Fun For All The Family at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017

Families can enjoy a variety of activities at the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (4 – 9 July) as it reveals an exciting line-up of events for children. Supported by Viking Cruises, this year’s wildlife theme and dedicated Family Saturday (8 July) will offer little ones the chance to learn about animals and insects with plenty to get involved in, including face painting, a children’s cookery school, entertainers and much more.

Creepy Crawlies
Children can look out for Professor Gooblidook’s Creepy-Crawly Quest to Bag Bugs and Beasties storytelling around the show. Starting by the children’s play area, the inventive gardener will be seeking help from young show-goers to discover the wonderful world of bugs with this interactive adventure. The Floral Design Studio will be full of wildlife-inspired floral displays, plus children can go on the hunt to find giant wicker bugs located all around the showground. Meanwhile, children can climb aboard the magical Once Upon a Bus on Saturday and Sunday to listen to wild tales all about bugs.

The Kid’s Cookery School workshops
Children of all ages can grab their chef whites to create culinary delights using fresh, seasonal ingredients at The Kid’s Cookery School Workshops in the Cook and Grow Theatre*. On Sunday, cooking worm extraordinaire Henry Le Worm will demonstrate fun recipes for little chefs to recreate at home. *Spaces are limited, booking on arrival is recommended

CBeebies duo Mr Bloom & Justin Fletcher
Visitors can meet popular CBeebies stars Mr Bloom and Justin Fletcher who will be bringing their friends to the beautiful grounds of Hampton Court Palace. Children will be inspired by the world of gardening as they learn about amazing plants from Mr Bloom (Saturday) and Justin Fletcher (Sunday) in the Celebrity Theatre.

Scarecrow Competition
To celebrate the amazing variety of wildlife Britain has, this year’s Scarecrow competition theme is A Walk on the Wild Side. Schools from the South East of England are taking part in this year’s event and visitors will be able to vote for their favourite from over 70 scarecrows inspired by the people, places and animals from all over the UK.

Butterfly Dome
The tropical Butterfly Dome returns this year filled with thousands of exotic butterflies. Kids can get up close to these beautiful bugs as they fly freely over their heads to create a captivating display of colours as they wander through the dome.

Other exciting events throughout the show include traditional Punch & Judy puppet shows, face painting and balloon modelling.

The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will run from 4 – 9 July. Every day, two children under 16 can go free with a paying adult and all on-site activities for kids are free. For further information or to buy tickets, please visit the RHS website at

Urban Rain Garden will make a splash at Hampton Court Flower Show

Squire’s Garden Centres and Landform Consultants have joined forces to present a stunning contemporary garden at this year’s Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, which takes place 3rd-9th July 2017.

Called “The Urban Rain Garden” the concept is a garden designed to cope with climate change, and in particular the heavy downpours that we are experiencing in England, which can cause flash flooding and problems with drainage. The garden incorporates clever rainwater management techniques, so that all rainwater and run-off from the house is redirected, stored and used within the garden.

Designer Rhiannon Williams, who is just 23 years old said; “My inspiration came from my Masters studies at the University of Sheffield, where I was very lucky to be taught by Nigel Dunnett who is a world authority on rain gardens. I’ve always been keen to design spaces that are not only beautiful but functional as well, and The Urban Rain Garden embodies this, but also more importantly it demonstrates an easy way to adopt a more sustainable approach when it comes to rain water management.”

A really unusual feature of the design is that there is both a front and back garden with a walkway in-between. This allows show visitors a 360-degree view of the garden, giving it a very interactive feel.

The front garden includes a space for a compact car to park over a metal grate, below which is a storm water retention pond. The back garden features elements familiar to many residential gardens, including a patio, lawn, and an entertaining area.

Sarah Squire, Deputy Chairman at Squire’s commented; “I like the fact that the garden is both an affordable and sustainable design. Planting is zoned to deal with varying water levels within the garden. Very wet areas contain plants like Irises down to dry zones at the end of the garden, containing plants like Salvia, Achillea, and Ornamental Grasses. Structural shrubs and trees provide a sense of enclosure, and there’s colourful planting for summer impact when the space will be used for entertaining.

