Each year I get to visit Hampton Court Garden Show and it really is one I love. Why? Well, I think because it is smaller than its Chelsea counterpart and attracts younger and more contemporary garden designers and industry partners. This means it is usually more relevant to today’s younger gardening market who tend live in housing with smaller outdoor space, if they have any at all.
I do know there is a sizeable market of younger people with smaller outside spaces who want to garden. And they are looking for help to create spaces to meet their values, not the values of their parents. Somehow most garden shows don’t deliver to this group. Hampton Court is a breath of fresh air
Here are some that do. Photos from the Royal Horticultural Society.
A simple garden, Retreat Garden, designed by Martin Royer, on show at Hampton Court last year meets almost every desire on the list for this target market Especially thought through for a young professional couple, I think this is a clever garden and showcases what Hampton Court can give a group of up and coming gardeners.
Our younger, usually time and cash strapped gardeners want…
To be on trend
The simplicity of this garden hides the carefully thought out planning for space, structures and planting. The planting and colour scheme softens what would otherwise be a very hard space with the metal walls, concrete steps and gravel gardens.
Entertaining and space to relax
This casual space with simple grill absolutely fits the bill. This is a show garden so the entertaining space is smaller than I would have made it in reality, but the idea is spot on. The simple water feature in the first image would only add to the relaxing nature of the space.
I love it.
Food grown in the garden
I don’t think there is any food planted in this garden, but if cared for by any person worth their millennial salt, there would be food planted amongst the decoration plants. That pot in the corner would probably be a pot of mint or basil and there would be kale or salad greens and maybe tomatoes in a sunny spot amongst the planting in the borders.
There is no doubt, flowers are definitely the way into most girls’ hearts. And this garden provides. But the planting is not tired or complicated. The simple use of few hardy species which give the soft casual feel even when the flowers are not in bloom is perfect.
Life is for living and there are not enough hours in the day to do everything needed. So hours of weeding or cutting back are really not on the agenda nor is time spent on the lawn mower. Now, I know that there is not a no-maintenance garden created on earth. But I have to say this one is close.
Lovely gravel and no lawn. Hardy planting that will need next to no care. Simple structures and furniture which will stay in place all year. It fits the bill perfectly.
Things in scale
I like the garden’s use of the small, simple barbeque, the simple water feature, the perennial planting that is in scale with the space in every way. There are hedges down each side but these are small too. The only big structures are in the fence at the back providing privacy and a sense of containment.
Finally, having a garden that will not cost the earth to construct and which will not require lots of ongoing funds to keep looking good is a must. There are other more important things to spend that hard-earned cash on.
This garden delivers here too. It will obviously cost to construct. But the clever use of materials means that costs will not be excessive. And the clever use of planting means that the ongoing costs will be kept to a minimum.
This is one clever garden suited to today’s lifestyle.