We hadn’t been to Hampton Court since 1999. I thought it was quite big then but now it is huge and I heard that this year it was spread over about 24 acres. Although the floral marquee and some of the walkways get crowded at peak times it is a much more relaxed show than Chelsea and there are plenty of open spaces where one can stop and sit on the grass, and have a drink or ice cream.
The Plant Heritage marquee was well stocked with stands from HQ with Gill and Gillian and others, and various National Collections from across the country and by the Seed Shop. I’m not sure why but the PH Seed Shop hadn’t really registered with me before but the ladies (Janet & June ) who run this take seed supplied by members, collection holders and other institutions and package, label and sell them to raise money for PH. I was amazed when they told me that on the first day of the show they raised over £1000 in seed sales. This is an undertaking that I will certainly take an interest in from now and will collect seed for. Amongst the Collection Holder’s stands was one by Devon Group members Chris and Lorraine Birchall (Rhodohypoxis and x. Rhodoxis) who also had a stand in the floral marquee. Congratulations to them on having received Gold medals on both of their stands.
During my time on the stand I had lots of interesting discussions with people, many from Devon, some of whom were our members but others had not really been aware of PH. I hope that we educated them slightly. Many from elsewhere took away our events leaflets on the basis that they would be coming here on holiday in the summer.
Thanks are due to all those who contributed in any way to the Devon stand, by lending plants from their National Collections, helping to assemble or dismantle the stand, manning the stand. Well done Devon PH
The on site team
Penny & Melvyn Jones (together with their van ‘Doris’) collected everything from Mike & Edna Squires and transported it to site. P & M stayed on until the Saturday lunchtime to start setting up. Mike & Edna were on site from Friday until Tuesday covering set up, Press day and the first morning of the show. Staffing of the exhibit was mainly National Collection Holders; John & Jean Twibell (Artemisia) , Beth Smith (Phlomis) and Paul Champion (Pittosporum) - assisted by Lesley and Sue. Paul, Lesley & Sue stayed on to help Mike & Edna take down the display on Sunday evening – at one point it became a little dramatic as Mike’s hired van gently expired just as it arrived at Hampton Court car park. The AA came to the rescue (with ‘magic’ tape’ to mend a water leak!) enabling everything that was on loan to come back to Devon.