RHS Garden Hyde Hall Flower Show

239 Reviews

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Things to do


Date of travel

August, 2018

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We like to support Hyde Hall as much as possible: it attracts some excellent exhibitors to its Flower Festivals as well as being a fine garden in its own right and still developing.

This year’s baking summer has been really unkind to many plants. We had plans to replace some that had died for lack of moisture and to explore drought-tolerance. The grass from the car park onward had clearly suffered as much as anywhere. Nonetheless our arrival within fifteen minutes of opening on the first day left us to park in row A8, a long way from the hard standing close to the garden.

We joined the other ‘pilgrims’, feeling as if it was towards some sun baked shrine but on arrival grateful for provision of numerous near-lavish toilets – as someone remarked, ‘It has come a long way from the days of portaloo.’

Nearby were the craft tents and a display of bonsai. Then the uphill stretch of nursery stalls and outlets for food, drink and garden furniture. Hyde Hall does not have show gardens; I hope this is only because the show is in its infancy; even the garden itself is just 25 years old. Instead, exhibitors compete for the best display of their plants. This can become a kind of mini-show garden but an informal or student show garden on the lines of Malvern would give everything a lift. Perhaps, as Adam Frost has designed a new planting area near the thatched barn that has given way to a new restaurant nearby, he could be encouraged to promote a show garden scheme.

That said, the exhibitor displays were as good as can be expected this year. Obviously those with plants that are independent of water looked best but everyone had made an effort. Some of the best also encouraged purchase of their products.

Particularly noteworthy were Hardy’s, Madrona Nursery from Kent and the brilliant agapanthus from a national collection holder. For those who like carnivorous plants there was a splendid show from Wicked Plants.

An innovation was the British Flower Bus, driven to the site to demonstrate that plants do not need to qualify for air miles to be worth growing. This is to be encouraged, and Sarah Raven is to be congratulated on promoting this policy that has led to schemes such as the Bus.

On each side of the festival stalls the splendid gardens can also be explored, though a slighter cooler day would encourage us more.


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