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Lettuce Lawns and books

Posted by Jean Vernon on 10 Jul 2008 at 03:05 PM

Most keen gardeners can remember something inspiring from their childhood days in the garden. Our playstations were old coal bunkers, secret gardens among the shrubbery and temporary dens of runner beans. It's often those memories that encourage us into the wonderful hobby of gardening.

The National Year of Reading Garden at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is designed to bring gardens, plants and books alive for children. It captures an essence of garden designer, Sally Court's own childhood but it isn't what she calls a 'children's garden'. "Children prefer adult gardens, they like to be intrigued and explore. This garden is a path that leads through a garden of imagination. In my childhood we had garden trails and there is an element of that here. We didn't have tree ferns though, we used to have secret trails through the rhododendrons."


The garden has plenty of intrigue and variety, there's a lawn of lettuce; "we know that lettuce isn't suitable for a lawn, but a child wouldn't," says Sally. 

There are also lots of links to books and literature. The garden contains pitcher plants, liriodendrons and tradescantias, all plants collected and established in the UK by the Tradescants, this links with the Philippa Gregory books Earthly Joys and Virgin Earth that depict the lives and times of the 17th century John Tradescant. It's a deep and interesting space that was awarded a Silver Gilt medal by the judges.





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