I thought ‘The SMART Vision Garden: Having the vision to see beyond mental illness’ had a very clever concept behind it.
Sealed in a big black box with yellow hazard tape around it, the garden acts as a metaphor for the mainstream attitudes towards mental health. The calm and reflective interior symbolises breaking down the boundaries of limited, closed-mind thinking and illustrates how amazing things can be created when one ‘thinks outside the box’.
Another engaging interactive garden is the ‘DialAFlight Synaesthesia Garden’.
You crawl through into a white tent as the entire garden changes colour with bright lights.
It reflects the experiences of a synaesthete.
An eerie yet strangely tranquil space.
The ‘Just Retirement: A Garden for Every Retiree’ is a really fantastic garden.
Designed specifically for retirees in the UK today, with raised beds to help make gardening easier.
Compact raised vegetable garden…
Beekeeping facilities… (Bee housing!)
And the tidiest garden shed I’ve ever seen!
I went into the Festival of Roses Pavilion seeking shade.
I was able to see a few of the new roses of the year, including roses named after W B Yeats and Lynda Bellingham.
Completely hypnotised by the sight and powerful perfume of roses…
I was deep in a pleasing rosy foggy-headedness and the realms of my own imagination wondering how long it would take me to grow a rose garden this sublime…
I’d have a distinct walled rose garden, filled with rose arches for rambling roses like these to take over.
And as I was capturing the perfect Peter Beales Roses display…
I realised that I was the one being photographed!
Photographers appeared from every direction asking to take my picture.
It was so exciting!
Fittingly, the next garden I visited had an Alice in Wonderland theme.
It’s the 150th Anniversary of Alice in Wonderland and to celebrate, Alice, the Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter were fashioned from topiary.
A striking feature at Hampton Court today was the ‘Rolawn Freestyle Turf Sculpture’.
And opposite, a rather enchanting garden for the ‘Unique: The Rare Chromosome Disorder Garden’.
The charity ‘Unique’ raises awareness of rare chromosome disorders and the lifelong disabilities and medical conditions these disorders can cause.
The garden reflects the shape of a DNA strand.
The ‘African Vision Malawi Garden’ is an installation garden.
You can walk through a tunnel and peer through the gaps in the walls to see sweetcorn growing.
It represents industrialised agricultural practices and Mono-cropping: the sowing and consequent reliance on a single crop.
This practice is apparently volatile in Malawi because if the crop fails, it could force the community into a food crisis. The charity is trying to combat this by working to promote Permaculture and sustainability through the use of varied inter-cropping.
‘The Macmillan Legacy Garden’ offers a contemporary space for contemplation.
Visitors can reflect in the shelter of trees and listen to the soft rustle of surrounding plants.
An elysian woodland meadow.
Architecturally striking is the ‘SABO: The Circle of Life’ garden:
Using height to wind down in a circular motion to represent the journey of the age of man.
I saw ‘The World Vision Garden’ from across the show and had to have a closer look.
It is inspired by the beauty of Cambodia.
Hope blooms among poverty.
There was so much to see! Exhibitors…
Things to buy…
^ Firmly on the wishlist!
Celebrities, like Maureen Lipman…
Gardening names like Monty Don…
Nicki Chapman and Nick Knowles…
I explored the pavilion.
Absolutely bursting with blooms!
I absolutely loved my visit.
In the Press!
And ITV London News website published a photo of me surrounded by the rose arches…
Click here to see the full story in context.
May 2016 Update:
Another photograph of me was also used by the RHS as part of their Media campaign for the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2016!