The Ecover Garden at RHS Hampton 2013
On Monday I attended the preview evening and gala dinner at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show as a guest of Ecover, on Wednesday I was back again with Mr TS – I keep pinching myself to see if I have died and gone to heaven! There is no way I can fit everything into one blog post so today I am concentrating on the Ecover garden itself and there will be more posts to follow.
The garden is inspired by the fundamental principle that water is life. Underpinning it is Ecover’s concern about the damage being done to our aquatic environments by waste plastics and toxic residues. The garden is a celebration of water and life, it is a joyful space focussing on the solutions to pollution which Ecover products provide. The garden designer, Matthew Childs, is a bubbly, enthusiastic, creative guy who embraced the Ecover brief with open arms. As we strolled around his creation together his passion for the Ecover message was plain to see.
I had been briefed about the garden before I went and, to be honest, I didn’t expect to like the toilet cleaner fountain, bottle handle bench and laundry cap lamp (all designed to emphasise the role Ecover products play in making a sustainable lifestyle achievable and easy) but, set as they were in a delicious cottage garden planting scheme, I was hooked! I love the shapes they create and the sense of fun they inspire.
The movement and colour of water is represented both by the planting and by strips of recycled plastic rearing up like waves. Gravel paths meander through the garden and further planting is hidden behind monolithic walls representing cliffs and coastline.
I love chatting to all the people behind the creation of a show garden and was delighted to be sitting at the same table for our evening dinner as Matthew’s Aunty Meg. She told us how much work had been put into the beautiful final product with the whole family all mucking in. Auntie Meg had spent hours on her hands and knees cleaning the blades of Matthew’s grasses with a cloth so they were show ready! She was so lovely and clearly loves her nephew to bits. All that hard work paid off when Matthew and the Ecover Garden received a well deserved Gold Medal and Best in Show!
Our meal was followed by an incredible fireworks display but my favourite part of the day was still to come. As Lauren and I wended our weary way out we stopped to enjoy the Ecover Bee. I had casually interviewed/had a really nice chat with its creator Ptolemy Elrington earlier in the day and taken a few photographs.
The bee had stopped at Hampton after its residence at Glastonbury Festival and is soon heading off to its new home at the Eden Project in Cornwall, so I was very pleased to be able to have a look. Made entirely from recycled materials it was created to celebrate the vital work done by bees in pollinating our food and maintaining our eco system.
But, because we were lucky enough to be at Hampton after dark we got to see the bee do its special dance. I love this – after a while the rhythm changes and then changes again, I could’ve watched for hours.
I wanted a last look at the garden in the dark to see the solar powered bottle cap lamp lit up. There watering the plants was Matthew’s Dad and, sitting in the garden laughing and chatting in the dark, Matthew and his family and friends. We hopped over the rope to say good night and then left them happy and celebrating a job really well done.
If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning a £15 000 garden makeover courtesy of Ecover and fancy letting Matthew get his hands on your plot pop over to Ecover’s Splash, good luck!
Disclosure: I was a guest of Ecover at the preview evening and gala dinner and Mr TS and myself were sent a pair of tickets so we could wander hand in hand amongst the flowers.