THE SHOWGROUND at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, which covers 25 acres, is divided into six main areas (A-F). This quick guide to the showground highlights some of the exhibits in each area.
Unlike the Chelsea Flower Show, where you can look, but not buy, all the nurserymen and suppliers of garden equipment will be selling at the Hampton Court Flower Show. Hilliers, the Winchester nursery, is providing a plant creche (B11 or C91) so that you do not have to hump your purchases round the show.
Stand A2: Original Organics, Unit 4/5 Farthings Lodge Business Centre, Plymtree, Cullompton, Devon EX15 2JY (tel: 0884 7653). Wormeries for sale, full of tiger worms (an indigenous species) beavering away to convert kitchen and garden waste into fine, crumbly Grade One compost. A worm can digest its own weight in food each day. Tea bags, potato peelings, dandelions, all rapturously received.
Stand A11: The Mexican Hammock Co, 81 Kirkton Rd, London N15 5EY (tel: 081-880 1090). You've got the tequila and corn chips. Now get the hammock, from Katy Lethbridge Tatlow who is showing brilliant handwoven cotton hammocks from Central America.
Stand B25/26: Gardens Illustrated, John Brown Publishing, The Boathouse, Crabtree Lane, London SW6 8NJ (tel: 071-381 6007). Issue 2 of this new magazine - essential reading - will be on sale here, hedges of lavender glowing on the cover. Even better is the picture of the cardiocrinum bulb on page 117. A subscription to the magazine costs only pounds 15 a year (six issues).
Stand B39/40: Burton McCall, 163 Parker Drive, Leicester LE4 0JP (tel: 0533 340800) will be showing off my favourite secateurs, Swiss-made Felcos. They will also be selling Japanese pruning saws made by Ars, pruning knives and gardening gloves that don't make you feel your hands are encased in blocks of drying plaster.
Stand B56/57: Butterfly Conservation, PO Box 222, Dedham, Nr Colchester, Essex CO7 6EY (tel: 0206 322342). The British Butterfly Conservation Society will be showing how to make gardens more butterfly- friendly. That means nettles as well as buddleia. You can also join the Society here. Membership is pounds 10 a year.
Stand B58: English Gardening School, Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Rd, London SW3 4HS (tel: 071-352 4347) provides part-time garden design courses second to none. But where are the equally well-trained gardeners to garden in them?
Stand B75/76: Tokonoma Bonsai, 14 London Rd, Shenley, Radlett, Herts WD7 9EN (tel: 0923 857587). You either love it or you hate it. If you love it, John Ainsworth will sell you the battery of equipment that all self-respecting bonsai buffs consider essential in the furtherance of the art.
Stand B89: St John Ambulance, Edwina Mountbatten House, 63 York St, London W1H 1PS (tel: 071-258 3456). What to do when you stick a garden fork through your foot or are bitten by an angry nestful of wasps.
Stand C1: ICI Garden Products, Fernhurst, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 3JE (tel: 0428 645454) will be showing their full arsenal, including the Bug Gun (to kill insects on roses and other flowers) and the Weed Gun (to kill weeds in lawns).
Stand C12: Greenacres Horticultural Supplies, PO Box 1228, Iver, Bucks SL0 0EH (tel: 0895 835235). Half the grass seed you sow usually disappears as part of a bird's breakfast. Greenacres sells pre-germinated grass seed for a faster lawn.
Stand C20: Spanish Pots, Calle La Venteta, 67 Aguas de Buscot, Campello, 03569 Alicante, Spain (tel: 010- 346 5690231). You can't have too many pots and buying one here is simpler than trying to persuade the stewardess at Alicante your terracotta treasure qualifies as hand luggage.
Stand C26: John Huggins' Courtyard Pottery, Groundwell Farm, Cricklade Rd, Swindon, Wilts SN2 5AU (tel: 0793 727466). English terracotta from 5in-long toms to 19in hexagonal pots. Some are decorated with sun and rain motifs, others with ivy leaves. There will also be Hampton Court souvenir specials, tall, slender 12in pots, with a Tudor rose motif.
