Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

John Mason visited this 21st annual Flower Show, conducted by the RHS in early June

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 this years show

Shakespearean Gardens

Six show gardens were created, each reflecting a different Shakesperean Play, then actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company performed exerpts 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 me:

1. An Artists Garden

Designed by James Callicott, a teenager www.jamescallicott.co.uk




2. The Lego Garden

A delight for my 9 year old son Nicholas






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 presnting over the top displays for just about any type of plant you might imagine.

Plan to Visit in Advance

This show is on every July

Book your tickets in advance. If you join the RHS first, you can get a better deal.

Go early and be prepared to spend all day and still not see everything

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.


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