Home Horticultural shows RHS Hampton Court Flower Show preview: gardens

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show preview: gardens

Colour Box Garden
Power to the Twitter People - the Colour Box Garden by Charlie Bloom

New ‘Gardens for a Changing World’ to reflect climate change

The world’s largest annual flower show, the Royal Horticultural Society’s Hampton Court Palace event, sponsored by Viking Cruises, runs from July 4-9.

At twice the size of RHS Chelsea, it offers gardeners a chance to shop until they drop against the stunning historical backdrop of Hampton Court Palace.

The garden categories have been simplified to four; Show, World, Conceptual and the new Gardens for a Changing World.

Show Gardens

Colour Box: designer Charlie Bloom, sponsor Stark & Greensmith, Burnham Landscapes, Rolawn, contractor Burnham Landscapes
The garden is designed as a backdrop for what Horticulture is all about – The Plants. The result of asking for “help”, to fulfill Charlie’s vision to produce something beautiful, regardless of having no financial sponsorship. It is being built by people and trades giving their time, simply for the purpose of helping, hearing about the garden via the Horticultural Twitter community. This garden is simply a celebration of people helping people, in an economic climate where we all feel stretched. Watch out for bold, bright planting!

Viking Cruises World of Discovery Garden. Picture; RHS Media Image Collection

A Viking Cruises World of Discovery Garden: designer Paul Hervey-Brookes, sponsor Viking Cruises, contractor G K Wilson Landscapes
Inspired by a couple’s travels across the world, with planting from the locations they visited. The design is dominated by a triple-arched 3m high wall which evokes Constantine’s Arch in Rome, with classical urns and containers inspired by the Mediterranean countries. The planting has a romantic and soft colour combination and uses unusual herbs and flowering plants.

Blind Veterans UK It's All About Community Garden
Blind Veterans UK It’s All About Community Garden by Andre Fisher Tomlin and Dan Bowyer. Picture; RHS Media Image Collection

Blind Veterans UK It’s All About Community Garden: designers Andrew Fisher Tomlin and Dan Bowyer, sponsor Blind Veterans UK, contractor Landform Consultants

This garden explores what the charity offers for blind veterans. A willow vine sculpture wraps around the garden by Tom Hare, along with structures made by the veterans. A mature Liquidambar provides shade with 40-year-old rescued orchard trees and ornamental maples. Roses, dahlias, and grasses are included with a kitchen garden that uses edibles chosen as much for fragrance as their use. After the show, the garden will be relocated to Llandudno and Brighton.

Journey of Life garden
Journey of Life Garden. Picture; RHS Media Image Collection

Journey of Life: designer Edward Mairis, sponsor Xardin Gardens, contractor Xardin Gardens
The garden is a modern interpretation of a classical Asian garden where the idea of “Less is More” comes alive. There are three areas representing the past, present, and future. A bare area of gravel is offset with an expanse of lawn and two blue fibreglass pools are matched with a Perspex wall in the colours of a tropical sunset. The planting is minimal, used to emphasize the features.

Zoflora Caudwell Children’s Wild Garden: designers Adam White and Andree Davies, sponsor Zoflora
This garden highlights the beneficial qualities of a sensory garden for children with disabilities, in particular, autism. Using a woodland setting, an accessible and inclusive wild garden features a treetop nest, a spinning boulder, hidden woodland scent Zoflora pots, a secret mushroom cave, hollow Oak log, musical footpath and chances to play with water. Following the show, it will be reused for the new International Centre for Childhood Disability at Keele University.

Southend Council By The Sea
Southend Council By The Sea Garden. Picture; RHS Media Image Collection

Southend Council By the Sea, designer James Callicott, sponsor Southend Borough Council
Inspired by the coastline of Southend-on-Sea, its pier, and beach. A gravel path wanders among plants inspired by waves leading to a decking area. The garden is being built by young offenders who are looking to build a brighter future by learning new skills. The planting is a mix of blue, purple, silver and white flowered or foliage plants among softer grasses. Eucalyptus gunnii adds height, with Buddleja davidii, Stipa tenuissima, Eryngium giganteum, Salvia nemorosa, and Geranium Rozanne.

