Melissa Jolly Garden Design

Melissa Jolly Garden Design
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Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

I'm building a conceptual garden, Picturesque, at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this year - 26 days to go and I'm feeling like I'm on adrenaline fueled auto-pilot! The show's from the 5th-10th July for anyone thinking of visiting.

Conceptual gardens are about ideas and I'm hoping to provoke thoughts and inspire but mostly to create a space where people will enjoy being.

I'm building an out door art gallery where pieces of art, inspired by some of the worlds greatest artists, will be composed of plants. The idea originated from wanting to create 'views' out of a small space - something that I believe is an important part of my job as a garden designer. It slowly evolved as I began looking at framing views, galleries and then on to looking at how artists interpret nature.

So my artists are chosen: Monet, Hockney, Rousseau, Kandinsky, Mondrian and Hirst. Planting compositions range from Water lilies to Jungle plants to Air Plants - the latter only needing the air around them to survive and hence are part of my Hirst creation where they will be suspended - as if in Formaldehyde - in a glass tank. In my head it all works - I just hope the real thing works in practice.

I start building in 8 days time so lists and schedules are abundant as is paint, wood, sculptures, a pond and plants to look after.

Although the category of Conceptual Garden at Hampton Court is Sponsored by the RHS - a huge thank you has to go out to my additional contributors - Benchmarx Kitchens and Joinery for all the materials they have given me and Pantiles Nursery for lending me some of their superb quality plants.


  1. Suspended air plants - is a kinder, gentler interpretation of Hirst.

  2. If suspending them fails I may have to skewer them with steel rods...more Hirst but would upset my delightful plant supplier! Thanks for your comment.