Well, we survived. There couldn't have been a pleasanter place at the Hampton Court Flower Show than the Gardens Illustrated Pavilion. It was spacious and as airy as it could possibly be but it is not particularly pleasant spending a week under canvas when the outside temperatures are over 30 degrees! However, wonderful colleagues in the tent with excellent kit, absolutely no tat (unlike elsewhere), great camaraderie and lots of laughter even when wilting desperately. I was terribly proud of my flowers for standing up for themselves in the heat, and kept apologising to them for taking them away from the field .... But they seemed happy enough and were much admired, so it was all rather pleasing. Thank you to everyone who helped me there and to all the visitors who made such incredibly positive comments and to the GI team and James and Therese who organised it. My neighbouring standholder Rosemary from The Plant School (Oh that I had the time to go on her courses, they look so utterly fascinating and brilliant) kept me smiling when I was wilting terribly and I think I probably have her to thank for keeping me at least relatively sane.
The best thing about a Show is that you do have some fascinating conversations and bump into old friends and new, including quite a few people who are doing similar things so it was great to chat with them about the trials and tribulations as well as the joys of growing flowers. As an inveterate earwigger I also loved the passing comments. Possibly my favourite was from two women standing at the end of my stand, next to my Victorian hip bath filled with flowers so it looked a bit like a piece of my garden. One said to the other "Just goes to show, if you use an interesting container you can get way with having nothing in the garden..." Then there were the two who came into the tent, said "Oh no, this one's just for country bumpkins" and turned tail and fled back to another part of the Show... and there was the lady walking past with a rather fab collection of water plants (Always interesting seeing what people are carrying), I said something about how she must have a wonderful pond, to which she retorted "Don't have a pond, have a lake". That told me!