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Snow at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Posted by Jean Vernon on 06 Jul 2008 at 01:29 PM

The weather forecast predicted wind and rain but I really wasn't expecting to be in the midst of a snowstorm in the middle of July.
A light but persistent snow shower was gently falling to the ground as I wafted past The Magic Garden this morning. It was captivating, uncannily realistic, and in today's topsy-turvy weather pattern, not really a total surprise.
Even in its unfinished state this garden oozes energy and ambience. Surprising since on first inspection it is just a collection of simple plants, some white marble sand and a collection of white-stemmed birches.
But as you enter through the willow wardrobe you can't help but notice the light and magic portrayed by this space. It's an enchanting winter garden and a snow machine completes the picture, a light drift of seaweed based ‘snow' creates a genuine feel of a winter snowstorm and with the temperature barely into double figures, it's an authentic effect. Venture through the stumpery, an interlocking wall of tree roots and you'll re-emerge in the summer garden, though if the wind is blowing the wrong way it will be snowing in there too.
But it's all a bit of fun and just what the garden designer wanted to create. Francesca Cleary breathes and lives gardens and is totally in her element at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. "It's such a nice place to be in. It's the buzz of creating something that you wouldn't create for a client- it's wonderful," she says. "Over last winter we really got into the C S Lewis novels and I thought, wouldn't it be fun to create a winter garden, a woodland and to wander through that and magically arrive in summer." This could be the only place at this years Hampton Court Palace Flower Show where you can transverse the seasons willingly, but make sure you go from winter into summer and not the reverse or you may find the spell sticks and winter arrives forever.



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