What I Did On My Summer Holiday

The Home Front Garden - from the garden gate

The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2011 – complete with my attempts at learning to take pictures (which WordPress has kindly blurred for me).

The Sink in the WWF garden

Aside from playing golf with my dad – in which I got round the whole course in less than a day, so consider that a personal victory – lazing around on the beach, and catching up with lovely friends (I want to buy an Xbox), I have been a rather exciting librarian at a flower show.

Rudyard Kipling garden

It was very pretty, and given that I am a gardener of aesthetics (in that I kill most plants I buy); really enjoyable. In spite of most people’s reservations, I am determined to learn how to become an at least halfway-decent photographer and so flowers seem to be the way forward. At least they stand still. And the camera has a macro function for really zooming in.

The Virtual Reality Garden

I have discovered that not only do I still really like acers (I have edited out all the photographs of me grinning next to a pretty tree); but thistles are in fashion with garden designers and that you can plant enormous cabbages next to echinaceas and other pretty things like foxgloves – although I’m concerned as to how you retrieve said massive cabbage without trampling all the other flowers.

Orange Lupins

I also noticed that RHS flower shows are such middle class affairs that nobody says so much as an ‘excuse me’ and that people would rather run over your sensible-shoe-clad feet with their fold-out plant trolleys than acknowledge your existence. Which is kind of a shame.

BBC broadcast van with assorted dahlias

The cream tea wasn’t half bad, though.

Croquet set and moss in the Rose Wonderland

There were lots of weird and wonderful things to look at – including smoke-issuing metal dragon sculptures, large bronze gorillas and some sort of water feature which involved trees raining. Also, these lovely little features like the one above in many of the gardens which (I thought) made quite cute pictures.

Cider press in the RHS Edible Garden

A weekend with my parents is rather different from a weekend at home, or at the beach as the previous weekend was spent. Although I would have ended up going to the flower show regardless, I think. That’s what you get for knowing horticulture students.


My favourite gardens were definitely the more pretentious, arty ones. Especially the one in which plants were presented in a gallery setting (see above). According to the real gardeners, this really made you consider the abstract nature of art and forget all you knew about gardening, but I mostly liked the way people stood back like they did in an art gallery instead of doing what they did in other gardens; leaning forward to get a closer look at the flower of their choice.

Hampton Court Flower Show 2011

All in all, a rather nice little summer holiday, if quiet. Back in the jug agane tomorrow, though. What is it I do for a living again?

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