Words by Jessica Peace
- CONSCIOUS CONSUMERISM
Designed by Joseph Gibson (Gardens For A Changing World)
Don’t know about you but we’ve never seen blood on the floor of a flower show - maybe we’re not turning up to the right ones… Joseph Gibson has splattered claret all over his show garden - under the bone cutter and the meat hooks.
His radical garden blasts a harsh light on the meat industry, creating the link between our burgers and the wrecking of the natural world, animal agriculture being the main cause of deforestation. Gibson leads his show goers through rainforest to desertification via the abattoir.
- BATTLEFIELDS TO BUTTERFLIES
Designed by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan (Feature Garden)
Get your hankies out, Todd Longstaffe-Gowan’s garden pays homage to the Royal Parks and Palace gardeners who went off to the First World War and didn’t come home. With the help of the poetry of wartime artist and writer William Orpen, Longstaffe-Gowan has created a deeply moving space;
Orpen recorded going back to the trenches to find that nature had clambered back, bringing flora and life, the garden moves through the trenches and into wild, beautiful nature.
- APEIRON: THE DIBOND GARDEN
Designed by Alex Rainford-Roberts (Conceptual Gardens)
It’s a rusty box with a mirror/meadow world inside and we f**kin love it. You’ll only be let in a couple at time before they close the door and let you explore the meadow - and yourself, the mirror thing.
Alex Rainford-Roberts’ planting is bang on and it’s already bringing in the bug life, we saw bees, butterflies and a dragonfly, DREAMY.
- THE CHILDREN WITH CANCER UK: MR. HAPPY, MR. WORRY HILL
Designed by Emma Reed (Show Garden)
Just joy - well, and a little sadness. Emma Reed has produced a show garden that will make you grin from a mile off - and you might have a hug from someone sweating their seeds off in a Mr Happy suit. Reed’s ‘hill’ is sliced in half, one half displays a waterfall to signify grief and the other incorporates the dry stone wall we remember from the books.
Reed has used Soleirolia soleirolii - ‘Baby’s Tears’, Cedrus deodara ‘Feelin Blue’ and creepers, ‘because emotions creep up on us’.
- RHS GROW YOUR OWN WITH THE RAYMOND BLANC GARDENING SCHOOL
Designed by Allister Dempster & Rossana Porta (Feature Garden)
The bulge on these brassicas is obscene, all here is edible and wild with colour and it is one of the most vivid gardens of the show. There is a kitchen here (natch) with chefs from Blanc’s gardening school and recipes using the plants from the plot - but we’re just dreaming of stringing up, digging in and reaping what we’ve sown in a patch like Allister Dempster & Rossana Porta’s.
Not too dear, about £20-£30
HOW DO I GET THERE?
Train, bus or Thames Path, easy as.