This year will be 28th year of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The show was first held in 1990 and created by Historic Royal Palaces and Network Southeast. In 1992 Network Southeast announced that it was withdrawing its subsidy, and the RHS was the successful bidder to take the show over. The first RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show was held in 1993.
Although it lacks the history of the Chelsea Flower Show, the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show has a royal setting and in a relatively short time has established itself as one of the world’s largest flower shows.
One of the highlights of the show are the Show Gardens which this year feature Breckland Beauty, The Viking Cruises Nordic Lifestyle Garden, B&Q Bursting Busy Lizzie Garden, The Children with Cancer UK: Mr Happy and Mr Worry Hill. The South West Water Green Garden, The Limbcare Garden, Anton Chekhov’s Garden, Best of Both Worlds, A Place to Meet, The Landform Garden Bar, Secured by Design, The South Oxfordshire Landscape Garden, Southend Young Offenders’ A Place to Think, Elements Mystique and Brilliance in Bloom.
Visitors can look for exotic planting in the World Gardens including Santa Rita ’Living La Vida 120’ Garden, Great Gardens of the USA: The Oregon Garden. Great Gardens of the USA: The Charleston & South Carolina Garden, Rias de Galicia : A Garden at the End of the Earth.
The Lifestyle Gardens and Flower and Vegetable small plots encourage people to use even the smallest space to create a small garden. The Style and Design Garden, The Health and Wellbeing Garden, The Entertaining Garden and The Family Garden illustrate the importance of gardens in a social and wellbeing sense
One of the most poignant gardens is Battlefields to Butterflies which pays tribute to the 24 men of the Royal Parks who lost their life in the First World War. Visitors can walk around a series of trenches to see how nature can populate even in the most unlikely locations.
The Floral Marquee features top quality exhibits from some of the UK leading plant nurseries and the Festival of Roses celebrates the incredible variety of roses.
The Country Magazine Pavilion provides plenty of unusual gifts and ideas and visitors can enjoy talks in the Roses & Floristry Theatre, Potting Bench Theatre, Dig In Theatre and RHS Celebrity Theatre.
The showground has a special area for families to enjoy and there are plenty of food and drink outlets.
Other special features include influential landscape designer, nurseryman and author Piet Oudolf, the Dutch designer will be bringing his naturalistic style to the show, creating a walk through feature. The show also takes visitors on a journey through time, exploring the evolution of plants on earth.
‘Evolve: Through the Roots of Time’ will guide visitors through barren landscapes prior to the Cambrian era over 500 million years ago, to the lush tropical jungles of the Jurassic period, and into the present day. To celebrate 30 years of BBC’s Countryfile programme, there is a special wildlife garden to promote gardens for wildlife.
If you enjoy horticultural delights, the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show with its wonderful location is a must attend event. Unlike Chelsea, the large Hampton Court show site means you can wander around the numerous attractions in relative freedom. There are is also plenty of space around the showground to relax and enjoy the present hot conditions.
RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (2 – 8 July 2018)
2 July Preview Evening, 5 – 10.30pm
3 – 4 July RHS members only
5 – 8 July RHS members and non-members
3 – 7 July 10am – 7.30pm
8 July 10am – 5.30pm (sell off starts at 4.00pm)
Venue: Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU
Hampton Court and Kingston stations are approximately 30 minutes from London Waterloo, with frequent trains. The showground is a 15 minute walk or short ferry ride from Hampton Court station, or a 30 minute cruise from Kingston station.
Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended
For more information or to book tickets for London Shows, visit the RHS website here
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