Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Tuesday 9 July 2013

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 1 - a hot day and a Gold medal winning garden

Yesterday at an unearthly hour of the morning I set off to Hampton Court, squinting in the unaccustomed sunshine. 

Our train journey took a shade over 4 hours with various changes but all went smoothly

and by 11am we were walking over the bridge from the Hampton Court railway station

pausing on the bridge to admire  to admire the Royal Palace in the distance as we walked along the River Thames


and to admire it some more as we walked past it. 

We arrived at the Show at about 11.30 am. When we got inside the RHS show ground we entered the Inspire zone and were immediately greeted by merry Ecover elves handing out free samples and showing off their electric car. Then we were straight (literally) into the first of the Conceptual Gardens.

I will write about the gardens in more detail in another post but let us just say this first garden set a very high standard for the others to follow!

I went on Press Day, so of course a lot of designers were being interviewed, standing by their creations.


and there were lots of TV crews and photographers wandering around filming and taking photos.

I had an appointment at noon at The Ecover Garden so we went straight there and were so impressed by what we saw. The planting scheme was so vibrant and had a cottage garden, insect attracting feel to it whilst also managing to be very fresh and modern looking.


Movement and colour of water is represented by the planting scheme.

 My appointment was for a one-to-one chat with the designer of The Ecover Garden, Matthew Childs. I was so excited to be talking to him, especially as he recognised my name from our Tweet exchanges

Discussing the inspiration for the garden

Ecover bottle handle two way bench, highlighting the recycled and plant based plastics used by Ecover for their products.

Blue plastic strips are made from recycled plastic and linking in the Ecover logo to the garden

According to Matthew, the planting mainly echoed the colours of the Ecover brand, blue, vibrant lime green and white, which also were the blues, greens and whites of moving water. This was the theme of the garden "Water is Life".

However there were also "coastal cliffs" of earthy coloured lime plaster walls and blue recycled plastic sculptures.

Matthew is using sustainable materials such as recycled plastic, lime render and mulched beds to reduce water loss. Also the garden is packed with an abundance of flowers that are particularly bee friendly - as we all know how important they are for us to thrive.

There was a  a beautiful moving water feature with streams of water cascading down  from the Toilet Cleaner fountain into a series of pools. In the background is the Bottle Top lamp (yes it lights up at night, apparently)

The garden appeared astonishingly well established, especially the lichen covered trees which  looked as if they had been there forever with the garden designed around them. ( the site was actually totally flat before the build up started)

Matthew said that he  wanted people to be talking and thinking about the use of recycled plastic in the garden. He also wanted them to be inspired to think about sustainable materials and appreciate the brands and manufacturers who use them.

My enjoyable discussion finally came to an end, as The Countess of Wessex wanted to talk to Matthew about his wonderful garden.

so I said thank you and goodbye.

Not surprisingly the RHS judges awarded Gold and Best in Show to The Ecover Garden

Well deserved in my opinion, I honestly thought it was the best garden I saw at the Show.

More about the Show tomorrow!


  1. It's beautiful and such a lot of work must go into it.

    1. Must be a huge amount of effort - was stunning to see but I do have to wonder at the environmental cost of all that stuff - what happens to it after?


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