The Witan Global Growth Garden

By chance we met with the garden designer Jane Bailey, of Jane Bailey Garden Design, at the Suffolk Plant Heritage Plant Fair in May 2016.   We discussed suitable fuchsias for the garden she was designing for Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, where the majority of plants had to have an edible element to them and could be grown in most parts of the UK.  Fuchsia magellanica ‘Riccartonii’ and F. splendens were already on her planting list. Discussions followed after the Plant Fair and we agreed to supply some additional Fuchsias for the show garden being, Fuchsia procumbens, Fuchsia magellanica ‘Thompsonii’ and Fuchsia ‘Charming‘ the latter being an introduction by James Lye. The Witan Global Growth Garden was designed in a spiral to evoke the sense of tranquillity to take you on a stunning journey of colour, scent and texture.  The majority of plants have an edible element to them, and can be grown in most parts of the UK.  There was a stunning ‘Leaf Sphere’ sculpture in the middle of the garden. It was lovely working with Jane over the coming weeks and delivering the plants to her and the rest of the build team at the Showground.  We visited…

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2016 – Bronze Award

For the first time we exhibited a floral display of our Plant Heritage, National Plant collection of Fuchsia cultivars introduced by James Lye at the Royal Horticultural Society,  Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in July (5th – 10th) 2016. Our concept for our first ever RHS Show exhibit was to display some of the National Plant Collection of Fuchsia cultivars introduced by James Lye, on a traditional tiered staging in Victorian clay pots.  We were keen to display the plants in a natural (untrained) habit, in different stages of flower so that visitors could see how the fuchsias would grow if untrained and that there is a succession of flowering once the plants starts to flowers. The display also provided information about the fact that the flowers and berries of fuchsias are edible, for this we also used F. procumbens which is an unusual mat-forming fuchsia specie, which has small, heart-shaped leaves and solitary, erect, pale orange flowers, with reflexed sepals which are deep purple with a green base, and the usual stamens with blue pollen. Our main interpretation panel (which is on the side of our display) highlighted three key areas, James Lye, Edible Fuchsias and Fuchsia History. We…

Filming for BBC2 – Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2016

In the build-up to RHS Hampton we were contacted by BBC Researchers, who wanted to film our exhibit at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show as we were first time exhibitors.  On the Wednesday before Press Day we were contacted to be informed that we were going to be filmed on Press Day and that the interview would be with Rachel de Thame, who co-presents the BBC’s annual coverage of Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, as part of the Royal Horticultural Society output on BBC Two. When we arrived at the Showground on Monday morning, keen not to interrupt the Judges, I met the Film crew and Rachel who talked me through that was going to happen and what aspects of the exhibit they wanted to film.  The main theme was to highlight first time exhibitors at the Show, Rachel was keen to talk about the historical context of our National Plant Collection and the fact that parts of fuchsias are edible. We spent about 50 minutes filming and the crew took various shots of plants and information that they would also use. The piece, which lasts about 1 minute appeared on episode 2 which was aired on Thursday 7 Jul 2016…