If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I’m a flower fan. I’m a terrible gardener though, I’m just not that interested in spending time working in the garden, I have no idea what I’m doing. But I do love a pretty garden, and would love to have something better than a large patch of grass or paddock as ours. I would just rather get someone in to do it, than have to do anything other than a bit of maintenance myself. I obviously didn’t inherit my gardener Grandad’s green fingers.
I’ve never really thought about going to somewhere like the Chelsea Flower show, but I decided to head to the Blenheim Flower Festival in the hope of getting some good photos. I think my expectations of a flower show were a little different to what it was like. I expected more flower displays and maybe nearer to the Palace Gardens to be able to see their displays, but it was further away so would have needed a bit of a walk to see the formal gardens. Any distance is too far to walk in the heat we’ve had recently, so I stuck with the flower festival itself.
If you are an annual pass holder, it was free entry, otherwise tickets were the standard cost of gardens entry which is just under £20 for adults. You certainly would have wanted to make a day of it for that price, although there’s the option to upgrade to an annual pass if you’re buying a house and gardens day ticket.
I was later arriving than I’d planned because N didn’t go out on the farm until 10, so it was already busy when I arrived. I found the layout a little confusing (I didn’t buy a map) as it felt like I was having to back track and cover the same ground again to see everything. A few signs or different areas more clearly marked would have been helpful.
There are a few tents of food and craft based stalls, as well as everything flowers and gardening. I felt for all the stall holders outside because the heat wasn’t nice to be in all day, and the poor flowers on sale probably weren’t looking their best. If you buy flowers, they have a flower creche in the shade where you can leave them before collecting as you leave. I didn’t buy anything for the garden because the thought of lugging plants and things back across the parking field wasn’t good, so if you’re planning to buy I’d definitely take a shopping trolley or wagon to keep your purchases easy to carry and keep together.
With our garden still a paddock, it’s lovely to get ideas of not only plants and furniture, but also the fun colour items, or features. I love the water features and ‘festival’ style coloured decorations, but I think the OH wouldn’t be impressed if they turned up for our garden. I need to think about more simple things first…like a tree and some flower beds.
I checked out the tent of flower displays. They were obviously on themes, and you could vote for your favourites – although it wasn’t that clear how you did that. I just heard someone asking other people if they had voted. The show gardens amongst the stalls were my favourites, places you could just it out and enjoy with lots of explore in them.
Everywhere you went amongst the judged displays, there were flowers to buy. I did debate getting a hydrangea for the pot outside our door, but my flowers are doing well in there already, so didn’t want to remove those.
As well as stalls, there was also the small ‘theatre’ stage where you could sit and relax on the green listening to the brass band play. There were plenty of food stalls as well and none seemed to be that busy. I walked straight up to the toastie stand to order. Although I did notice a few queuing for a vegetarian stand which looked interesting. All tastes were catered for, although there weren’t the breadth of street food choice you might see at bigger festivals and events.
I had a lovely couple of hours wandering aimlessly around, watching demos and choosing flowers for when I’m grown up enough to actually want to do gardening. I even remembered the row my car was parked in so go out of Blenheim Palace grounds quickly.
Are you a flower festival fan? What are your gardening tips?
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