Massive gardening event in historic palace grounds, July 1-7
Set in the grounds of the historic former royal residence, the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival supported by Viking will open its doors from July 1-7.
It’s not just about gardening – as well as the show gardens, visitors can enjoy a range of culinary experiences, workshops and entertainment.
Floral Fiesta and Marquee
Guests entering through the new Ditton entrance via the palace’s Privy Garden will walk alongside a field of Dahlia Mendoza (Dalina Maxi Series) in a palette of pink, creating a striking vision to welcome festival-goers.
The Floral Marquee which will bring together 81 growers and nurseries, including new exhibitors Andy’s Air Plants, plus a woodland scene as it would have existed millions of years ago with the National Collection of Ginkgo.
Festival headdresses will also be on display as seven floristry students go head to head in the RHS Future Florists Competition.
Downderry Nursery from Kent has been named the festival’s Master Grower, displaying a range of aromatic lavender.
The Festival of Roses will return, with names such as David Austin Roses, Peter Beales Roses and Eastcroft Roses. You can book a traditional afternoon tea in a new Rose Garden and enjoy this immersive experience.
Take time out in the RHS Sanctuary, which takes visitors on a journey through the body, mind and soul, immersed in medicinal planting for meditation, contemplation and self-reflection.
The Thames Water Flourishing Future Garden, designed by Tony Woods: Discover how small changes, such as drought-friendly planting and permeable paving, can have a real impact on water usage. The garden is also home to the Thames On Tap water bar, where visitors can get free refills of water.
The Cancer Research UK Pledge Pathway to Progress, designed by Tom Simpson: An immersive walk-through space, the garden represents the important role of Gifts in Wills. The planting scheme features vibrant and scented species of plants such as yew hedging chosen for its cancer treatment affinity.
Through Your Eyes, designed by Lawrence Roberts and William Roobrouc: The garden is overlooked by a large sculptural head that can be entered, allowing you to contemplate the garden and its message – mental health, age, family and friendships. With a minimal planting palette, the colour scheme is green and yellow with a band of dark tones around the pools.
Calm Amidst Chaos, designed by Joe Francis: The garden promotes creating an inner sense of peace to manage our daily lives better. The planting uses woodland plants such as ferns and hostas with colour provided by foxgloves and wildflowers.
Crest Nicholson Livewell Garden, designed by Aleksandra Bartczak (David Jarvis Associates): A small public park dedicated to physical and mental wellbeing, it will be installed in Chelmsford after the show. The planting features ornamental edibles such as crab apple, grapevines, wild strawberries, raspberries and herbs.
APL A Place to Meet, designed by Cherry Carmen: Fusing the hard lines of contemporary construction with soft waves of naturalistic planting, the garden reveals how small spaces can be modern, functional and beneficial to nature. Wildlife-friendly planting includes Sichuan pepper, Angelica, Siberian melic and meadowsweet.
Smart Meter Garden, designed by Matthew Childs: The garden explores the relationship between carbon emissions and our natural world, encouraging us to install a smart meter. The centre symbolises the burning of unnecessary energy and its effect on our planet, while the perimeter, with its lush planting, represents the future we could have.
The Dream of the Indianos, designed by Rose McMonigall: This garden is based on the lives of the Indianos, emigrants from Galician Northern Spain to the Caribbean at the end of the 19th century. Exoticism and tradition forged a new style with palms, agaves, camellias, dark yews and blue mophead hydrangeas.
The Therapeutic Garden, designed by Tony Wagstaff: Highlighting the beneficial role that gardening has in supporting people living with dementia, anxiety and other mental illnesses. Raised beds make the design accessible, with plants such as Eucalyptus, Eryngium, thyme and bay. The garden will be relocated to Cluniac Gardens in Southend-on-Sea after the festival.
The Viking Cruises Lagom Garden, designed by Will Williams: A space in which to relax and entertain while keeping nature in mind. The inspiration comes from the idea of ‘lagom’, which means not too much, not too little, but perfectly balanced. The garden room is the main focal point, with a green roof.
Year of Green Action, designed by Helen J Rosevear and Jane Stoneham: This accessible, family garden demonstrates how sensory garden design can help children of all abilities connect with nature. The garden is filled with affordable features that families and schools can replicate.
To see the Feature Gardens, Lifestyle Gardens and Global Impact Gardens, please visit https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-hampton-court-palace-garden-festival/gardens.
Food, drink and entertainment
New to the show will be The Wild Garden Banquet with Merlin Labron-Johnson, with a menu created by the Michelin star chef. Guests can book a foraging experience with expert Kerry Bowness around Rossana Porta’s The Wild Garden before sitting down to a five-course banquet table to enjoy the ingredients.
The Long Water is the ideal spot for a glass of Pimm’s, or pull up a deckchair and enjoy the live bands performing on the new floating stage.
Edible Eden, a kitchen garden by Pennard Plants will see a layered forest, fruit cage and vegetable patches surrounded by borders of vibrant sunflowers.
Home-grown produce is also celebrated with the new RHS Community Allotments, where three groups will create their own allotment-style gardens which will be judged by French chef and grow-your-own champion Raymond Blanc.
The new Bubbles, Sushi & Seafood Restaurant serves traditional fish and seafood dishes and fresh hand-made sushi.
The Dig In Restaurant creates British classics for lunch or a menu of Spanish tapas dishes, designed by chef José Pizzaro with Tapas on the Terrace.
There are various street food options or indulge in a Fortnum & Mason waterside hampers which can be ordered in advance online.
The preview evening on Monday, July 1 has a line-up of live acts on the floating stage including Franc Moody, while guests can explore the variety of workshops and watch a fireworks display.
Talks and workshops
Daily creative workshops will focus on crafts, art, calligraphy, terrariums, apothecary, floristry, gardening, floral crown making and glitter face painting.
The Main Stage has a line up including Kelly Brook, Joe Swift and Adam Frost, while demonstrations for design and floristry are ideal for beginners.
The Dig In area returns, bringing together herbs, chilli plants, fruit and citrus trees with Blackmoor Nurseries, Franchi Seeds of Italy, The Garlic Farm, Hooksgreen Herbs and Newlands Nursery among the line-up.
The Dig In Live cookery theatre will see talks by Otter Farm’s Mark Diaconowill, MasterChef’s Gregg Wallace, nutritional therapist Madeleine Shaw, The Pig Hotel’s chef director James Golding and kitchen gardener Ollie Hutson, author and chef Jasmine Hemsley, James Wong, Anna Greenland, Melissa Hemsley, Alys Fowler and Kelly Brook.
There will be plants of all types to buy, the latest garden and home accessories, plus lifestyle and beauty products from artisan businesses.
For the foodies, there is plenty of artisan produce to make a picnic with. Independent and local producers in The Great Taste Market will see a range of foods, wines and craft spirits to take home.
- Venue: Hampton Court Palace, Surrey KT8 9AU
- Dates and opening times: Monday, July 1 – preview evening, 5pm-10.30pm; Tuesday, July 2 to Saturday, July 6 – 10am-7.30pm; Sunday, July 7: 10am-5.30pm.