July 11, 2023 Product Spotlight
How do you make an RHS show garden?
How do you get Wildflower Turf to RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival 2023?
Did you see the Wildflower Turf at The Royal Horticultural Society’s Hampton Court Garden Festival 2023? George Davies Turf were very proud to sponsor Hana Leonard’s show garden called “Plastic Fantastic”. The garden itself was a playful and thought provoking look at how plastics are used in our gardens. The only thing that was more playful than her take on garden design was her outfit choices!
Hana wanted to showcase the different things you can do to, and to make us more aware of how plastics can be used and reused in your gardens at home. All the plastics involved in her show garden were either made from recycled materials, or they were upcycled to give them a second life. Every element within the show garden is going to be transported away from Hampton Court now the show is finished and reused elsewhere, some bits going to garden projects and others going to displays at a garden centre.
There were recycled materials even where there appeared to be none. The blankets used to cover the gabion basket benches were made using recycled bottles as were the cushions on the bench and in the studio pod too.
The meadow element of the garden was created using Wildflower Turf grown on a plastic free fabric and was meant to symbolise nature reclaiming an old landfill area around all the recycled plastics used to make the show garden.
The meadow was over half the show garden in terms of area, and it needed to look its best for that week, and you only have two weeks to build it! So how did we do it?
The Wildflower Turf was harvested in slabs in the second week of March and laid out on a concrete area on a layer of compost about 2 inches thick. The slabs were then harvested to the size of a Dutch Plant Trolley, and they were then watered every day that it didn’t rain from the date of delivery in March all the way up until the show opening for Press Day on July 3rd.
At the start of May, 6 weeks out from the show, the Wildflower Turf had grown to nearly 3 feet in height causing another issue, the turf was ready it looked blooming marvellous pardon the pun, and Hampton Court wasn’t until next month! When it rained, it was starting to heel over. Hana trimmed the heads off and took about a foot from each stem, a bold move considering the high stakes. This is something that many gardeners come across at home when their soil is too fertile and is known as a mid-season intermediate cut or “Chelsea Cut” as it often takes place at the same time as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The slabs were then transported flat from their temporary home in Redbourn to Hampton Court and transplanted the week before the show. It was then watered in its new temporary home and the results were fantastic…
The compost and watering did its job, and all the flowers came back and even encouraged growth from some of the other species that hadn’t yet started to make their way through. The Viper’s-Bugloss or Echium Vulgare was an absolute hit with everyone that walked into the garden and with all the local bees too. It gave a wonderful splash of vivid blue with pinks that is irresistible to wildlife and humans alike!
Talking to all the press, RHS members, the members of the public that attended was an absolute privilege for the whole team and spreading the word about recycled plastics and their importance and the way they can be used and reused in our gardens was wonderful for me personally and for the rest of the team too.
We at George Davies Turf hope that you enjoyed the Hampton Court Garden Festival as much as we all did. The full species list of the Wildflower Turf used can be found on our website here and you can see the garden in all its glory on BBC Gardeners’ World episode Friday 7th July.