HollandGreen Landscapes at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Show 2019

We love the Hampton Court Garden Show. Because it’s staged about six weeks after the Chelsea Flower Show, there’s definitely a more summery vibe.

The garden that attracted the most media attention was the one co-designed by The Duchess of Cambridge, reprising her Chelsea debut. But there was something for everyone – whether you’re a fan of a bold floral display or prefer the rustling of prairie grasses.

The top trends this year were definitely linked to the broader relationship between mankind and nature, with many designers choosing to explore our complex interaction with the natural world through their choice of planting and materials. An extension of this meditation into the way we interact with our environment was showcased in some gardens – including Kate Middleton’s ‘Back to Nature’ entry – with designs that included plenty of resources to support our native wildlife.

A stroll around Hampton Court can provide inspiration for every size and type of garden space – whether you have a tiny, shaded urban oasis or an acre of lawn. If you didn’t make it to the show this year, here are a few of our highlights:

Lagom Garden – Pitch Perfect

We couldn’t get enough of this sublime garden designed to combine the human need for ease and comfort with the informality of natural planting schemes. The notion of ‘lagom’ is bound up in respecting the balance that comes from a harmonious blend of elements – including water, stone and lush planting – to create an exciting synergy.

Lagom garden is a place where people can meet, relax, entertain and feel refreshed by nature. The nectar-rich plants nourish the wildlife and delight the senses. The open-sided garden room with Crittall-style windows anchors the scheme, while specimen trees act as living sculptures.

A Place to Meet – Urban oasis

Cherry Carmen’s delightful garden is an object lesson in how to create beauty in small spaces. The underlying structure of Carmen’s garden is formal, comprising of clean lines and hard landscaping which enables her to define every inch of the area and designate a purpose – there’s even space for a plunge pool among the paving.

But this matrix is then populated with a profusion of lush, colourful planting that spills over the edges, blurring the lines between hard and soft and creating a dreamy sanctuary away from the outside world. It celebrates nature by juxtaposing it with contemporary design and inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the moment.

Lower Barn Farm – Contemporary outdoor living

This garden was designed as a response to the growing trend for using outdoor space as a natural extension to your living space. It’s a contemporary interpretation that takes the alfresco living theme as its inspiration and uses bold colours and strong forms to bring it to life.

A seamless terrace is the unifying thread, providing a smooth walkway and a location for cooking and dining installations. It’s an indulgent experience that’s built to provide a five-star finish, complete with steel bio-climatic pergola for shelter and privacy. Planting is warm and richly textured with an exotic feel, while a pebble pool offers a cool contrast.

Image Source: RHS Hampton Court Garden Show

Smart Meter Garden – Best in show

On the surface, this remarkable garden presents an exquisite example of a woodland-and-water design. But its deeper message – exploring the troubled relationship between carbon emissions and the natural world – gives it added gravitas and provides food for thought.

A shallow circular pool is overlayed on cracked black paving, creating a mirror-like disc that prompts reflection on our view of nature and its gifts. Lights can be glimpsed under the fissures from which smoke seeps. The pool is fringed by lush woodland planting including ferns, yew and birch punctuated by stone boulders – a reminder of the future we could embrace if we choose to. Such a powerful statement and a worthy ‘Best in Show’ winner.

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