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This year will be 25th 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.
It is the size of the showground that makes Hampton Court Flower Show very different from Chelsea with much more room to explore the gardens and the displays.
The issue of small gardens in particular are in the news, A new RHS campaign, Greening Grey Britain was launched in April to reverse the trend in declining green spaces after it was found that three times as many front gardens are now paved over compared to ten years ago – more than half of all gardens in London contain no plants. This is a cause for concern on many levels with plenty of evidence that green spaces play a major part in promoting health and wellbeing.
The Wellbeing of Women Garden champions the therapeutic benefits of gardening. Wellbeing of Women is a charity that funds research into issues that affect women’s health. Garden designers Wendy von Buren, Claire Moreno and Amy Robertson were inspired by personal experience, to champion the charity’s work and shine a spotlight on the health benefits of gardening.
Each year the show has particular themes and this year they are Grow, Feast and Inspire.
In Grow, keen gardeners have access to a range of nursery displays and plant stalls, with RHS advisors on hand to offer expert tips to take back to their own gardens. Dominating the Grow zone is the Floral Marquee where you can see award-winning nurseries from the UK and abroad and buy from a large selection of beautiful plants.
Next to the Floral Marquee is The Plant Village with a wide range of stands to find those gifts and Plant Heritage where you can get specialist advice .
Food is the priority in the Feast zone , visitors can find out how to grow their favourite vegetables, taste a wealth of fine foods and take away growing ideas to try at home.
Over the week top cooking and growing experts will be demonstrating their skills including James Wong, Greg Wallace, Rachel de Thame and Rachel Allen.
There is plenty of top food outlets around the showground to explore and many producers have stands in the Great Tastes market.
One of the highlights of the show is the small gardens that encourages and inspires visitors to think about contemporary garden design. There are a large number of Show Gardens, Conceptual Gardens and Summer Gardens, World gardens celebrating Turkey, Sri Lanka, USA, Normandy and the Aegean give the show an international feel.
This year there are Historical Gardens that celebrate Winnie the Pooh, the Magna Carta and the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Other highlights of the show are the Festival of Roses, Floristry Marquee and top gardeners giving talks in the RHS Celebrity Theatre.
The show has everything for the horticultural minded with a large number of trade stands and RHS stands that tell you more about the work of the RHS and give advice and information about community and gardening groups.
The show has its own child’s area marked by a giant scarecrow, other scarecrows can decorated by children for a competition. Children are entertained in a number of ways including a Kid’s Cookery School.
With good weather expected for this week, the Hampton Court Flower Show will be a popular destination for plant lovers, in its picturesque setting next to Hampton Court Palace and the Thames it offers a great deal to visitors.
Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended
Tuesday to Saturday (30 June – 4 July) 10am – 7.30pm
Sunday (5 July)10am – 5.30pm *
* (plant sell off 4.30pm)
Tuesday and Wednesday are days reserved for RHS Members Only
Tickets are available for Thursday to Sunday for the General Public.
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 (£2.50 for a single journey) from Hampton Court station, or a 30 minute cruise from Kingston station (£6 single, £7.50 return).
To find out more about the event or to buy tickets to the show , visit the RHS website here
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