Garden designs at the Hampton Court Flower Show 2010

Happy hippos at Hampton Court Flower Show 2010

Happy hippos at Hampton Court Flower Show 2010

One does not see too many Hippo Gardens, and they don’t win many awards, but at Hampton Court in 2010 we were pleased to find ourselves much more in agreement with the garden design judges than at many shows. It confirms our usual advice to clients: if you want a good garden design then you should employ a good garden designer. Such people may have no training or any training – but more often than not you will find that they have, like the 2010 winners, completed educational courses in landscape architecture or garden design.

9 thoughts on “Garden designs at the Hampton Court Flower Show 2010

  1. Adam Hodge

    Of all the different things to photograph at Hampton Court Flowere Show, does this picture reflect what the blogger deems as the penultimate of a well designed garden ? !!!

    What does he have to say about the leaning trees, the irredescent pink tap, the breeze blocks or any of the other conceptual nonsense ?

  2. Tom Turner Post author

    I am always bemused by hippos – because their cuddly popularity is so much at odds with their aggressive and bad-tempered reality.
    Re the conceptual gardens: I think that over the years the category has produced (1) a few entries of outstanding quality (2) far too many useless examples of useless rubbish.

  3. Christine

    Yes I agree. Hippos are cuddly…but not in your average cuddly way! However, it is worth giving them more than a passing thought despite their bad tempered ways:

    “The World Conservation Union’s Red List of endangered species stands at 16,306, including the pygmy hippo, one of the WCS ‘rarest of the rare.’ The status of most species, however, has never been assessed. The biggest threat to the West African mammal is habitat loss from deforestation. The world has lost a forest the size of the United States in the past century.”

    [ ]

    For more…any easy guide to Hippos: [ ]

  4. Tom Turner Post author

    It is regrettable that discussion of limiting the world’s human population has become politically incorrect. Chairman Mao got some things wrong but he was surely right about female education, female emancipation and population control.
    China used to have many elephants but only a very few are left.

  5. Christine

    True a rapidly expanding population is a threat to elephants especially due to habitat conflict.
    [ ]

    The population phenomena raises some strange questions…

    From a human perspective:

    Do you mean that
    1)there must be better things to do with your time than reproduce (ie gain an education)? Reproduction and boredom are related?

    2)Females are not always willing participants in reproductive activities (emancipation would assist)? Is there emancipation intellectual, economic, philosophical or ethical?

    3)Or educating your children reduces the economic advantage of having many children to labour for your future security and thus effectively acts as a form of birth control? Why have children at all? Should they be required to give something back for the effort of their upbringing? Or should the benefits pass forward? How many children is the right number?

    Or some other combination of being female and being free and not having children?

  6. Tom Turner Post author

    Malthus Essay on the Principle of Population was published in 1798 and the rapid technological advances since that date have not supported his Iron Law of Population. But, sooner or later, the human population of the Earth will reach a maximum and if this involves the extinction of many other species then I think sooner is better than later – and the kindest way of limiting population growth does seem to be finding other (not necessarily ‘better’) things to do with one’s time. And yes: the emancipation is multi-dimensional. One of the most interesting cases is Japan. With emancipation, and without imigration, the population is falling.

  7. Christine

    Yes. [ ] And in Japan the a reducing population is viewed as a problem because:
    1)population cannot be used as a lever for economic growth
    2)an ageing population needs to be supported by a smaller younger cohort

    So population growth seems to be an environmental problem while population reduction seems to be an economic problem. So….What is a sustainable population?

  8. Tom Turner Post author

    There are some marine and terrestial habitats in Scotland which I have known for 50+ years. Documentary evidence indicates they have been very similar for centuries. So I would call them sustainable but I guess the populations of the constituent species has trended up and down. I wish the UK was following Japan’s example and having a downturn. ‘Economic growth’ is a questionable concept. Say the population of a town all decided to spend an hour a week on UV sunbeds. This would create jobs for the operators and for the local hospital. Economists would see it as increased economic activity. I would see it as total madness!

  9. christine

    Hmmm. So I suppose the wisdom in how we spend our money and generate demand for goods and services is essential to the economically sustainable city?


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