Tuesday, 5 July 2011

RHS Hampton Court Show - The Perils of Pink


Pink Perils all stacked up at the RHS Hampton Court Flower show yesterday - waiting to be unleashed on the unsuspecting public on the opening day of the show!

Press day at Hampton Court yesterday and what a lovely day it was too.  There was a lot of pink. 

Pee Frog
The Control the Uncontrollable Garden aimed at people with an overactive bladder! This was particularly apposite for the Sock who had got stuck in long traffic jams on the way to Hampton Court and had for ages been 'bustin' for a piss'  as the phrase goes.  It had been touch and go as to whether the Happy Pee Frog (which the Sock keeps in her glove compartment) was going to be christened but a petrol station with toilets had appeared just in time. This was a huge relief as the Sock can't really see the Happy Pee Frog working 'in situ' particularly worrying as she had just had the Sockmobile valeted.

The next  proliferation of pink was the Conceptual Coppafeel garden designed by Hugo Bugg for the breast awareness charity.  The Sock can't help feeling that 'Coppafeel' is a slightly off putting name being reminiscent of builders yelling "Oi - cop a feel of this luv!" across the street in days gone by, before builders all became models of gentility and decorum.  Not entirely sure about the giant boobs either - although the ladies wearing them were doing a great job -  but if it helps raise awareness then perhaps one shouldnt' be too critical.

The Sock did like the interesting way the interior of the 'garden' photographed..

The LOROS Hospice Garden of Light and reflection was partially hot pink which was great if you like pink

and then partially not.. the sculpture at the front of the garden being softer textures and shades

neither part of the garden seemed to marry together at all. Two gardens crammed into one to the detriment of both.

The Sock feels a little mean criticising gardens that are for such good causes - the LOROS garden "aims to heighten the awareness of the therapeutic benefits of gardens and represents a segment of the LOROS hospice courtyard. A beautiful garden can help a patient come to terms with an incurable illness and provide a restful retreat for carers." But ultimately no matter how great the message, for the Sock it still wasn't a great garden.

The Sock definitely agreed with the message given by the Think! Cover Up  conceptual garden

about the dangers of skin cancer, the gravel and plants evoking a starkly hot environment with the trees giving shade protection to a standing sculpture. But with Pa Sock dying from it, Bro Sock having landed on the right side of the 50/50 terminal prognosis given for a skin cancer some years back and the Sock herself now paying the price of skin sun damaged in childhood... it was a little depressing. 

This is a flower show and the Sock began to feel a little bogged down with  so many themes of ill-health and bodily functions around.

Another invasion of pink with a partially pink orb garden room ruining an otherwise rather lovely Japanese garden.

The Sock wasn't terribly keen on any of the Poet themed gardens and the pink petunias in this don't do it any favours

Don't let these pinks make you believe the Sock got the blues at Hampton Court *groansatpun*.  The Sock had a fab time and will be blogging about the lovely Green stuff later on.


patientgardener said...

Pinkalicious!! I do wonder every year why Hampton seems to attract so many gardens with messages around health etc. Looks like you had a good day. Thanks for sharing you insightful opinions:)

The Constant Gardener said...

that bladder problems garden still makes me want to go to the loo every time I look at it - beginning to think it might be one of those reflex association things, see bright pink tap in garden, start crossing legs.

I like the bright planting in the LOROS garden, was pink but also orange and had veggies in it so scored on all counts for me :D Agree with you about it being a garden of two halves though.

And that's a brill pic of the inside of that conceptual garden - inspired!

Paddy Tobin said...

"Gardening is so therapeutic" I am terribly fed up with this comment. It has regularly been directed at me; that, as I am forever depressed, I am most fortunate to be so interested in gardening. I spend most days in the garden, 5, 6, 7 hours regularly and find I can be just as depressed in the garden as anywhere else. Physical activity is helpful, I agree, but why must people continually trot out this "gardening is so therapeutic" clap-trap.

That pea frog is just too much for me, too graphic altogether, upsetting images etc. Certainly for absolute emergencies only.

Re your comments: gardens must be gardens first of all and carriers of messages afterwards. So often the message spoils the garden, as subtle as a broken down tractor in middle of the herbaceous border.

Loved your report, photographs and comments, Miss Sock. Many thanks.

Oh, first gold for an Irish garden designer at Hampton Court this year.


Arabella Sock said...

Am I imagining it or wasn't that Pink Tap for the bladder problems garden at Hampton Court last year?

I did wonder what might be made of a garden warning of the dangers of testicular cancer - I'm sure men don't check themselves enough. Perhaps we should design one and call it a 'Load of Balls'. Could be interesting.

Paddy, the Irish are doing well at these shows!