September 15, 2008
Denis Flanagan CLD
Manager, membership services

Denis FlanaganThe theme at this year’s Hampton Court Flower Show was ‘Make the Most of your Garden.’ The show is an annual horticultural showcase, held just outside London, England.

I was fortunate to take in the show during my vacation this year. The setting on the grounds of the famous palace alongside the river Thames is absolutely breathtaking. The whole horticultural industry supports the show, with nursery growers filling acres of marquees with roses, perennials, annuals and bulbs. Specially emphasized this year were herbs, vegetables, fruit and unusual plant material.

The show organizers have been incredibly successful at garnering sponsorship support. One of the major sponsors is a leading newspaper, The Daily Mail. It built a thatched cottage for the show, complete with a greenhouse, stables and extensive perennial gardens. A drawing card for the public was a competition, with the winner receiving the complete cottage rebuilt anywhere in the U.K.

Over 50 show gardens were created, demonstrating how they may be used and enjoyed in many different ways. The Association of Professional Landscapers and the Society of Garden Designers built a garden named ‘The Traveler’s Garden.’ It was inspired by Walter de la Mare’s poem, The Listeners. It demonstrated how a professionally-designed and -built garden can enhance your life.

Children were encouraged to be part of the show by entering a scarecrow building competition. This proved successful, involving many school groups.

A number of displays featured recycled materials, water conservation, vegetables growing in containers and many other trends we are now seeing beginning to develop here. I have included one memorable moment that I captured with my camera.

The whole experience was certainly inspiring, and reminded me that we should all be supporting and growing our own wonderful showcase, Canada Blooms. If you like to get more involved, please contact the Blooms office directly, or get in touch with me at 1-800-265-5656, ext. 303.
Denis Flanagan may be contacted at

Caption: Just one of the 50 show gardens at the Hampton Court Flower Show in London.