By participating in this year’s Royal Horticultural Society Hampton Court Show, we hope to bring a bit of what we love most about Charleston’s storied gardens to those who haven’t peered through our city’s beloved secret gardens or explored our sprawling plantations and dazzling waterfront parks.
The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will take place in the beautiful grounds of Hampton Court Palace in East Molesey, Surrey July 4th - 9th. Visit our garden anytime between 10am and 7:30pm Tuesday through Saturday and 10am through 5:30pm on Sunday. Look for the pineapple columns, enter through the lemon trees and lush boxwood, and spend a while in this Charleston oasis, an ocean away from the city proper.
By participating in this year’s RHS Hampton Court Show, we hope to bring a bit of what we love most about Charleston’s storied gardens to those who haven’t peered through our city’s beloved secret gardens or explored our sprawling plantations and dazzling waterfront parks.
This year’s garden centerpiece will be a representation of Charleston’s iconic pineapple fountain located in Waterfront Park. A symbol of hospitality, the pineapple and the fountain have come to symbolize Charleston.
Charleston is home to several varieties of palms and tropical greenery – a welcomed reminder that wherever you are in Charleston, you are never far from the sandy shore.
Sadie May Stowell, a celebrated Garden Designer and Landscape Architect with a flair for the creative is the designer for the Charleston Garden. In anticipation for this year’s show, we asked her a few questions about her preparations and inspiration behind this year’s garden.
I have really enjoyed creating the gardens for Brand USA, particularly the challenge of designing gardens which convey the different atmospheres of the cities and states they represent. One of the biggest challenges has been sourcing some of the plant species, as these are not always readily available in the UK. Many of the plants used in the gardens I have created for Charleston have included plants which I have sourced from Cornwall and Italy.
The Charleston garden for 2017, is very exciting as it will include a beautiful water feature based on the Pineapple Fountain found at Waterfront Park in the historic district of Charleston. The water feature will be specially crafted for the show and will be a scaled down version of the real thing! It will add a real "wow factor" to the garden and will represent one of the biggest attractions in this fabulous city.
Some of the plants I have used in the gardens I have designed for Charleston have been totally new to me. One particular shrub I really like is Osmanthus fragrans - it's a shrub with glossy green leaves and beautifully scented white flowers, a really lovely addition to a sheltered or walled garden in the UK. One thing I particularly like about the Charleston style planting is that it combines exotic palms such as Butia and Trachycarpus with sub-tropical species such as Gardenia and Camellia and this gives a very unique look. Plants are really packed into the gardens in Charleston and the predominant colour is green, a really rich tapestry of greens.
Many of the plants used in the Charleston garden would be at home in a sheltered or walled English garden especially in a town or city. Ferns, ivies or hydrangeas would be suitable for a shady spot in any English garden.
Gardens can be created in a space of any size or shape! If you have an irregular shaped garden then try to design the layout using the diagonals in the garden. Draw the eye by using a sculpture as a focal point on the longest axis. Sculptures, water features and special plants are often used in Charleston gardens to draw the eye and make the space seen bigger in this way. Another classic design feature of Charleston gardens, is the use of lots of plants and climbers to blurthe garden boundaries and make them less obvious.
Lots of daffodils, crocus, and spring bulbs. I love this time of year, it's my favourite - the garden is waking up ready for the year ahead!