Fabulous Show Features
The 25th year of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show brought a wealth of fantastic features to our zones, all celebrating communities, great food and beautiful plants
RHS Community Street by Nigel Dunnett
A large and exciting exhibit portraying the garden of St Mungo's shelter, Bristol, transformed from gravel into a beautiful garden. Here Nigel championed the power of plants in vitally combating urban air pollution, while a BBC Gardener's Question Time-inspired front garden area encouraged turning our paved areas from grey to green.
Read more about this wonderful Show Feature
RHS Anniversary Maze
The anniversary maze was a magical new addition to this year's show to celebrate its silver anniversary. Packed with beautiful planting and immersive elements, the maze was the largest feature at the show, covering 900sqm, and 300 metres of Cornus mas hedging supplied by QuickHedge. It linked to the world-famous maze at Hampton Court, and the bedding labyrinth featured at the first show in 1990.
By the bandstand, the RHS Hub and Community Street, this year visitors could feast their eyes on a crowd of 35 homemade scarecrows, all within the theme of a 'Celebration of History', and created by schools involved in the RHS Campaign for School Gardening. It was hard not to miss the seven-metre-tall time-travelling scarecrow at the centre, helping us look back in time to celebrate the show.
Normandy Impressionist Garden
The Normandy Impressionist Garden by James Priest and the Normandy Tourist Board took its inspiration from Monet’s world-famous water gardens along the banks of the Seine at Giverny, near Paris. A relaxing scene unfolded, inviting the spectator to pause for thought and admire a water garden with its bridge, waterlilies, the play of light and reflection of the clouds on the water.
True Fair: Sri Lanka Tranquillity Garden
Devon's Bicton College designed this thought-provoking 10m x 10m garden, 'True Fair' which aimed to allude to the origins of globalisation and raise awareness of better possibilities through fair trade. To help us understand the value of gardens all over the world, indigenous artefacts and plants from Sri Lanka, such as the drumstick tree (Moringa oleifera), were on display, plus other local plantation crops.
Agrumi 'We're all mad here!' Garden
Renowned for its topiary, wholesale nursery Agrumi created a fun and fitting feature for the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland. Bay hedging surrounded privet figures such as the Cheshire cat, the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts (complete with sedum hearts) placed on a chess board made of dried natural moss, dyed organically to make the contrasting colours.
This freestyle turf structure feature combined celebrating 25 years of Hampton with the 40th anniversary of Rolawn. It also celebrated the freedom to use natural products to challenge common perceptions, which mirrored Rolawn's 'Keep on the grass' campaign, promoting the benefits of natural lawns. The design was inspired by geology, the land art movement and how turf is produced.
The VertiGarden Celebration Cake
VertiGarden's Celebration Cake, situated outside the Floral Marquee, was a birthday cake with a difference. Made from timber and steel, it comprised four tiers of vivid begonias and beautiful annual foliage plants such as Ipomoea. Hampton's 25th anniversary cake was constructed using 216 vertical planting modules, 3,456 plants in the display, and 24 candles that dressed the support poles.
Being judged on 29 June were the four Flower Boxes, located next to the Celebration Cake outside the Floral Marquee. With the theme of 'Past, Present and Future', they continued the ideas of time and history at the show. The Flower Boxes took inspiration from historical or futuristic planting schemes and current trends. They were judged for their theatre, impact and originality.
Fryer's Roses Garden
This feature was a typical English rose garden, celebrating the launch of the Blue Diamond Rose at the show. Full of timeless romance, it was a place to sit and watch the world go by. A rustic rural greenhouse sat at the centre, while a classical water feature trickled among the rose beds. After the show, all the main structures will be taken to Redfields Garden Centre and displayed there.
1815 Hougoumont Kitchen Farm
Inspired by the bicentenary of the outbreak of the Battle of Waterloo, this Show Feature designed by Steve Mann represented Hougoumont Farm, located on the front line. It was key to the war effort, as the kitchen garden grew vegetables and herbs for the fighting soldiers. As a fun twist, was also actors playing the roles of soldiers.
Living, Growing, Saving
This community feature by Southend Integrated Support Service's Youth Offending Team demonstrated how vegetables and plants can be used in moveable pallets. The idea is that it is a safe, fun environment on a town street, tended to by its residents, and is easily transportable if need be. The feature also showed the type of skilled projects young offenders are involved with in communities.