Nigel Dunnett, Professor of Planting Design & Urban Horticulture at the University of Sheffield said, “I was thrilled to learn that Rhiannon was taking on her first major show garden at RHS Hampton Court this year. I think that her design is inspired and will truly capture the public’s imagination. There are many elements that can be adopted for our own spaces and some of the solutions that she offers to cope with our changing climates are truly innovative.”

The Urban Rain Garden is in the new RHS category “Gardens for a Changing World”, which reflects the more sustainable direction that gardening is taking worldwide. You can visit the garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show from 3rd-9th July.

15th Hampton Court Flower Show Gold Medal for David Austin Roses

David Austin LogoDavid Austin Roses have won their 15th Gold Medal at Hapton Court Palace Flower Show for their rose garden exhibit.

“Its always an honour to receive a prestigious RHS Gold Medal. and 2016 is proving to be a special year as we celebrate golds at Chelsea, and Hampton Court Flower shows, and a fitting tribute to David C.H.Austin as he celebrates his 90th birthday year.”

The giant copper peach is on tour, having travelled from our Chelsea rose garden to our exhibit at Hampton Court to tell the story of the new ‘Roald Dahl’ rose, marking the centenary of this much loved British author.  This one-off sculpture was framed by a rambler and our new peach coloured rose that flowed effortlessly into other English Roses creating a myriad of colour and fragrance.

david austin hampton court display 2016


squires logo 2013Squire’s Garden Centres is celebrating after winning a Gold Medal for their Show Garden at the prestigious RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show!

Designed by Catherine MacDonald of Landform Consultants, Squire’s ‘80thAnniversary Garden’ is elegant, yet very achievable, as the idea is that people can take a lot of the elements in the garden and recreate the look at home. Peter Seabrook, Gardening Editor of The Sun, described the garden “A touch of class”.

squires 2016 hampton court gardenSarah Squire (Deputy Chairman at Squire’s) commented “We are absolutely thrilled to win a Gold Medal at Hampton Court in Squire’s 80th Anniversary year! Our thanks must go to our designer Catherine MacDonald and the team at Landform for doing such an amazing job, despite the inclement weather over the last couple of weeks. Our Show Garden is stylish and contemporary, and I particularly love the concept of the sunken entertaining area, as it’s very peaceful and secluded. The planting is absolutely beautiful with a well-chosen colour palette. I hope that people will take inspiration from some of the elements of the garden to create the look in their own garden at home.

Squire’s Show Garden includes a relaxing entertaining area, a lush lawn, sculptural trees and hedges, a water feature, and a productive area at the end of the garden for growing your own. It’s a private and enveloping space, with soft and structural planting, using a warm summer colour palette of whites, reds, oranges and yellows – a nod to the colours in the Squire’s logo. Key plants include Achillea, Cosmos, Digitalis, Foxgloves, Scabiosa, & Penstemons.

Catherine MacDonald (Landform Designer), Sarah Squire (Squire’s Deputy Chairman) & Colin Squire (Squire’s Chairman)

Catherine MacDonald (Landform Designer), Sarah Squire (Squire’s Deputy Chairman) & Colin Squire (Squire’s Chairman)

The garden has an innovative terrace cover with a bladed roof system that can be operated by remote control to allow the sunlight in, or to close the roof completely if it rains. The ‘Renson Camargue’ terrace cover will be on display at Squire’s in Milford after the show.

The Hampton Court Show also marks the launch of a new garden design service being introduced by Squire’s in partnership with Landform.

Squire’s Garden Centres are a family-run business and are celebrating 80 years of the joy of gardening. You can find out more about their 80 years here:

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show Marks the 300th Anniversary of ‘England’s Greatest Gardener’

rhs logo 2015Next month, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) pays homage to Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, whose landscaping changed the face of 18th century England. Three gardens that celebrate his work will feature at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (5 – 10 July), supported by Viking River Cruises.
Nicknamed ‘Capability’ for describing landscapes as having ‘great capabilities’, Brown was famous for introducing new concepts which favoured naturalistic landscape, sweeping away a previously formal patterned style. Brown become a pioneer in the gardening world throughout the last three centuries and is seen by some as “England’s greatest gardener”.

