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RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

By Alternativeeden @markngaz
RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: PreviewLast Sunday was predicted to be another deluge of a day (surprise, surprise) with the Saturday being the better of the two so decided to do all our weekend gardening on the latter and visit the ongoing build for the coming RHS Hampton Court Flower Show on the former. Much to our delight Sunday turned out to be a mostly fantastically sunny day after all, which was a genuine surprise! And a bonus of course, not only do we get to have a sneak peek of the build of the show gardens but also bask in the warm sunshine in a fab location too.

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

'Discover Jordan'

Rain or shine we were really looking forward to going on Sunday. Due to work commitments we can't make it to the actual press day of the event but to have a look at the ongoing build beforehand would be just as interesting as it will give us a unique insight into the process of building a show garden. 

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

Hampton Court Flower Show under construction!

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

For this year a new show category is being introduced at Hampton Court and it's called World of Gardens wherein participating countries can showcase their unique heritage, flora, and landscape via show gardens. Each designer in this category takes inspiration  from the country that commissioned them and translate them via their garden design. 
One of the countries participating this year is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and we were invited by their tourism board to take a peak at the build of their show garden called 'Discover Jordan'. They have commissioned designer Paul Hervey-Brookes to come up with the design, and together with his team of contractors execute a beautiful show garden that will represent the unique heritage of this country.

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

Garden Designer Paul Hervey-Brookes (right) with some of his team

Paul and his team met us at the grounds of the build and gave us a tour of the show garden, explaining to us the brief of the design, concept, and a run down of the progress of the build along the way. It was fascinating to hear how he came up with the design and the ideas behind it all, coming up with a garden that we are taking a look at now and walking into as it is being built. The design was mainly inspired by the landscapes of the iconic Petra and Jordan river valleys.
Hard landscaping clearly dominates the design, with the garden seemingly composed of two parts tied together via an archway. The first half, with a luxuriant use of sandstone and limestone were mainly inspired by the Treasury and tombs of Petra.
RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

Paul explaining the Islamic influenced rill, a discrete water feature which also signifies the importance of water in such a dry country.

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

An Islamic influenced water feature (take note of the huge slabs too which were custom cut for this garden)

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

Detail: Part of the design is the placement of a garden sculpture.

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

Detail: Columns inspired by Petra

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

Detail: Remains of a column

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

Detail: It's all part of the design!

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

And speaking of details, the attention to detail is superb. Take note of the deliberate cracks on the wall which were inspired by the ruins of Petra

The second half however (linked via the archway) is a bit more lush and richer in planting as inspired by the verdant landscapes of Wadi Dana.

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

The archway that leads into the second part of the garden

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

The archway from the other side

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

Detail: An altar within the archway

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

Planting will be more lush on the other side. Olive trees and Oleanders are already in, while other plants like Ricinus communis and Cistus salviifolius to be planted this week

We were very impressed with the progress, quality, and concept of the design and we are looking forward to seeing the finished garden during the actual event.

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

'Discover Jordan'

Whilst there we also had the chance to wander about and get a glimpse of the build of the other show gardens. It's interesting to note the relative calm of the place, everyone just getting on by with their work and still smiling along the way. Somebody else we had the chance to talk to remarked how everyone is helpful to one another. And that despite the seeming competition between the gardens there is a sense of camaraderie within the area. A very positive note indeed!

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

'The Azorean Garden'


RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

'St. Petersburg Russian Museum Garden'

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

'The Swiss Alpine Garden'

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Preview

Now that we've had a taster of this year's show we're really looking forward to the actual event and seeing how the gardens being built now have transformed into beautiful show gardens ready to inspire visitors. 
Mark :-)

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