Stand C29: Global Orange Groves UK, 1, Edgarton Rd, Canford Heath, Poole, Dorset BH17 9AY (tel: 0202 691699) sell a wide variety of citrus trees, including Navelina oranges, calamondins, mandarins and kumquats. They also sell a properly balanced fertiliser that will help to prevent fruit and leaf drop.
Stand C32: Julia Holmes Antique Maps and Prints, South Gardens Cottage, South Harting, Nr Petersfield, Hants GU31 5QJ (tel: 0730 825040). Always wonderfully dangerous. You buy one print and before you know it you are a collector. It was a Holmes print of a particularly wild-eyed Buff Orpington that started me on a collection of chicken prints. Antique maps a speciality. Look out too for weathervanes, sundials, door stops . . .
Stand C52: Cottage Garden Plants, Mytten Twitten, High St, Cuckfield, West Sussex RH17 5EN (tel: 0444 456067). Indulge in rampant nostalgia in a small cottage garden.
Stand C56: Dibleys, Efenechtyd Nurseries, Llanelidan, Ruthin, North Wales LL15 2LG (tel: 0978 88677). Masses of different streptocarpus (Cape primrose). These are easy, showy houseplants for anyone who can give them sufficient warmth in winter.
Stand C60/61: Hampton's Nurseries, Pillar Box Lane, Hadlow, Nr Tonbridge, Kent TN11 9SS (tel: 0732 810633). Jill Pazowski shows how you can fill the whole of a cottage garden border with pounds 25 worth of seed.
Stand C66/67: Three Suns Nursery, Spital Rd, Maldon, Essex CM9 6SH (tel: 0621 853872) are showing a sumptuous collection of regal pelargoniums. They are called regals because many of them were originally raised in the glasshouses of Sandringham.
Stand C69: Mallet Court Nursery, Currey Mallet, Taunton, Somerset TA3 6SY (tel: 0823 480748) have the most interesting collection of trees in England, including some rare species from China and Korea. Acers, oaks and hollies are their specialities. Also in Floral Marquee 5 Stand 14.
Stand C70: Herons Bonsai, Wiremill Lane, Newchapel, Nr Lingfield, Surrey RH7 6HJ (tel: 0342 832657). Marvel at Peter Chan's ancient, gnarled and beautifully trained bonsai. One of his trees saw the Bomb at Hiroshima.
Stand C74: Jacques Amand Ltd, The Nurseries, Clamp Hill, Stanmore, Middlesex HGA7 3JS (tel: 081-954 8138). Summer-flowering bulbs are on display here: galtonias, agapanthus and a wide range of lilies. Also in Floral Marquee 1 Stand 1.
Stand E13: Heritage Woodcraft, Unit 5, Shelley Farm, Over, Nr Romsey, Hants SO51 6AS (tel: 0703 814145). Garden furniture and traditional wheelbarrows - lovely as long as someone else is pushing them.
Stand E15: Indian Ocean Trading Company, 28 Ravenswood Rd, London SW12 9PJ (tel: 081-675 4808). Garden furniture, croquet sets, hammocks, umbrellas. Who said gardens were hard work?
Stand E18: Robinsons of Winchester, Chilcomb Lane, Chilcomb, Winchester, Hants SO21 1HU (tel: 0962 844755). Traditional, well-made greenhouses and conservatories, without too many frills.
Stand E27: Frolics of Winchester, 82 Canon St, Winchester, Hants SO23 9JQ (tel: 0962 856384). Fanciful trellis panels and made-to-order garden furniture. Frolics have also supplied the decorative gazebo used in the National Rose Society's tent.
Stand E33: Whichford Pottery, Whichford, Shipston-on-Stour, Warks CV36 5PG (tel: 0608 84416). Hand-made terracotta flower pots in a wide variety of styles, swagged, straight, trellised. His shallow pans are excellent for succulents.
