The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show was the best ever. Here are some of the highlights visitors discovered during their visit.
Standing bold outside the Floral Marquee, the VertiGarden Celebration Cake was custom built to celebrate the flower show’s 25th birthday. It featured annual foliage plants arranged and planted in VertiGarden’s planting modules. The show's anniversary was marked by 25 candles and were part of the framework that supported 216 planting modules and a total 3,456 plants.
The Flower Boxes were new to RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this year. Designed under the theme of ‘Past, Present and Future’, these small gardens showed how much can be achieved when space is at a premium and budget is limited, providing ideas for home gardeners. Here, Present by Penny Walker used colour to show the stark contrast between the dullness of poverty and glamour of wealth linked by the brightness of technology.
Fryer’s Roses turned its passion for one of the UK’s favourite flowers to creating a rose garden, enriched with love and romantic notions and inspired by classic English cottage gardens. A greenhouse sat at the centre of this striking garden feature, immersed in and surrounded by Fryer’s roses, and the soundtrack was provided by the gentle trickling of a classic, tiered water feature.
A special addition to this year’s show was the RHS Anniversary Maze, created to celebrate the show’s 25 years. Covering 900sq m and containing nearly 300 metres of Cornus mas hedging, the maze contained lush planting, tunnels with living walls and machines injecting rose scent into areas of the maze. Silver-foliage plants and a forest of silver birches greeted visitors entering the maze and a special surprise awaited them at the centre.
Inspired by geology, the Land Art movements and the way that turf is produced, the Rolawn: Freestyle Turf Sculpture commemorated the show’s 25 years as well as Rolawn’s 40 years of growing turf. The natural and free-flowing forms exhibited in the display created a strong structure to the imposing Show Feature.
Located in the Feast Zone, the new tepee tents of Growing Tastes, sponsored by Market Deli, included growers displaying and selling some of the best plants for use in food and drink and also providing expert advice. From British tea to chilli plants, from herbs and citrus to fruit trees, there was plenty on offer for visitors to get their teeth into. In addition to the fine plants on offer, a botanical cocktail bar was located in the tepee providing a perfect opportunity for refreshment.
Bold and beautiful displays were a treat for the eyes in the Floral Design Studio. Seven colleges created floral designs on the theme of ‘Musicals Through Time’ to compete in this part of the RHS Floristry College of the Year 2016. The winners, the City of Bath College, took inspiration from My Fair Lady and featured a manikin with a fabulous floral outfit and decorations.
Entitled ‘Celebration of History’, the show’s scarecrow competition brought together infant and primary schools involved in the RHS Campaign for School Gardening in the south east of England. Asked to create a scarecrow using elements of recycled materials and plants, the figures were all inspired by history and featured everything from Vikings to suffragettes. Watching over the show was a giant scarecrow standing at 7m tall. The results of the competition were:
Rosemead Preparatory School – Mr Tickle
Wilbury Primary School – Sir Walter Raleigh
Sayes Court School – Florence Nightingale
More from the RHS
Gardens at Hampton Court 2015
Find out more about 2015's designs
Buy star plants
Recreate the magic of the show in your own garden
RHS advice: garden design
All the tools you need to get you started on your garden design journey