The RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary with summer colour, gardening inspiration and beautiful blooms against the backdrop of one of the UK’s most iconic palaces.. This year's key theme is Gardening for Everyone, bringing together family, friends and communities, as well as reconnecting with with green spaces and the outdoors. This theme follows on from a recent RHS survey that revealed 52% of people in Britain claim to have experienced feeling alone.
Running from 7 to 12 July, 2020, the festival, supported by Viking, offers the chance to relax by Hampton Court Palace’s famed Long Water with a picnic, get together with like-minded folk, enjoy expert talks in our theatres and admire a huge variety of plants.
Plus, there’s plenty of opportunity for shopping, whether you’re looking for something for the garden, home, or a gift to treat yourself.
Read on to discover the 2020 show and remember to book in advance and save.
Be inspired by the gardens
Top designers line up each year to present their show-stopping gardens to the world and 2020 will be no exception. Following on from their success in 2019, our Show, Lifestyle and Global Impact Gardens will be returning and provide visitors with an exciting range of ideas to try at home.
The theme of gardens as places to connect with others is demonstrated in the Lifestyle Gardens category. The Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) returns with A Place to Meet Again, created in collaboration with its members and apprentices. Meanwhile, Amelia Bouquet designs a garden to meet friends, both old and new; The Communication Garden will feature fractured pathways symbolising changes in communication and conversation alongside a seating hub to listen, talk and share ideas.
Returning once again with Cancer Research UK, Tom Simpson will create a peaceful space for visitors to sit together. The figure of eight layout will see the two halves connected by a serpentine water rill. It highlights the importance of pledges and how they support the research breakthroughs to help beat cancer sooner.
In the Show Garden category keep an eye out for The Northern Roots Oldham Garden designed by Peter Donegan which highlights the pioneering Northern Roots project. It explores how we can utilise vital urban green spaces to provide benefits to local communities, both economically and socially.
Former RHS Young Designer of the Year Will Williams returns with Viking, the award-winning river and ocean cruise line which is supporting the festival for the fifth year. True to Viking’s Nordic roots and based on the Norwegian concept 'Friluftsliv' (pronounced 'free-loofts-liv' and translated as ‘open-air living), The Viking Friluftsliv Garden is a Scandinavian-inspired social space promoting a relaxing outdoor lifestyle. It's complete with a kitchen, plunge pool, seating area and fire pit.
Award-winning designer Paul Hervey-Brookes will also create a contemporary setting for entertaining and relaxing with friends, drawing inspiration from the renowned architecture of Sir Christopher Wren with the Brewin Dolphin Garden – Inspired By Wren.
Wonder at stunning displays
No RHS show would be complete without a whole host of beautiful blooms, and Hampton Court Palace has them in their thousands.
The first stop for plant lovers, the Floral Marquee, is packed with stunning displays and expert growers. Look out for Kell's Bay House & Garden with tree ferns and unusual exotics, Lincolnshire Pond Plants with marginals and aquatics and Alchemy Ferns. For those looking for a special gem, new exhibitor Glendoick Gardens specialises in rhododendrons.
This year's RHS Master Grower is Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants, a nursery that has been growing perennials for three decades – look out for their new introductions at the festival this year. In the Plant Village we are thrilled to welcome Meadowgate Nursery, a grass specialist, and Petrichor Bulb Specialists.
Celebrate the beauty of roses
Nothing says summer better than a rose. Head to the Festival of Roses to see a huge array of these gorgeous flowers – including new varieties – to add to your shopping list.
Our expert growers will also be on hand to share their tips, helping you to fill your garden with colour and scent.
Our Iconic Horticultural Hero in 2020 is landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, the designer who has created the Masterplan for RHS Garden Bridgewater. One of the most influential garden designers working today, Tom's style is defined by combining structured landscapes with natural and contemporary planting schemes.
The fashion for growing cut flowers in the garden continues to blossom. Reflecting this trend is a new feature Cutting Garden, focusing on growing flowers for use in the home. In association with Sarah Raven and designed by Arthur Parkinson, the garden celebrates British flowers with inspirational combinations.
To dig or not to dig? For allotmenteers and produce growers the idea of growing quality food without digging seems too good to be true. Take a look at our garden feature that illustrates sustainable crop growing without chemicals or digging, co-designed by Charles Dowding, one of the country's devotees of no-dig gardening, who is teaming up with Pennard Plants.
Indulge in boutique shopping
There are shopping opportunities galore at the festival, selling everything from garden sculpture and handy tools to artisan food and luxury clothing. If you are a lover of fine foods come and enjoy a meal in one of the restaurants or sample some of the local and artisan foods on offer.
Tickets for 2020 are on sale now
The show in pictures