Highlights of the show
There was a diverse range of attractions to enjoy - here are just a few
Ocean Spray Cranberry Harvest Display
Crafted entirely from crimson cranberries, a majestic floating red rose added a splash of colour to the iconic Long Water this year. Visitors were able to experience the scene close-up, which celebrated the wet harvesting method that Ocean Spray farmer-owners use to harvest cranberries.
50 years of Bloom
Celebrating 50 years of Britain in Bloom, Jon Wheatley created a spectacular show feature in Escape called 50 Golden Years: A Celebration of Britain in Bloom. The feature championed the power of community gardening, recognising the achievements of Bloom over the past 50 years and marking the start of the next 50 years. The feature embodied the three main pillars of Bloom: the environment, horticulture and community. It demonstrated high-quality horticultural practice and landscaping, incorporated beautiful planting (including vegetables) and showed fantastic art and heritage in the landscape for visitors to enjoy. Volunteers from around the UK were involved in creating the displays, reflecting the regional diversity of Bloom. A new dahlia called ‘Bloom 50’ was launched at the show, and when this plant goes on sale in 2015, half of the income will be used to support Bloom groups.
RHS Invisible Garden
The gardens we see every day, bursting with beautiful flowers and providing a haven for relaxing with friends and family, are also brimming with life on a microscopic scale. Have you ever wondered what lurks beneath your nasturtium leaves or under the surface of your pond? The incredible RHS Invisible Garden in Escape helped visitors discover the wonders of the unseen world. Guests could become a scientist and use a microscope to investigate plants, fungi and invertebrates and could also discover how to support nature in their own gardens. The RHS science team and other experts helped to explain the role garden wildlife and nature plays in maintaining biodiversity.
The turf sculptures in Inspire were inspired by the land art movement. The sculptures demonstrated how art and the landscape can be closely linked; rather than the sculptures being placed into the show’s landscape, the landscape itself has been the means of their creation. The six sculptures were designed and created in just two days before the show opens. The sculptors came from a wide range of backgrounds and included conceptual garden designers Tony Smith and Sim Flemons; Gavin Hardy, the head gardener at Tottenham Hotspur; Gardeners’ Question Time panellist Matthew Biggs; garden designer Adam Frost; and artist John Humphreys with gardener Andy Hyde.
Hands On stations
There were four Hands On stations, staffed by experts, offering advice on what it takes to be a garden designer, horticulturalist and florist:
• Hands On Poppies in Grow: guests could make a poppy with The Poppy Factory, marking the centenary of the First World War
• Hands On Horticulture in Grow: visitors sowed seeds to take home with the RHS education team
• Hands On Floristry in Escape: people made your own mini floral arrangement with the British Florist Association
• Hands On Design in Inspire: aspiring garden designers tried out the latest garden design techniques with the Society of Garden Designers and Hobbs Studio