvious to the casual observer.

However, I noticed that plants were being placed in a more random mixed in style, certainly with limited planting but not with one type altogether in a group and the another.




And I thought it was kind of lovely, and something I could give a go.

Small additions

I treated myself to something new last weekend.

Normally I try and make cushions myself. It’s so easy to do (as long as you’re not a total perfectionist) and a quick way to update a room. Plus it’s much cheaper to buy some fabric and do this yourself. However, this one I couldn’t easily make and I liked it = I justified the purchase.



I found the image really quite striking. In the East Dulwich shop Mrs Robinson where I bought mine they had this lady and another version showing a Geisha. I later found the same cushion I bought plus another alternative on Graham and Green (and a  bit more expensive – I felt good about that).

They’re everywhere…

They are made by Danish company Au Maison and they reference the range of Tibetan images as being by Steve McCurry whom I assume is the same Steve McCurry who works as a photojournalist. His site is well worth a look as it has a host of images from his travels, he is also known for his striking and very very famous image generally referred to as Afghan Girl. So there you go, photojournalism in cushion form.

In a total change of tone I have also started trying to sort out the garden. Spring has finally sprung and plants can be planted. Last year there was some success with sweet peas rambling up a grill on the patio. So I am growing some more.


The garden, despite quite a bit of planting, is still pretty barren in places. This year I hope will be a year that really changes that. It’s top of my list.

And finally a bit of exciting news, I found out earlier this week that this blog has been listed by The Telegraph as one of the Top 50 Interior Design Websites. I’m very surprised…but pleased.