One of the great advantages of the Hampton Court Show is the opportunity it provides to make authentic water gardens along an elegant stretch of the Long Water. Other gardens are arranged around the north and west boundaries of the showground.
Garden AQ7: Tetra (UK), Lambert Court, Chestnut Avenue, Eastleigh, Hants SO5 3ZQ (tel: 0703 620500) is designed by Tony Howells with a waterfall which fills a pool. Scented blue waterlilies provide cover for koi carp and golden orfe.
Garden G4: Scottlandscape, 78 Bousley Rise, Ottershaw, Surrey KT16 0LB (tel: 0932 872667). Square Roots is the theme of the garden designed by Barbara Hunt and built using a high proportion of reclaimed and recycled material. The 'timber' is made from polystyrene packaging. The water chutes are roof gable tiles.
Garden G9: Sheridans, 33 Ailsa Rd, St Margarets, Twickenham, Middlesex TW1 1QJ (tel: 081-891 3843). Lavender bushes dominate the planting of this rustic show garden, unashamedly retrospective.
Garden G13: Council for the Protection of Rural England, Warwick House, 25 Buckingham Palace Rd, London SW1 0PP (tel: 071-976 6433). It is unfortunate that the CPRE's garden, demonstrating water conservation techniques, comes after one of the wettest Junes on record. We are always one step behind.
Garden G22: Rako Products, Brunel Way, Stroudwater Business Park, Oldends Lane, Stonehouse, Glos GL10 3SX (tel: 0453 792841). This kinetic garden has been developed from Paul Cooper's prize-winning garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. The unlikely star is the miniveyor, a portable conveyor system that here is used to create a 'dry' waterfall surrounded by plants, such as Viburnum rhytidophyllum, that will thrive in areas contaminated by industrial pollution.
In the centre of the showground are five huge tents, two Floral Marquees either side of the huge Daily Mail garden pavilion which displays plants from around the world in a garden context.
Two further marquees specialise in Flowers at Home and the conservation work of the NCCPG. At the eastern edge of the showground is the Royal National Rose Society's huge marquee where it is staging the national Rose Festival.
FLORAL MARQUEE 1
Stand 5: Valley Clematis Nursery, Willingham Rd, Hainton, Lincoln, Lincs LN3 6LN (tel: 0507 313398). Clematis are not easy flowers to display at a show. Keith Fair trains them on supports at his nursery and then carries them around wedded to their props.
Stand 8: Hoecroft Plants, Severals Grange, Wood Norton, Dereham, Norfolk NR20 5BL (tel: 0362 844206). Plants that are variegated or have coloured leaves are the speciality here. A good collection of ornamental grasses.
Stand 12: Blackmore & Langdon, Stanton Nursery, Pensford, Bristol, Avon BS18 4JL (tel: 0275 332300). Statuesque delphiniums and some excellent leafy begonias.
Stand 13: Craig House Cacti, 94 King St, Southport, Lancs PR8 1LG (tel: 0704 545077). Cacti, euphorbias and succulents for desert beds.
Stand 15: Tropical Rain Forest, 66 Castle Grove Avenue, Leeds, West Yorks LS6 4BS (tel: 0532 789810). Bromeliads and airplants for escapist gardeners.
FLORAL MARQUEE 2
Stand 8: The Romantic Garden Nursery, Swannington, Norwich, Norfolk NR9 5NW (TEl: 0603 261488). Trysts among the topiary.
Stand 11: S & N Brackley, 117 Windslow Rd, Wingrave, Aylesbury, Bucks HP22 4QB (tel: 0296 681384). Sweet pea specialists with their new introductions.
Stand 15: Goldbrook Plants, Hoxcne, Eye, Suffolk IP21 5AN (tel: 0379 75770). The demand for new hostas keeps several Japanese and American breeders in pocket money. Goldbrook has the best of the best.
