The UK’s biggest gardening event, RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, is taking place between 9th and 14th July and offers the perfect day out for all the family. With attractions including stunning designer gardens, artisan food marquess, craft stalls and children’s activities the show offers so much to see and do. Here’s a look at just some of this year’s highlights…
This year’s 34 gardens will be inspired by themes as diverse as the three witches of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, seen in SRUS’s garden ‘The Witches of MAcbeth’ and the threat of waste on the world’s oceans, an issue explored in ‘The Ecover Garden’. The gardens will also include Conceptual Gardens, which this year embrance the themes of both devastation and sustainability, and High Cost Low Impact Gardens, which will prove to vistors that great gardens with a wow factor can be achieved on a budget.
With a new look for 2013 visitors to the Growing Tastes Marquee will learn all they need to know about fruit, vegetable and herb growing, by getting advice from the very best growers. They will be able to buy delicious foods direct from the producers and there will be daily demonstrations from the School of Artisan Food, food and foraging demonstrations and growers giving great advice on successful fruit and vegetable growing.
Rose and Floristry Vintage Marquee
Visitors to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show love the Rose Marquee, with its beautiful colours and scents. This year’s theme is Vintage 50s and events will include the launch of the Rose of the Year. There will also be spectacular floristry displays from professionsals, as well as from up-and-coming talent from floristry colleges.
Country Living Magazine Pavilion
Around 120 designers, craftspeople and producers will showcase original products including furniture, garden accessories, handcrafted jewellery, stylish clothing and arts and crafts.
The Floral Marquee will be home to around 95 top British nurseries whose awe inspiring displays of gorgeous blooms will dazzle visitors. New for 2013 will be two RHS Potting Benches where nursery specialists conduct hands-on demonstrations to pass on practical tips for visitors to take home.
In collaboration with the Eden Project, the show will feature a stunning butterfly dome, allowing visitors to get up close to a magnificent array of beautiful tropical butterflies. There will also be a display of native butterflies in ‘Bees and Butterflies’, a series of features, talks and activities to educate us about our garden friends. The Bee Garden and Marquee will also provide advice for how to support and entice important pollinators to gardens and demonstrate bee husbandry.
Top garden designers and celebrities
Ecover, sponsors of the Inspire zone, have tasked a number of horticulture and design personalities to design planters throughout the show. Matthew Wilson, James Alexander, Pippa Greenswood and Jekka McVicar are amongst those doing some creative planting. The finished planters will then by donated to Maggies Cancer Care Hospices after the show. Celebrities including Joely Richardson, Kate Humble and David Domoney have customised hen-houses, which will be auctioned off for the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and for Country Living Magazine’s selected charity, the Addington Fund, which supports British farming.
Fun for kids and families
The work of school students will be on show in the Schools’ Scarecrow Competition, where infant and primary school pupils from around the South East will present the scarecrows they have made and decorated according to this year’s theme of national costumes. A selection of the best garvinea plants grown by schools around the country will include a ‘Sow and Grow’ feature, where children will be able to sow yarrow, decorate pots and make bumblebee hats, as well as having their faces painted and watch balloon modelling.
The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is taking place between 9th and 14th July. Tickets start at just £53 for RHS members and £63 for non-members. Children under 16 go frree. For full details visit the RHS website: www.rhs.org.uk/hampton or call 020 7649 1885.
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