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Giant cabbages in immaculate rows in the massive GYO centrepiece garden Home Grown

Never mind all that Chelsea razzmatazz and flummery. If you grow veg, the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show is where it’s at.

The show has always been where the GYO movement has found its natural home: probably as much to do with the timing as anything else, since there’s not much growing by Malvern (April), and Chelsea (May) requires major forcing efforts to get a show. But by July everything on the plot is bursting and burgeoning and generally looking pretty damn good. There was hardly a show garden without its fruit and veg: they stood in for hedges, draped themselves over obelisks and walls, lent sophistication to flowerbeds and carpeted the ground with greenery. Here are a few of my favourites.

Aren't these fantastic? These potatoes stuck with feathers, on the Shakespeare's Allotment garden (by Barry Locke, who's head gardener at Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford - now there's a job to envy), and they're pigeon scarers. Apparently our portly and bird-brained feathered friends think they're kestrels and won't come near them.

The ultimate in chic colour contrasts between the sultry, near-black ruffled leaves of perilla, and the zingy yellow of golden marjoram. From Food for Thought, a small garden by Bonnie Davies.

Fabulously architectural globe artichokes holding their own against salvia, penstemon and eryngiums in the wonderfully veg-packed Girlguiding UK Centenary Garden by Philippa Pearson

I liked this idea: ancient grapevines trained up on stems to make a loose raised hedge, underplanted with flowers. From An Uprising of Kindness, the Emmaus garden by Bill Butterworth.

You wouldn't be able to grow these here, but you can sure as hell admire them. Lotuses in the Reflections of Thailand garden, which incidentally won best in show: apparently you eat the rhizomes pickled, roast the seeds like nuts and use the young leaves a bit like vine leaves, for wrapping food

This was probably my favourite small garden: the Bangladeshi Allotment. The ground cover was coriander and mustard, and the bedding was two colours of amaranth: it was packed with unusual veg, too. Snake gourds, balsam pears and yard-long beans were just a few of the veg I'd never even seen, let alone tried growing before.

Another fantastic edible plant combination: purple pak choi and gorgeous asparagus peas (must, must, must grow these next year) in the Girlguiding UK Centenary Garden

It's good to see veg making inroads on the flower borders, and looking so good, too. Here it's a lovely architectural courgette, plus some parsley and beetroot, in among the heucheras and dianthus in the Shakespearean garden Twelfth Night, by Yvonne Mathews.

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