On The Edge – The Centre for Mental Health Garden. Picture; RHS Media Image Collection

On the Edge: designer Frederic Whyte, sponsor Centre for Mental Health and Benton Landscapes, contractor Charles Benton
The garden is about depression and therapy and evokes the many journeys that people experiencing mental health difficulties live through. From a non-reflecting pool, with spiky, colourless planting, through to a therapeutic space, with chairs beside a reflective pool. The space is surrounded by a gentler, therapeutic, planting scheme.

Gardens for a Changing World

Gardens for a Changing World is a new category which highlights the more sustainable direction that gardening is taking worldwide, empowering and encouraging gardeners to meet the challenges they are faced with in our ever-changing climate.

Brownfield - Metamorphosis
Brownfield – Metamorphosis by Martyn Wilson. Picture; RHS Media Image Collection

Brownfield – Metamorphosis: designer Martyn Wilson, sponsor St Modwen Properties PLC, contractor Keyscape Design and Construction Ltd
Exploring the legacy of post-industrial heritage and regeneration, taking inspiration from Landschaftspark in Duisburg-Meiderich, Germany, and the New York’s High Line. Monolithic steel structures reference the manufacturing industries, twisted and torn, a nod to their decline. The garden seeks to replicate the natural processes of regeneration, with self-seeding through the rubble. A mixture of native and non-native plants, such as birch, ferns, and grasses are used.

Holding Back The Flood
Holding Back The Flood by Will Williams. Picture; RHS Media Image Collection

Holding Back the Flood: designer Will Williams, sponsor Streetscape
The inspiration for this garden has come from the town of Pickering, in North Yorkshire, which has suffered devastating floods in the past. The town now works with nature to prevent flooding. Thousands of alder trees have been planted and leaky dams crafted to slow rainwater flow. The garden, featuring alders, shows that nature can be used to create flood barriers rather than concrete.

The Perennial Sanctuary Garden
The Perennial Sanctuary Garden by Tom Massey. Picture; RHS Media Image Collection

The Perennial Sanctuary Garden: designer Tom Massey, sponsor Perennial, contractor Landform
The theme is finding sanctuary in a storm – explaining how Perennial helps horticulturists in times of crisis. The spiralling form, with its changing colour palette of plants, represents the journey a person makes as they move from chaos to safety. Colour is central, with red (Sanguisorba Tana, Crocosmia Hellfire and Panicum virgatum Shenandoah), orange (Achillea millefolium Terracotta and Kniphofia uvaria Nobilis), yellow (Helianthus annuus and Inula helenium) purple (Veronicastrum virginicum Fascination and Miscanthus Purpurascens), blue (Panicum virgatum Heavy Metal and Phlox Blue Paradise) and green (a 5m tall Phyllostachys aurea bamboo).

London Glades Garden
London Glades Garden by Andreas Christodoulou and Jonathan-Davies. Picture; RHS Media Image Collection

London Glades, designers Andreas Christodoulou and Jonathan Davies, sponsor Future Gardens, contractor Flower & Stone
A garden looking to nurture a deeper relationship with nature yet is still practical and functional. It is based on forest gardening techniques meaning that almost every plant is edible. Self-seeded vegetables and green manures flow around generous planting. The topography is created by an ancient process called Hugelkultur (hill culture) created by mounding rotting wood and garden waste covered with topsoil, mimicking the natural environment of the forest floor.

The Urban Rain garden
The Urban Rain Garden. Picture; RHS Media Image Collection

The Urban Rain Garden, designer Rhiannon Williams, sponsor LandForm UK and Squires Garden Centre, contractor Landform Consultants Ltd
Increased rainfall is the inspiration here, promoting the need for sustainable rainwater management in residential areas. Front and back gardens feature rainwater catchment, movement and storage systems and planting to suit wet and drier conditions. The front garden has a parking space and a creative interpretation of a storm water swale, while the back has raised planters and a sunken lawn with soft, elegant, structural planting. The colour theme is yellow, green, blue and purple.

