The RHS Hampton Court Flower Show is on this week until Sunday evening and it may not be a posh do like Chelsea but I find it a lot more fun, with more space, more plants and easy parking.
Chelsea is a spring show with springtime plants but Hampton Court shows the best of summer and is less delicate and more vibrant. These two London shows are all that remain of a plethora of events which used to take place every fortnight or so. Nursery growers would bring their plants up to town to sell direct to the public. The cost of transport and of increasing pressure to put on ever more eye popping stands put paid to this leaving just Chelsea standing. Hampton Court was presented as an alternative exactly 25 years ago, first sponsored privately and now taken over by the RHS. Luckily it seems to be going from strength to strength.
There are lots of local gardens open this weekend too – look out for the yellow NGS posters or check at their website. I’ve spotted the following on Sunday from 2pm: 14 Tetherdown N10 1NB; 66 Muswell Ave N10 2EL; 5 Cecil Rd N10 2BU; Railway Cottages, Dorset Rd, N22 7SL.
PS Don’t forget to check your plants for water every day in this very hot weather – water late in the evening if possible. http://www.ngs.org.uk