Paying tribute to Brown’s designs at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, Victoria Truman (from Kent) makes a contemporary homage to Brown’s landscaping with her garden, Reflecting the Landscape. Truman uses serpentine landforms to create the illusion of a valley and places his signature trees, such as copper beech, to adorn the mounds. A turfed bench allows the visitor to sit and contemplate the surrounding countryside which will be visible between and beneath the canopies of the trees.

rhs hampton court 2016The Capable of Reinvention garden designed by Peter Wood, Zaidee Penhaligon, Emma Wilson, Alex Newman and Lyndsay Cooper (from Sussex) is based on a study of reflection – inspired by Capability’s innovative use of reflection in his lakes. The designers use water to reflect both the planting and the custom made sculpture follies with the aim of distorting illusion and perspective. The unusual shape of the garden constructs the visitors view through the space, while the path drags deeper into the contours of the land where the famous Capability tree clump is reimagined in dead wood and metal.

And finally, Burnham Landscaping demonstrates a contemporary interpretation of one of Brown’s most favoured elements; the ‘ha-ha’ style in Mind the Gap. International designers Dendetta Pecorari and Alisa Veretti (from Italy) will split the garden into two zones, a lawn reachable by visitors and a wildflower area to be admired. Dividing the two environments is a moat, ensuring the wildflowers remain a place to be admired from afar whilst creating a clear visual perspective to the onlooker, like one of the paintings which inspired Capability’s gardens.

RHS Historian, Brent Elliott, said: “Capability Brown was the most famous and influential British gardener of the eighteenth century. There is a strong link between Brown and Hampton Court Palace; he was appointed chief gardener at Hampton Court in 1764, and his role was to run the kitchen gardens to provide produce for the royal family.

“This year marks the 300th anniversary of Brown’s birth and the RHS is one of 21 festival partners staging events across England and Wales throughout 2016. There is a host of events and publications being produced to celebrate the occasion, and the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show provides an opportunity for a celebration in three dimensions. Three show gardens are being created as modern responses to aspects of Brown’s design principles.

“Visitors to the Show will have an opportunity to reflect and debate about the legacy of Brown’s work, and what it might mean for the 21st century.”
The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show runs from 5 – 10 July 2016. For further information or to buy tickets, please visit the RHS website at


squires logo 2013Squire’s Garden Centres are celebrating their 80th anniversary this year, and what better way to celebrate then by creating a Show Garden at The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, which is on from 5th-10th July 2016.

The Show Gardens are the jewel in the crown of any flower show, and this year will be no exception with “Squire’s 80th Anniversary Garden” (Stand Number HC431) – a beautifully designed yet very achievable garden, the idea being that you can take a lot of the elements from the garden and recreate the look at home.

Squire’s have taken a linear rectangular space (a very similar size to an average back garden), and the brief was to create an elegant yet practical design for a couple with grown-up children. The garden will include a relaxing entertaining area, a lush lawn, sculptural trees and hedges, a water feature going across the garden, and a productive area at the end of the garden for growing your own. It will also have an innovative pergola/terrace covering with a bladed roof system that can be operated by remote control to allow the sunlight in, or to close the roof completely if it rains. Two sumptuous deep-seated armchairs for the garden will complete the stylish look. The garden will feel private and enveloping, with soft and structural planting, using a warm summer colour palette of whites, reds, oranges and yellows – a nod to the colours in the Squire’s logo. Key plants are likely to include Cirsium ‘Frosted Magic’, Echinacea ‘Big Kahuna’, Cosmos ‘Xanthos’, as well as a selection of trees and shrubs. The garden is designed by Catherine MacDonald of Landform, who has 10 years experience at Chelsea, as well as 5 years experience at Hampton Court, where her two Show Gardens have both won Gold and Best In Category.

2016-Hampton-Court-Garden-DesignSarah Squire (Deputy Chairman at Squire’s) commented “We are very excited about our Show Garden at Hampton Court this year. This is a very special show to us. It is very local so it gives us the opportunity to meet lots of our customers face-to-face in a relaxed atmosphere. At the same time it showcases some really top quality garden design and fantastic plant material all against the amazing backdrop of the Palace. It is a truly enchanting location for a flower show. Our thanks must go to Catherine MacDonald and Mark Gregory of Landform for interpreting our brief so well, and also to Garden House Design for their pergola/terrace covering, and to London Stone for the paving.”

