Tuesday, February 14, 2012

RHS Plant and Design Show 2012

The RHS are holding their annual Plant and Design show at the moment (14 and 15 February 2012) in the Lawrence Hall in London.

So, once again we headed for Central London by car, the only time in the year we venture into the Congestion Zone is for this show. Public transport would be quicker, however anyone who has struggled home by the underground or train with bags of shopping will know how difficult that can be at rush hour. Let alone with several large plants to get home!

This has become something of an annual trip for us (see here for last years visit), and once again we were not to be disappointed.

The star attraction for us was the Crug Farm stand, not just for us but the judges as well, as Crug once again won a Gold medal for their display.

Oreopanax floribundus

Crug Farm stand

Another view of the Crug Farm stand

Polygonatum cf. tonkinense

Another well deserved Gold Medal

Shortia sinensis

Maianthemum amoenum

Pachysandra axillaris 'Crug Cover' BWJ8032
With the time of year giving emphasis to spring bulbs and flowers many of the stands were dedicated to Galanthus, Iris and Hellebores. The bright vivid colours may not entirely be to our tastes, but we still came home with several Hellebores for the garden although, I might add, we are more attracted to interesting and unusual leaf forms, shapes and colours than the flowers themselves.

Galanthus 'John Gray'

Galanthus nivalis

Galanthus Warham

One Hellebore in particular caught our attention, Helleborus 'Annas Red', with quite large leaves and a very deep and rich red flower but sadly it had also caught the attention of many of the other visitors, and sold out pretty quickly, too quick for us! "We will have some more next year" the stall holder told us, so we shall have to wait!

Helleborus 'Annas Red'
As well as a focus on plants, the other half of the show name is in relation to garden design, and the Lindley Hall, just across the road was dedicated mostly to the design aspect.

We were particularly taken by the sculptures on display by the Sculpture Park, these designs are stunning although a little out of our budget!, but still a great source of inspiration, and perhaps one day...

Azalea garden design, won a well deserved Gold medal for their Smoke and Mirrors garden, featuring white rendered walls (obviously they have great taste there, perhaps they have seen our Pond build project!!), and one of the hottest current trends in gardening at the moment, vertical green walls.

The day was not just plants, we bumped into fellow exotic gardening blogger Clive, who was rather heavily laden with plants by the end of the day. He did lead us to believe he was going to get home on public transport, although a text confirmed a taxi came to his rescue!

All in all a great day, and so hard to believe its been a year since last time!


Crug Farm
Azalea Garden Design
The Sculpture Park


  1. So, what did YOU GUYS get?

    I think it's about time for Crûg Farm to open a subsidiary here in California. I'm so envious of the plants they carry, many of which are unavailable here :-)

    Great post!

  2. Those are some beautiful photos and plants. Nice site for these eyes to see right now. Some of those sculptures are really great. I still can't get over how packed this place gets, but if you run into people you know then everyone must go there. Thanks for the great tour.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  3. The Azalea garden design makes me want to fix up my yard asap. :-)
    Where are the shots of your loot? Did you fill up the car? One year is a long wait for hellebores.

  4. Hi Gerhard, I'll do a post on our plant haul very soon. It was a bit of a rush to unload the car when we got back as it was dark already, hopefully take photos over the weekend :) I've been mentioning to Crug about supplying across the pond many times before, a complicated process it seems. And there are a few plant hunters already who'se got a lot of the same plants in the US, it's just for one reason or the other they are being released slowly.

    Thanks Cher, glad you enjoyed it :) It's the first major plant show of the year so lots of people attend to get that plant fix post winter.

    Loree, Clive's haul is fantastic! I was partuclarly drooling over the big leafed Rubus he had ordered :)

    Bom, the Azalea garden looks great, really liked the design and scheme. A photo of our haul will be posted shortly (hopefully over the weekend) :)

  5. Thanks for the tour. I love the red hellebore! I got tickled thinking about you having to take public transportation while trying to take home some precious plants. I guess that's when a cactus or two would come in handy - people wouldn't get too close! ;)

  6. Holley, I've done that once before but with a yucca. It stabbed me more than others though, lol!

  7. Hi Mark and Gaz, what a great plant and design show. With such a variety offered, how could you ever decide which plants to buy? I would be totally overwhelmed... I especially love all the fancy hellebores. The Sculpture Park also features some very special and interesting statuary that you don't see that often. Thanks for letting me participate in this great show via your blog post!

  8. A pleasure Christina :) given the chance to go back again the next day I would have bought a few more plants!

  9. The Spring colours are fantastic, I need more colour in my garden at this time of year. Thanks for some new ideas!

  10. Thanks for your comment. You really give the total experience of the RHS Plant & Design Show. In Seattle all this is not combined in 1 show. There is the Northwest Garden Show with display gardens by garden designers, lectures, & a whole lot of tacky garden paraphernalia in hundreds of booths. To find plants like those at Crug Farm, you must go to either the Florabundance plant sale of the Arboretum Society in the spring, or the fall plant sale of the Northwest Horticultural Society. Each sale has dozens of niche market plant venders. I've seen Tetrapanax & Pseudopanax here, but never Oreopanax.


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