7 reasons to spend a day at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2024

Visitors at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival
Horticultural stars, plant heroes and Festival favourites gather in one of the most beautiful and historic settings in the country for a week of  gardening goodness. From the packed programme the show team have lined up, here are just some of the reasons to snap up a ticket for RHS Hampton Court.

1. Heavenly Hampton

Hampton Court Palace

No other festival is steeped in British history quite like RHS Hampton Court. See the Great Fountain Garden, The Kitchen Garden and the Rose Garden, all before you even get to the gates of the festival.  Lunch by the Long Water and bask in the same view that King Henry VIII enjoyed 500 years ago.

Enjoy the trip through Hampton Court Palace Gardens on your way to the festival.

  • Hampton Court Palace Gardens are home to three national plant collections: Heliotropium, Lantana and Queen Mary II’s Exoticks.
  • The world’s oldest grapevine lives at the palace. Vitis vinifera ‘Schiava Grossa’  (Black Hamburg) was planted back in 1768 when Capability Brown oversaw the gardens.
  • Synonymous with the rose, the Palace has Tudor rose symbols embedded into the brickwork along with pomegranates in honour of Catherine of Aragon. Though Henry ordered to have them all removed following their divorce, some still remain.

2. Anyone for tennis?

Match Point
Real tennis was a favourite sport of King Henry VIII, (Anne Boleyn was betting on a game when she was arrested and taken to the Tower of London) and the Palace still has courts dating back to 1625. This year Bond Landscape Design’s Match Point Garden takes on Henry’s love of sport by showing how a tennis court can be part of a beautiful design without compromising on aesthetics. Come to RHS Hampton Court and see what is undoubtely the most interesting tennis event in South London has to offer in July!

3. Talk stages host stars

Carol Klein
There are three main stages at the Festival this year, as well as daily masterclasses on the RHS Peat-Free Garden. As well as the return of the Get Growing Festival Stage in partnership with Cunard and the Potting Shed hosted by Martin Fish in the Floral Marquee, new for 2024 is the How To Stage, filled with practial advice and tips. There’s an incredible line up of experts from TV favourites like Carol Klein and Adam Frost to growing gurus and upcoming stars such as Anya the Garden Fairy and Zoe Claymore. Don’t miss botanical history insights from Advolly Richmond, and Caroline Quentin takes to a very different sort of stage to share her love of gardening.

 4. Plant paradise

Plant shopping at RHS Hampton Court
“It’s all about the plants really” says Show Manager Natalie Gearing when asked to define the Festival. As well as the phenomenally fragrant Festival of Roses there is an unmissable tribute to a favourite plant family in the All About Asteraceae exhibit. Not technically a plant, but moss gets its moment in the Moss Magic Get Started Garden and the RHS Allotments once again bring Grow Your Own to the Show stage with lots of fruit and veg tips from the experts. Inside the Floral Marque is where some real plant heros can be found including the Master Growers Tynings Climbers. 

5.  Houseplants take centre stage

Houseplants at RHS Shows
New to the festival is the Houseplant Market with six exhibitors showing the best and lastest trends in indoor gardening . This year saw the first RHS Urban Show in Manchester and RHS Malvern Spring also introduced their Festival of Houseplants. RHS Hampton Court picks up the baton with inspiring displays, hands-on advice and practical classes. Book in a Build Your Own Terrarium course and create your very own mini garden to take home.

6. Feast at the Festival

Food at RHS Hampton Court
At RHS Hampton Court you are never more than 6ft away from a picnic. With such a variety of  food stalls throughout the showground, you can eat your way around the world. Or for something a little more traditional, Fortnum & Mason Hampers can be booked and enjoyed by the cooling banks of Long Water. There are refreshments for every mood and palate; grab a quick coffee, relax with a cup of tea or indulge in a glass of sparkling wine while you take in the entertainment on the bandstand or peruse the gardens.

See the menus

7.  Take RHS Hampton home

Take home RHS Hampton Court
With so much advice and inspiration on tap, RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2024 can be much more than a day in the sun. Shop the show with crafts, foods and plants you can’t get on the high street. Talk directly to the artisan food producers in the Great Tastes Market. Get free advice from specialist growers on how to care for your plants, and make the most of RHS experts on hand around the showground, dishing out their knowledge. Discover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about your garden.

Whether you need help to go peat-free or want inspiration for your front garden redesign, perhaps you want to cut back on spending – but not on results, or maybe you just want to have fun in the garden, RHS Hampton Court is the golden ticket to the summer.

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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.