Squire’s company ethos is to provide local people with really good quality plants that will do well for them in their own gardens – providing a look that is interesting, beautiful and achievable. Come and get some inspiration at one of their 15 garden centres across Surrey, Sussex, Berkshire and Middlesex. Find your nearest at

Squire’s are celebrating 80 years of the joy of gardening. You can find out more about their 80 years here:

Imagination Ignites across RHS Flower Shows for 2016

rhs logo 2015The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is working with UK nurseries across all major RHS Flower Shows in 2016 to fire up imagination and display plants in new ways. Award-winning garden designer Kate Gould will be mentoring 15 growers* during the show season to help put their creative ideas into practice.

Taking the first steps into spring, a selection of nurseries will first display their new designs at RHS Flower Show Cardiff, before going on to RHS Malvern Spring Festival, RHS Chelsea Flower Show and RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, and finally at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park in July.

Nurseries from across the UK will participate, including Cornwall-based Trecanna, T3 Plants in Herefordshire, and Tinnisburn Plants from Dumfriesshire. All the growers in the project will be crafting their own fresh, eye-catching and innovative displays to best exhibit the allure of their plants.

As well as the creative challenges posed by the different design concepts, nurseries also face testing conditions individual to each show, from having to dual-manage the prime cultivation season in April, to non-stop shows throughout the summer months, and end-of-season plant choices in July.

On her role as mentor, Kate Gould said: “It was amazing to be asked. I think the RHS creative mentoring project is a brilliant idea as the shows are fundamentally about the plants, and the guys in the marquees bring the real magic. What I’ve found especially interesting is how open minded and inventive the growers’ designs are – I might suggest something slightly outrageous and they go, ‘Yes, that’s great! We can do that!’ As a designer that’s great for me, to bounce ideas off people and have them bounce back – especially a nursery, as I’m learning a lot from them as well.

“As a mentor,’ said Kate, “my role really is to fine-tune their ideas and be able to facilitate what they want to do and criticise constructively from a design point of view. For example, when you build a Show Garden you do it as you never would in the real world; so having done that, I know how to make the most of limited time to create a believable effect. We didn’t have to grow the plants for our Show Gardens, and it’s growing that’s the really challenging bit. The growers are so creative with their designs – I think ‘my goodness where did that come from, why didn’t I think of that?’ Maybe I should start growing myself!”

The RHS creative mentoring project was launched in 2015, with 14 nurseries being awarded Silver-Gilt or Gold medals for their new approaches to design. At RHS Malvern Spring Festival, Drointon Nurseries from North Yorkshire used mirrors and themed theatres to great effect in showing their Primula auricula, while bulb specialist Jacques Armand created an extravagant firework display using Eremurus and Allium at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

Viking Cruises to Sponsor RHS Hampton Court

rhs logo 2015Today, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) announces Viking Cruises, the world’s leading river cruise line, as headline sponsor of RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The partnership has developed naturally over the last four years with Viking Cruises having a presence at both the RHS Chelsea and RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Shows.

Nick Mattingley, Head of RHS Shows, said: “Over the past couple of years Viking Cruises has shown considerable commitment to the RHS and we are delighted to have it on board as headline sponsor of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and we look forward to working with it over the next three years.”

viking cruisesjpgViking Cruises and the RHS share similar values and a passion for innovation, creativity and inspiration. Wendy Atkin-Smith, Managing Director of Viking Cruises UK, said, “We are thrilled to be the headline sponsor of RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and to be working with the RHS again. Following excellent feedback from our guests, we know that they look forward to this show every year.”

Inspired by the new partnership, the 2016 show features the return of the popular Water Garden category after an eight-year absence. At this year’s show three gardens will be based on a water theme, including a debut design in this style at the show by Viking Cruises.

Multi-award winning Garden Designer Stephen Hall will be creating ‘The Viking Cruises Scandinavian Garden’, drawing on its Nordic Heritage and giving visitors to the show a taste of just one of the inspiring and culturally enriching destinations available to explore on its many cruises.