Stand 19: Castledyke Nurseries, Castledyke Bank, Wildmore, New York, Lincs LN4 4XF Fuchsias for every occasion.
FLORAL MARQUEE 3
Plants and flowers of the world in the Daily Mail pavilion.
FLORAL MARQUEE 4
Stand 3: Hazeldene Nursery, Dean St, East Farleigh, Maidstone, Kent ME15 0PS (tel: 0622 726248). Non- stop violas and pansies. Look out for 'Irish Molly', the khakiest flower in existence.
Stand 4: Rougham Hall Nurseries, Ipswich Rd, Rougham, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP30 9LY (tel: 0359 70577). Hardy herbaceous perennials.
Stand 5: Hare Hatch Nursery, London Rd, Hare Hatch, Twyford, Berks (tel: 0734 401600). Plants for patios and hanging baskets.
Stand 7: Marks & Spencer, Michael House, 47-57 Baker St, London W1A 1DN (tel: 071-935 4422). Four fables in flowers, taking in Alice in Wonderland (topiary and tulips), Sleeping Beauty (honeysuckle, clematis and a Gothic castle), The Jungle Book (Kentia palms and rubber plants), and Peter Rabbit (a vegetable patch, strawberries and stocks).
Stand 12: Southfield Nurseries, Bourne Rd, Morton, Bourne, Lincs PE10 0RH (tel: 0778 570168). Stagey succulents.
Stand 14: Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens, Abbotsbury, Weymouth, Dorset DT3 4LA (tel: 0305 871412). Sub-tropical plants, shrubs and perennials.
Stand 15: Notcutts Nurseries, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4AF (tel: 0394 383344). A wide general range of high-quality trees, shrubs, roses, climbers and perennials.
Stand 17: Pearl Sulman, 54 Kingsway, Mildenhall, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 7HR (tel: 0638 712297). The pelargonium queen.
FLORAL MARQUEE 5
Stand 2: Burncoose & South Down Nurseries, Gwennap, Redruth, Cornwall TR16 6BJ (tel: 0209 861112). Luxuriant trees and shrubs transform this site into a patch of the West Country.
Stand 5: Botanic Nursery, Atworth, Melksham, Wilts SN12 8HU (tel: 0225 706631). Lime-tolerant plants.
Stand 6: P W Plants, Sunnyside Nurseries, Heath Rd, Kenninghall, Norwich, Norfolk NR16 2DS (tel: 0953 888212). Foliage plants are the speciality here, with a wide selection of bamboos and grasses.
Stand 10: Rupert Bowlby, Gatton, Reigate, Surrey RH2 0TA (tel: 0737 642221). Summer-flowering bulbous plants.
Stand 11: Three Counties Nurseries, Marshwood, Bridport, Dorset DT6 5QJ (tel: 0297 678257). Pinks, old-fashioned and modern.
Stand 13: Fibrex Nurseries, Honeybourne Rd, Pebworth, Nr Stratford- on-Avon, Warks CV37 8XT (tel: 0789 720788). Experts in ferns (now madly fashionable) and ivys, both excellent town plants. Begonias and gloxinias add colour.
Stand 16: Glebe Cottage Plants, Pixie Lane, Warkleigh, Umberleigh, North Devon EX3 7DH (tel: 0769 540554). Remember: you saw it here first. Superb collection of unusual perennials.
FLOWERS AT HOME MARQUEE
Stand 3: Fleur de Lys, Kemsdale House, Hernhill, Faversham, Kent ME13 9JP (tel: 0227 751297). Unusual conservatory plants.
Stand 9: Philip Tivey & Sons, 28 Wanlip Rd, Syston, Nr Leicester, Leics LE7 8PA (tel: 0533 692968). Dahlias and chrysanthemums, chivvied into bloom for the show.
The show is open from 10am to 7.30pm from 7 - 10 July and 10am to 6.30pm on Sunday 11 July. Tickets cost pounds 14 (adults) and pounds 7 (children 5 - 15). Credit card hotline: 071-344 4444.
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