SQUIRE’S GARDEN CENTRES PRESENTS A HAMPTON GARDEN: RHS HAMPTON COURT PALACE FLOWER SHOW 2014
For many of us in urban areas relaxing in the garden after a hard day’s work is one of life’s simple pleasures. This is the inspiration for A Hampton Garden, presented by Squire’s Garden Centres at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, 9-11 July.
The family-run business celebrates the 50th anniversary of its first garden centre in Twickenham this year – significantly, it was one of the first garden centres in the UK. True to the company’s close links with the local community and a long-held passion to help people make the most of their outdoor space, this garden brings to life how we can use our gardens for stylish outdoor living and entertaining. The Squire’s garden site and design allow the public close-up investigation from 3 angles: perfect vantage points to gain inspiration and ideas for their own gardens.
Sarah Squire, of Squire’s Garden Centres, explains the inspiration for the design: “Because we are very much a local horticultural business in the Hampton Court area we want our garden to reflect and represent a truly local image – something that commuters would have the time to create and enjoy for relaxing and entertaining, a haven in their busy lives. We’re passionate about showing how gardening is for everyone, it’s something that anyone can do, no matter how big or small their outdoor space or how experienced they are. We’ve chosen plants suited to the area that are readily available to buy – and that won’t break the bank – so that this garden is not just aspirational but achievable too.”
Designed by Ian Hammond, Plant Area Manager at Squire’s Twickenham, the plot has been painstakingly designed to reflect the local area as Ian explains: ”The connection with the nearby River Thames and the ponds of the royal parks is reflected in two water features. Water falling from a living green wall brings soothing sound and movement to ease away the urban noises that we live with in this part of Surrey and Middlesex. A pond features water and marginal plants to encourage wildlife. Urban gardens are really important wildlife reserves in their own right and this is a factor gardeners of all ages, families and especially children, are very keen to support.”
The planting focus is on scent and texture as well as colour, with herbs and edible flowers, planned as a living tapestry giving visitors achievable ideas for their own outside spaces, educating them in suitable plants and companion combinations, celebrating the wonderful varieties now available to gardeners thanks to the range and quality in garden centres. Squire’s has played a significant role in making more plant varieties available to the public – a dramatic comparison to the early days of the Twickenham centre in the 1960s when, by far, the major themes of urban gardening were bedding plants, conifers and roses.
Squire’s is inviting local gardeners to share their memories and photos of gardens in the Twickenham/Hampton area to create an on-line gallery of facebook and the website. Anyone interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call in to Squire’s Garden Centre in Twickenham. A full celebration for the 50th anniversary takes place on 5th September with a vintage afternoon tea party.
Although celebrating 50 years at Twickenham, Squire’s Garden centres actually stretches back almost 80 years when it was founded by D.J. Squire in 1946 initially as a landscape gardening business which then developed into one of the first garden centre businesses in the UK when Twickenham opened in 1964. Since then the company has become one of the best success stories in the industry, remaining in the Squire family under the leadership first of D.J’s son Colin – who is still actively involved in the business – and, today, Colin’s daughter Sarah who is Deputy Chairman.
Squire’s has always had close connections with schools and the local community – with a particular passion for encouraging new generations of gardeners through a year-round programme of workshops for all ages and abilities – and has been at the forefront of developing best practice and innovation in the UK garden centre industry, now operating at 15 locations across Surrey, Middlesex, Sussex and Berkshire.