John Mason, ACS Garden's Principal, shares a little on his experience at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, UK.   

In 2010, John Mason visited this 21st annual Flower Show, conducted by the Royal Horticulture Society.  John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and has served on many industry committees across his career.  Among other bodies, he is a Fellow of the Institute of Horticulture (UK), Member of the Garden Media Guild, Fellow of Parks and Leisure Australia and of Institute of Horticulture (Australia). He is also board member of the Australian Garden Council and President of the International Approval and Registration Centre.


This is a show on a grand scale! According to many UK horticulturists, in some respects better than Chelsea. Certainly, Hampton Court has more space than Chelsea, giving exhibitors more room to exhibit, and visitors more space to see what is on show

Features of the 2010 show included:

Shakespearean Gardens

Six show gardens were created, each reflecting a different Shakespearean Play, then actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company performed excerpts from these plays at each of the gardens. 

Display Gardens

As always, these were stunning! Showcasing the best of British and International design.

Two gardens stood out for John. 

1. An Artists Garden. Designed by James Callicott: visit

2. The Lego Garden, A delight for my 9 year old son






Trends and Themes

Many of the gardens, as well as the show overall, featured sustainability themes such as growing fruits, vegetables and herbs or alternative energy. As has been the case in Australia; vegetable seed sales are growing rapidly in the UK, and the movement to grow more at home is strong.


The Floral Marquee

This was, as always, a star of the show. This is an enormous tent, the size of several circus tents joined together and filled with almost 100 different specialist nurseries presenting over the top displays for just about any type of plant you might imagine.

Plan to Visit in Advance

  • This show is on in late June or early July each year.
  • Book your tickets in advance.  
  • Go early and be prepared to spend all day. 
  • If you are really keen, allocate two days to get round everything!
  • Don’t go by road – traffic is chaotic. Train services from London are good; or take a boat up the Thames.
  • This is the world's largest flower show. Enjoy! 

EBOOKS by ACS Principal John Mason ... titles written to complement courses or for the pleasure of plants.
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