The Power to Make a Difference garden
The Power to Make a Difference Garden. Picture; RHS Media Image Collection

The Power to Make a Difference Garden, designer Joe Francis, contractor Josh Jupp Landscapes
The garden highlights the destructive effect that humans have had on the earth. Through a derelict wasteland is a crazy paving path that starts to break apart to reveal a golden spiral that rises up to encircle a melting block of ice. It will gradually melt during the show, filling the rubble-filled pool below. Once the ice is melted, the pedestal reveals a bird bath. Lush planting starts to blossom from underneath it, indicating our power to make a difference.

Conceptual Gardens

Conceptual Gardens give designers the chance to push the boundaries of what defines a garden. Selected for impact, theatre and originality, designers are encouraged to use maximum imagination and creativity.

Not For Sale Garden
Not For Sale Garden. Picture; Paul Apps Fine Art

Not for Sale: designer Mark Whyte, sponsor Tusk and Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens, contractor Hythe Garden Landscapes
The garden’s strong message draws attention to the ivory trade. Visitors can walk through an arch of 200 replica tusks – the average number of elephants killed each day by poachers in Africa. Sounds of the savannah play around them. The garden opens up into an African savannah, where the bones of an elephant lie in the dust. African-style planting will be used – arid grasses, plants, and trees.

Kinetica. Picture; RHS Media Image Collection

Kinetica: designer John Warhland, sponsor Paneltech Systems Ltd, contractor Paneltech Systems Ltd
A contemporary take on a tree seat. A mature specimen stands at the centre, surrounded by curving planters and benches. At the end of each arm is a kinetic planter that moves gently with the weather or with human intervention. The seat provides a moment of stability and contemplation in an unstable world.

Elements of Life
Elements of Life. Picture; RHS Media Image Collection

Elements of Life: designer Bill Wilder, sponsor Scleroderma, and Raynaud’s UK
This garden takes the viewer underground to understand the significance of well-tended soil. At the base are soil elements engraved in stainless steel. The main feature is the large aquarium tank, with water bubbles and the changing lighting showing the exchange of elements with the plants’ roots. Above are the visible roots with the garden. At ‘ground level’ a wildflower meadow and single pear tree are thriving. The tree is surrounded by a natural wild meadow and a small Buxus hedge.

World Gardens

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel. Picture; RHS Media Image Collection

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, designer Sadie May Stowell, sponsor: Brand USA, contractor Sadie May Studios Ltd
This garden aims to capture the beauty of the Edison Winter Estates, in particular, Ellen Biddle Shipman’s Moonlight Garden. The focal point will be a front elevation of Thomas Edison’s office. A rectangular reflective pool contains water lilies, with surrounded by subtropical species such as bougainvillea, jelly palm, Musa and Trachelospermum jasminoides in blues, creams, and pinks.

The Charleston Garden
The Charleston Garden

The Charleston Garden, designer Sadie May Stowell, sponsor Brand USA, contractor Sadie May Studios Ltd
A garden that takes its inspiration from Charleston’s famous hidden gardens. The centrepiece is a scaled-down replica of the city’s pineapple water feature. The garden itself is outlined by Liriope muscari and topiary boxwood balls. Planting includes Camellia japonica, Osmanthus fragrans, Gardenia, Trachelospermum jasminoides and Hydrangeas.

The Oregon Garden
The Oregon Garden

The Oregon Garden, designer Sadie May Stowell, sponsor Brand USA, contractor Sadie May Studios Ltd
This garden takes inspiration from Oregon’s mountainous landscape and Japanese-style gardens. Rocky outcrops with conifers planted into them to give a feeling of height and scale. Shrub roses in reds and cream echo those found in the International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park. Other plants include Sidalcea, Godetia, Ammi majus, Deschampsia caespitosa and Achillea.

The Pazo’s Secret Garden, designer Rose McMonigall, sponsor Galicia Tourism, contractor Bowood Landscapes Ltd
Revealing the beauty of the Galician Pazos in Northern Spain, set under the walls of the palace. Granite and sandstone blocks, paving, simple columns, wooden beams and boulders form the hard landscaping. Plants include Camellias for which Galicia is famous, Hydrangeas, Buxus/Taxus topiary, glossy camellias, vines and pink water lilies.

For more information, visit www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-hampton-court-palace-flower-show.

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