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There is something extra specially British about the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (opens in new tab) this year, and it's not the weather. There was not a cloud in sight as the sun beat down on immaculate show gardens, marquees packed with exquisite displays of roses, herbs, vegetables and all manner of other blooming marvellous plants.
As exhibitors spritzed their perfect plant specimens with water to stave off wilting stems, visitors displayed their best wartime spirit and endured soaring temperatures to enjoy a wealth of gardening inspiration in this most British of settings.
How fitting then, that one of the first show features to greet visitors is Battlefields to Butterflies, a tribute to the 24 men of the Royal Parks and Palace Gardens who lost their lives in WWI, this being the centenary year of the end of the Great War.
Elsewhere in the show are horticultural nods to such other British institutions as Dig for Victory, Grow Your Own (an RHS garden in collaboration with chef Raymond Blanc's Gardening School), the Suffragettes, scarecrows designed by teams of local schoolchildren, the Fire Brigades Union and a talking shed. Yes, a ramshackle shed that tells the story of Tolworth and Surbiton's sheds and allotment holders.
After a brief foray into music journalism, fashion and beauty, Karen found herself right at home working on interior magazines with her role on Ideal Home magazine. She is now Homes Editor on Period Living magazine and loves the opportunity the job gives her to see how others mix vintage style and modern furnishings in their beautiful properties.