Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Always a floral spectacular, the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, which runs from July 3 to 8, returns this year with a strong community theme. Vicky Wong finds out more
This year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will have something of an international flavour, from gardens that take you to another country to lessons on growing your own curry at home. With tough economic times ahead, organizers are also hoping to showcase gardening on a budget and demonstrate how gardening can bring communities together.
The show will feature its first ever ‘World of Gardens’ feature, consisting of four gardens each inspired by a different country. World of Gardens will transporting visitors from the deserts of Jordan to the Swiss Alps, and from the grandeur of St Petersburg to the islands of the Azores.
The designers have attempted to capture the natural beauty of some of these locations, and some of the centrepieces include a gentle waterfall, a skyline, a chandelier and even some cameos of Russia art.
The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show has always aimed to indicate how gardening can bring people together and serves as a showcase for many charitable causes. An example of this, which also adds to the international theme, is a garden inspired by the devastation of the Japanese tsunami last year.
Garden designer Makiko Sato has used her first conceptual garden at Hampton Court Palace to raise money for the victims of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. The garden itself depicts Japanese appreciation for the international aid received and the sense of world unity following the disaster.
Donations raised through the garden will go to the 3.11 Garden Charity, which organizes volunteer gardening projects to help victims rebuild their lives.
The darker side of London will also be a prominent feature in the Show. Matthew Childs, who was injured at Edgeware Road station during the July 7 bombings, has used his garden ‘Light at the End of the Tunnel’ to demonstrate hope and recovery. Similarly, Will Sandy’s ‘Riot of Colour’ – a reference to last August’s disturbances -illustrates the advantages of green spaces and the idea of reclaiming neglected areas for the benefit of the local community.
Not only will there be exotic sights, but also exotic tastes – visitors this year can learn how to grow ginger, turmeric, cardamon and other spices to tickle the taste buds of curry lovers.
The team behind the display, Plants4Presents, have been preparing for nine months and simultaneously blogging their adventures with spices. They will be teaching visitors how easy it is to make the nation’s favorite dish.
Contrasting with its lavish 16th century palatial setting, 2012′s show will prove to you that you can still have a high impact garden at a low cost. Four gardens designed on a budget are set to inspire frugal home owners to get into horticulture.
There is as much on offer for those searching for an ignition to their creative floral spark, as for those who simply want to admire the innovative gardens. Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is sure to, as always, impress.
RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, from Jul 3 to 8 (RHS members only Jul 3 & 4), 10am – 7.30pm (5.30pm Jul 8)
Admission for non-members £20 (afternoon) and £32.50 (full day), with each paying adult entitled to bring two children under 16 for free
For further information and to purchase tickets visit: rhs.org.uk