New at Hampton Court for 2012
New, exciting features at this year's RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
This year there were many new features to visit, thought-provoking gardens, as well as popular favourites.
New to the show
The 2011 London riots formed the backdrop of The Edible Bus Stop's A Riot of Colour garden. A Riot of Colour featured a ransacked phone booth and London taxi which have been reclaimed by nature, illustrating the benefits of green space over brutal grey landscapes in our inner city environments. The garden will now relocate to the London Pleasure Gardens, where it will remain for the next three years.
A wildlife area, education centre and allotment made up the Work, Rest and Play garden from Milestone Academy. The academy works with students with special needs, and the garden's aim is to encourage everyone to get involved and enjoy the outdoors. Raised beds, planted borders and vegetable plots surround the cedar-clad garden room and interactive outdoor theatres.
RHS/Groundwork Urban Greening Feature
The RHS is linking with Groundwork to celebrate its 30th anniversary and demonstrating the social benefits of the urban greening work of the charity and RHS Community Gardening. With funding from M&S and Chris Beardshaw on board as designer, a large area wastransformed into an urban setting, with a series of small projects integrated as a whole design.
World of Gardens
The RHS was excited to be hosting a number of gardens representing different countries or regions of the world. Visitors were inspired by the diverse garden styles from across the globe, bringing a taste of the exotic to a very English setting.
Low Cost, High Impact Gardens
A new competition launched this year in conjunction with APL (Association of Professional Landscapers) and the HTA (Horticultural Trade Association). It was an attempt to make Show gardens more accessible to the public through better interpretation and by illustrating what can be achieved within certain budgets.
Landscapers were invited to submit gardens that cost a total of £7k, £10k and £13k. Gardens were between 30 and 50sq m and were judged for RHS medals and a best in category medal.
Hampton Court Grapevine Theatre
Live on stage, The Hampton Court Grapevine was a chat show with a difference. Combining interviews with top garden designers and celebrity guests with a live TV link-up to a roving reporter, visitors got the very best of the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show from the comfort of their seats. There were talks about edible flowers, carnivorous plants eating mice, and everything in between. Sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements, green-fingered guests included John Craven, Bill Oddie, Adam Henson and Toby Buckland.
Great Tastes Market and Artisan Food
Featuring award-winning food and drink producers from Great Taste, the market offered visitors the chance to taste and buy from these artisan producers.
The RHS teamed up with the Artisan Food School, who demonstrated throughout the day how to produce artisan foods, using many skills that have been lost over the years, but which are easy to replicate at home.
Regular features with a twist in 2012
The Plant Village
In 2012 all plant plots were located together near the Rose Marquee, and arranged to give a 'village' feeling. We also offered the option to pay an upfront fee (as previous) for plots, or alternatively pay on a commission basis with the aim of aiding exhibitors cash flow.
The popular Scarecrows were designed by primary schools in the South East and this year took on a 'Sporting Champions' theme, in celebration of the Olympic Games and positioned on either side of the Long Water.
Plant Heritage – World Wide Conservation
The marquee continued to hold displays from National Collection Holders and displayed a stunning central feature depicting the five continents and continental plants that are now being conserved in the UK.
The large clearspan marquee located to the north of the Longwater was filled with the best floral exhibitors in the country.
Popular and prestigious, Show Gardens at Hampton Court are a minimum of 100sq m (1076sq ft) and are judged for RHS medals, including the Tudor Rose Award for the Best Show Garden.
A fantastic chance for up-and-coming designers to experience a garden build without the pressure of completing a large Show Garden. The gardens were traditional/modern, theatrical (a fantasy or stage set) or thematic (designed to convey a specific message/theme through horticulture) and were between 24 and 50sq m (258 and 538 sq ft). Judging was for RHS medals including a special award for the Best Small Garden.
This category gave designers a chance to really use their imagination - the aim was to stimulate thought, shock, tantalise and amuse visitors. A bursary of £6,000 is provided to each garden. Gardens were a minimum of 23sqm (247sq ft) and could be any shape. Judging was for RHS medals including a special award for the Best Conceptual Garden.
Growing for Tastes Marquee
Once again the marquee were filled with all aspects of fruit, vegetable and herb growing. Visitors were able to see the displays, purchase produce and chat to the growers themselves before moving through to see some of the products in use in the Artisan Food marquee.