The joy of wellness, mindfulness and nature took centre stage at the 2022 festival
Returning to the historic grounds of Hampton Court Palace from 4 – 9 July 2022, the world’s largest annual flower show celebrated all that gardening offers, from the chance to reconnect with nature and get a wellbeing boost, through to helping heal individuals and communities. Here are some of the highlights...
A chance to connect with nature
Visitors immersed themselves in the RHS Forest Bathing Garden, designed by Dave Green, and soaked up the mental and spiritual health benefits of time spent in nature.
Incorporating surprising ways to engage the senses, a quiet retreat could be found surrounded by field maples, hornbeams and the Palace’s mature limes in the RHS Forest Bathing Garden.
Another mindful moment could be taken exploring the rest of the Sanctuary area. All about cultivating wellness, an acoustic stage set the tone while the Sanctuary Yurt covered topics from how trees can influence our wellbeing through to meditation, sound baths and herbal remedies.
The Vitamin G Garden featured areas for exercise, meditation and socialising – there was even a plunge pool, as seen pictured here.
A dose of joy could be found through the power of plants in the Vitamin G Garden. This feel-good space for all seasons was an interesting lifestyle garden appropriate for many.
Cleverly created using large circular planters and planting areas, different styles of planting to suit specific garden conditions were contained within defined areas.
A woodland area populated with birch trees was underplanted with low growing ferns and tactile foliage. Close by textural pines underplanted with hostas provided an entirely different feel. Glorious flower combinations overflowed from many of the raised beds, all of which surrounded a garden studio and patio.
Also included was a generous enclosed area for eating and entertaining. The whole space offered interesting ideas for a garden with low-key landscaping, allowing the planting to sing and take centre stage.
The Get Started Gardens’ category illustrated interesting ideas to try at home. These pocket-sized plots were big on ideas, low on hard landscaping and offered food for thought for new gardeners with smaller budgets wondering how or where to start with a bare plot. Interestingly all incorporated small trees and planting or landscape elements to attract pollinators.
The Lunch Break Garden kept ideas simple incorporating straight lines and square planted areas, and a simple seating area surrounded by scented planting to offer a restful place to sit.
If you have a brand new home and were left with four patio stones by the builder, Turfed Out showed how to reuse them in a gravel garden. The Wooden Spoon Garden showed how light and airy perimeter planting can provide a strong sense of enclosure.
#knollingwithdaisies illustrated how a patio area can be enlivened by lifting flagstones and planting up space with prolific ground cover.
The festival was full of ideas to make your garden a more sustainable space. The RHS Planet-Friendly Garden illustrated best practice when it comes to protecting the health of our natural world.
Innovative solutions and sustainable gardening tips to try at home could be found in the RHS Planet-Friendly Garden.
Sarah Eberle’s Iconic Horticultural Hero Garden told the story of her journey through the world of plants, featuring many rare and unusual species and including some of her favourites. Among them were Sonchus fruiticosus, loved for its spiky shape and the fact that it can be underplanted.
Around every corner of this fascinating garden were delights to discover, such as the rare Podophyllum versipelle ‘Spotty Dotty’, seen here with ginger and an Asplenium fern.
Visitors could take a walk through the RHS Allotment – a series of plots created by local community groups bursting with grow-your-own inspiration.
The River Cottage Market Garden celebrated the joys of outdoor eating and country crafts, while showcasing how edibles can be used to beautiful ornamental effect.
Organic growing was at the heart of the River Cottage Market Garden too. Designed by Adam Crofts, Head Gardener at River Cottage on the Dorset-Devon border, this no-dig garden exuded the spirit of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s philosophy about growing and cooking with seasonal food that is ethically produced.
More on the River Cottage Market Garden
RHS Hampton Court is synonymous with roses, which are at their peak at the time of the festival. Those looking for a new rose or two to add to their garden were spoilt for choice in the fragrant Festival of Roses marquee.
Major growers including Fryer’s, David Austin, Harkness and Peter Beales put on stunning displays to seduce visitors to add some of these quintessentially English plants to their borders. The display included the beautiful pale ‘Dame Deborah James’ rose, with a donation to Cancer Research for each plant sold.
The Rose Tea Garden demonstrated how mixing roses with perennials and grasses gives a more contemporary look, giving inspiration to anyone who wants a modern twist on growing roses.
Each day visitors also had the opportunity to bag a space at the RHS Flower School with Flowers From The Farm. Experts offered their advice on how to create an assortment of beautiful and decorative items all made using British blooms and sustainable floristry techniques.
Shop ‘til you drop
RHS Hampton Court offers a shopping experience like no other show. Alongside the beautiful show gardens and vast array of plants for purchase were hundreds of handpicked companies exhibiting and offering for sale every item you could ever think to need to fill your garden.
From garden studios, dining pods and luxury glasshouses, to sculpture, planters, outdoor ovens, comfortable seating and equipment for every eventuality, there was a horticultural treasure trove to be discovered.
Artisan food and drink sellers enticed with delicious produce, while the Country Living Pavilion was packed with thousands of desirable items all awaiting discovery. The Plant Village offered a brilliant opportunity to find something different for your pots, balcony or border.
This colourful avenue of nurseries gave visitors the chance to ask the experts about getting the right plant for a particular situation.
RHS Hampton Court 2022 may now be over, but there’s plenty more to be excited about when it comes to RHS Shows.
See what’s coming up