RHS Iconic Horticultural Hero Garden – Tom Stuart-Smith

Feature Garden

In more detail

  • The coral plumes of Macleaya cordata dance gently above dark blue spikes of Salvia x sylvestris 'Dear Anja' and the pale blooms of S. sclarea var turkestanica
  • A wonderfully shaped fig growing in a large grey container provides a focal point as you wonder through this dreamy space

About the garden

Landscape Architect Tom Stuart-Smith is the Iconic Horticultural Hero at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021. The garden features a climate-resilient perennial meadow interspersed with Mediterranean shrubs. It has been designed to showcase plants that are suited to the prolonged hot and dry conditions that have become increasingly commonplace each year.

The occasional fiery Kniphofia burns through the haze of silvery foliage, but on the whole the colour scheme is quite soft and cool, with tones of white, pink and purple within a grassy matrix. Scented foliage plays a large part within the planting, demonstrated through a mix of Salvia and Monarda species, for example. The herbaceous plants included in this drought-tolerant palette have been grown in the UK by Sunnyside Rural Trust, a charity and social enterprise offering training and work experience for vulnerable people with learning disabilities.

After the festival, the plants will be relocated to RHS Garden Wisley where they will be used in the replanting of the Bicentenary Glasshouse Garden, which Tom originally designed in 2007. That garden is now being adjusted to cope with hotter, drier summers.

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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.