100% peat-free show garden to be set for RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival

An RHS Feature Garden, which will be entirely peat-free from plug to show plot, will feature at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show to help gardeners and industry transition to peat-free by showcasing what can be achieved and empowering people to grow their own plants using sustainable alternatives.

The RHS Peat-Free Garden by designer, garden writer, presenter and RHS Ambassador Arit Anderson, will feature more than 2,000 annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees, sourced from growers including Golden Valley Plants and Rijnbeek and partners in the RHS Peat-free Fellowship, including Farplants and Hilliers. Full of colour and texture, the naturalistic planting of the garden will mimic an untouched peatland before transitioning into a recognisable domestic garden complete with shaded as well as sun loving borders and beds.
All of the materials used in its design have been recycled including a large greenhouse at its heart made from upcycled windows, borrowed paving, old railway sleepers and even a diss-used beehive that now serves as a bug hotel. Two large water butts will collect rainwater from the green house with overflow channelled into a wildlife friendly water feature and rain garden for future use during dry spells.
A series of talks and workshops will be hosted on the garden for visitors of the show and are intended to help demystify the origins and use of growing media such as compost, mulch and soil improvers, advise on peat-free seed sowing and propagation and offer watering and care advice for peat-free potted plants.
Arit continues: “The RHS Peat-Free Garden will be packed full of planting and design ideas gardeners can take home and apply on their own plot. I’m incredibly proud of this peat-free show garden which I hope will help shine a light on the issue and empower gardeners and industry to help bring about change. However, I also recognise the challenges designers face with residual traces of peat found in plants and that’s something the RHS is working hard to address.”
Alistair Griffiths, Director of Science and Collections, added: “We’re delighted that Hampton will be host to this peat-free garden from plug to plot. Industry and gardeners are showing huge resolve in their ambition to be peat-free and the garden will showcase how it can be done with no less colour or quality. From 2026, our Legacy Peat Policy will aid the transition by accounting for the legacy peat that is likely to be found in older and larger garden plants.”
The RHS has announced a Legacy Peat Policy that will apply across all of its operations, including show gardens, as of 1st January 2026 and accounts for peat already in production systems before that point. The policy acknowledges that some peat will remain in circulation for some time, particularly for older, larger plants such as herbaceous perennials and trees. However, all plants raised after 1st January 2026 will be required to have been grown entirely peat-free, and any potting action after this date must also be peat-free, for plants to be shown, exhibited or sold through the RHS. This gives the industry time to transition in order to comply with the charity’s peat-free policy but also recognises that peat already in production systems cannot be returned to the ground, and washing it off or throwing it away would be unsustainable..
The RHS Peat-free Fellowship is supported by Defra, growing media manufacturers and industry partners Allensmore, The Farplants Group, Hilliers, Hills Plants, Johnsons Nurseries, Lovania, Vitacress and Volmary.
Growing media manufacture Melcourt who have been peat-free since their inception over 40 years ago and are partnering the trials being undertaken as part of the fellowship will also be participating in talks and workshops for visitors to the garden throughout the week.
For more information on peat free growing and the RHS’ ongoing work with government and industry, visit:

For further information, images or interviews, contact Laura Scruby: [email protected] or the RHS Press Office: [email protected] / 0207 821 3080.

Notes to editors

 About the RHS
Since our formation in 1804, the RHS has grown into the UK’s leading gardening charity, touching the lives of millions of people. Perhaps the secret to our longevity is that we’ve never stood still. In the last decade alone we’ve taken on the largest hands-on project the RHS has ever tackled by opening the new RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford, Greater Manchester, and invested in the science that underpins all our work by building RHS Hilltop – The Home of Gardening Science.
We have committed to being net positive for nature and people by 2030. We are also committed to being truly inclusive and to reflect all the communities of the UK.
Across our five RHS gardens we welcome more than three million visitors each year to enjoy over 34,000 different cultivated plants. Events such as the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show, other national shows, our schools and community work, and partnerships such as Britain in Bloom, all spread the shared joy of gardening to wide-reaching audiences.
Throughout it all we’ve held true to our charitable core – to encourage and improve the science, art and practice of horticulture –to share the love of gardening and the positive benefits it brings.
For more information visit
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.