Inspired by the wild, natural beauty of Scandinavia, The Viking Cruises Scandinavian Garden beckons you across the water, to take a closer look. A rowing boat rests on a pebble beach where large boulders have been placed, as if left by a retreating glacier. A gravel path leads to the door of a humble house which nestles into an earth mound covered by meadow grass sparsely colonised with wildflowers. Nature is ever present in the form of sedges, ferns and grasses, while native trees and shrubs provide the backdrop. The garden evokes a traditional Scandinavian way of life where comfort and beauty is drawn from the simplest things.

Garden Designer Stephen Hall said: “It is a great honour to be working alongside the best garden designers from the UK and around the world at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. To be given the opportunity to create a garden for the headline sponsor, Viking Cruises, is a fantastic opportunity and I hope visitors gain a real sense of destination and adventure when viewing the finished garden in July.”

The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will run from 5 – 10 July 2016. For further information or to buy tickets, please visit the RHS website at

BBC and RHS Launch Garden Design Competition

rhs logo 2015‘Feel Good Front Gardens’ is the theme for a new Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and BBC Local Radio competition launched today, which gives four BBC local radio listeners the chance to design a garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2016 (5 – 10 July).

The competition is asking amateur gardeners and aspiring garden designers in England, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man to create and submit a front-garden design that celebrates their local community and highlights the health and wellbeing benefits of gardening. Four of the best designs, chosen by an esteemed judging panel, will go on to be built at the world-famous flower show in July, giving the winners an opportunity to see their designs become a reality.

England has 39 BBC Local Radio stations which have been an integral part and voice of communities in the regions for nearly 50 years. To reflect this, entrants should look to tie in a link to their BBC region or local area in some way, taking inspiration for example from the local heritage, buildings, foods, people, plants or another aspect of local life. This year the RHS Greening Grey Britain Campaign* wants to raise awareness of the positive impact that gardens and gardening have on people’s health and happiness which is one of the themes entrants should consider in their design.

bbcAs well as having their garden created for exhibition at the show, the four winners will also have the opportunity to visit the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to meet their mentors: Chelsea Gold medal-winning designer Ann-Marie Powell, and established garden and landscape designer, writer and television presenter James Alexander-Sinclair. Ann-Marie and James will be on hand to offer guidance to the four finalists in the lead-up to RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, sharing their expert knowledge and offering tips and advice along with a plant master class.

Dave Green, Show Manager for RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for someone passionate about gardening and design to see their vision come to life and get a glimpse into the world of garden design, gaining expert advice and hands-on experience. I am very excited to see what the BBC Local Radio listeners come up with.”

The closing date for entry is noon on Friday 26 February. Judges will select the four best designs from around the UK and will consider: how well the garden interprets the theme; how interesting and creative the design is; the effective use of plants; how well the design has considered sustainability issues; and how realistic the design is within a small budget.

Information on how to enter the competition is available at

RHS Search for Space Enthusiasts to Create Scarecrows for RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

rhs logo 2015The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is searching for pre-schools and primary schools in London and South East England to design space-themed scarecrows for a cosmic display at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show from 5 – 10 July 2016.

The shortlisted schools will be asked to build their scarecrow designs which will be judged at the show. To enter, schools must be registered with the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, and in year six or below.

The lucky winners will receive £200 worth of gardening vouchers, with second and third placed schools receiving £150 and £50 worth of gardening vouchers. The deadline for entries is 18 March 2016.

The schools are challenged to use plants and recycled materials to create their space scarecrows. Children can let their imaginations run wild, taking inspiration from all things space, from Mars exploration to British astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia mission.

To enter and to sign up to the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, schools should visit the website:

Gemma Lake, Deputy Show Manager for RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, said: “This is a fantastic way for children to get involved in the show and help showcase the wonderful work that the RHS Campaign for School Gardening does to enthuse children about horticulture.

“The scarecrow competition is an incredibly popular feature at the show and I’m really looking forward to seeing the imaginative ideas the children come up with this year.”

The inspiration for the ‘space’ theme comes from the historic RHS and UK Space Agency education initiative Rocket Science. The initiative will give up to 10,000 schools the chance to become space biologists by growing rocket seeds that have been orbiting the Earth as part of British astronaut Tim Peake’s six-month mission on the International Space Station.

Schools can find out more about Rocket Science and register to take part here:

For more information please contact Siobhán MacMahon on 020 7821 3043 or