THE season of flower and gardening shows continues and this week it's our turn with the largest and probably most popular of them all, the Hampton Court Flower Show, which is almost on our doorstep.

It runs until July 7 and tickets are £20 each or £12.50 after 2.30pm. To book visit or call 0870 906 3791.

The thing I really like about this show is that there is so much to choose from and you can buy plants direct from nursery or garden centre stands.

For garden centres and nurseries the aim is to win a coveted gold medal, leading to creative designs and exacting standards of horticulture for exhibits in the marquees and the show gardens.

You can marvel at the gorgeous show and water gardens, from those inspired by the world's best known garden designers to more modest ones, many created by first-time designers.

This year there are more than 20 small gardens including the mews gardens and garden courts.

Many of Britain's best-known nurseries and floral displays from around the world are brought together in the various marquees and pavilions.

Dozens of small horticultural societies and garden clubs will be displaying their expertise in planting up window boxes and hanging baskets — always a popular attraction — in their own dedicated area.

A special feature of Hampton Court is the rose marquee — brimming with the wonderful colours of the perfect blooms and the air heady with their scent.

Not surprisingly it is the launch platform for a number of new roses. One of these is Rose Pearl from Mattocks Roses, owned by Notcutts.

An exciting new floribunda for 2002, this superb variety produces masses of pearl pink flowers throughout summer that have a most unusual form.

The flowers are almost camellia like in form and are very attractive. A delightful soft fragrance accompanies the flowers, which are produced throughout the summer and well into autumn.

The robust foliage is extremely disease resistant and grows 3ft high by 2ft wide. Rose Pearl is available at all 13 Notcutts garden centres.

So enjoy a wonderful day out at the Hampton Court Flower Show this weekend.