Workshops at RHS Hampton Court 2018

There were a host of skills to learn at our hands-on, family-friendly workshops


Alice GabbModern Caligraphy
Alice Gabb

Calligraphy: a beginners workshop into the art of modern calligraphy - Alice started with an introduction to good technique and some nib knowledge. Alice was on-hand to guide visitors through exercises, moving on to letterforms. By the end of the session, visitors were able to write their name or a favourite quote.

About: Alice Gabb is a designer and calligrapher based in East London. She has run workshops across the city with previous classes taking place at the Barbican, Airbnb and Print Club London.

Flower arrangementFloral arranging in the Floral Bus
British Flower Industry

Floral arranging: the British Flower Bus showcased a range of flowers and florists, giving visitors to the show the opportunity to get hands-on with mini workshops and practical demonstrations, learning first-hand how to create their own beautiful arrangements using British flowers and foliages.

About: the decorated bus is working to raise public awareness of the British Flower Industry by empowering growers and florists about seasonal British flowers.

Skinny Jeans GardenerSow n' Grow & Wildflower Seed Balls
Skinny Jeans Gardener

Children's sow n' grow: children were sowing and growing at the show in this fun seed-sowing workshop. They were also taught how to look after their seedlings back at home.
Wildflower seed balls: visitors were shown how to brighten up any garden space by learning how to make wildflower seed balls. These can then be used in beds, borders and pots at home.

About: Lee Connelly ‘Skinny Jeans Gardener’ has appeared on BBC's Blue Peter, and is a gardening content creator, podcaster and presenter on a mission to encourage families to create memories out in their gardens.

Jules HowardPaleoLab - Fossil workshop
Jules Howard

Prehistoric rainforest amber fossils: visitors searched through thousands of pieces of fossil in one-million-year-old tree sap, discovering prehistoric animals like mosquitoes, beetles, ants and spiders, trapped forever in time. Guests were immersed in our on-site 'live-lab' and peered through microscopes to get a closer look at their discoveries.

Fossil digFossil dig: guests travelled back in time by millions of years and immersed themselves with some hands-on palaeontology. This specially-designed fossil dig enabled visitors to chisel out and extract their very own fossils using a range of specialised tools.

With a 'live-lab' feel, Jules was on-hand to help visitors identify their discoveries, all of which were real fossils, hand-collected from Jurassic clay by a team led by Jules himself. There was also a slideshow showing famous British fossil sites and advice for fossil hunting. Participants were welcome to take their fossil finds home.

Jules Howard is a zoologist, author, science-presenter and National Science Ambassador. As well as authoring five books about animals, Jules writes regularly for the BBC and The Guardian and has featured on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch, BBC Two’s Springwatch Unsprung and CBBC.

Recently Jules toured the Brighton Science Festival, Edinburgh International Science Festival and Cheltenham Science Festival performing for more than 125,000 young people around the country.

Foraged mushroomForaging experience
Kerry Bowness

Show garden walks: groups were escorted around selected Show Gardens to identify edible plants that were used in the planting.

Lecture demos: Kerry spoke about various subjects including -

  • Eating the weeds – turning a chore into a harvest
  • Edimentals – the gourmet and the gorgeous
  • Salads and syrups – demo of how to make beautiful salads and tasty syrups from wildflowers, ornamentals, and weeds

About: Kerry Bowness is a foraging/wild food instructor with an interest in gardening, wildlife and nature.

Phalaenopsis Tzu Chiang Balm gxPollination experience - discover orchids through the eyes of an insect
Simon Mabey

Pollination experience: guests saw the world through the eyes of an insect with the help of Simon Mabey. Simon worked with Manchester Museum and Manchester University to develop an engaging and educational 360º animated video installation that enabled visitors to learn about orchids and experience them as an insect would. 

This playful and immersive experience revealed the bizarre and intriguing pollination strategies that orchids have evolved over time. While many plants aren't fussy about which bugs they attract, some orchid species target very specific pollinators. They use elaborate and witty tactics including deception, mimicry, reward (for the right insect) and even entrapment.

About: Simon Mabey is a 3D expert and VR designer with a focus on Cities, as Global City Modelling Champion for Arup.

Flower crownFlower crowns & Bumble bees
Fairyland Trust

Fairy flower crowns: visitors made flower crowns to wear with pride and learnt about the fairy folklore of trees and wildflowers. Guests also took away a packet of wildflower seeds to grow at home. 
Bouncing bumblebee: visitors discovered three species of British bumblebee and had a go at making one from craft materials to take home and play with.

About: The Fairyland Trust is a conservation charity that uses fairy tales, folklore, arts and crafts to teach children and their families about local nature. Their successful workshops have been running for more than 18 years and have included the RHS, BBC and RSPB among its clients.

Secret Adventurers ClubBird feeders & Mini gardens
Secret Adventurers Club

Bird feeders: a mini-crafting adventure making birdfeeders for our feathery friends.

Mini gardens: guests had a go at crafting a miniature garden using natural materials, seeds and plenty of creativity.

About: The Secret Adventurers' Club run a range of activities and workshops focused on encouraging people including disadvantaged children back into nature through fun-based nature education and outdoor exploration.

RHS Membership

Members enjoy early booking and discounted tickets to RHS Shows.

Join the RHS

Get involved

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.