With only a few months' training under her belt, GardenSite's own Flori Bosnigeanu took part in this year's Great Birmingham Run, raising over £500 for the city's Children's Hospital.
With glorious weather predicted, Nathan James Dodd reviews what you can expect to find at this year's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.
Now in its 25th year, the largest flower show in the world is seen as more 'people friendly' than Chelsea, with more space to move around in comfort and the opportunity to shop as well as admire the plants.
There's a number of celebratory themed events such as the creation of an anniversary maze to rival the famous one planted in the 17th century and a giant birthday cake made from a concoction of pink and red begonias.
This year's show gardens are a wonderful mix of inspirational designs with categories including Historic, Conceptual, Show, Summer, and World gardens.
Look out for the surreal Gallery of Mirrors; the Equilibrium garden that balances the forces of the sun, moon and sea; the Henri Le Worm Community Garden that encourages children to explore outdoors and the City Twitchers Garden to attract wildlife into an urban environment.
To coincide with the show's anniversary, the Winnie the Pooh garden celebrates the 90th birthday of AA Milne's bear and the Tea Party garden transports visitors into the make believe world of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland published 150 years ago.
The Floral Marquee and Plant Village are marvellous places in which to admire and buy a wonderful variety of plants from the nation's leading nurseries. From Palm Trees to Orchids, Pelargoniums to Bonsai, there are flowers and plants to suit every garden design.
Roses are in full bloom at this time of the year and the Festival of Roses marquee is an overwhelming array of colour and scent including many roses both historic and new, including rose of the year 'Sunny Sky', a soft yellow hydrid tea, slightly scented and easy to care for.
Further inspiration can be gained from the Floristry Marquee that has superb creative floral art and the many trade stands. For gardening advice and information on their campaigns, including 'Greening Grey Britain', there's a stand manned by RHS experts, and in the theatre celebrity gardeners will be dispensing their expertise.
After being enthused by the Grow and Inspire zones, visit the Feast zone to learn how to grow your own vegetables, buy fresh produce and fine foods, and attend cookery demonstrations.
The show is on from 30 June – 5 July with many other activities and attractions, for ticket information visit the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show website.
Nathan James Dodd
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