The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is over for another year, but there is still time to buy tickets for the wonderful, and very special, RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival. It is said to be the world’s biggest flower show, well, it does cover 34 acres, so I can quite believe it.
I love both shows but I am particularly fond of the Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival – I guess because its name says it is all – it is a festival of the garden – and is set in the green and lovely parkland of Hampton Court Palace, where there is room for visitors to spread out and relax, and where the whole family can have fun as well.
Along with the vast floral marquee where growers display and sell their plants there is also the heavenly-scented rose marquee; there are the inspirational show gardens; there is the lecture theatre and various stands which offer advice from design to gardening.
Come here to buy new gardening tools and equipment, and why not indulge in some general retail therapy in the Country Living pavilion.
How to garden and what to grow
There’s an RHS Allotment for anybody keen to get tips on growing things for the table; learn how to Get Started with gardening – especially useful with the advice on what sort of plants are best for beginners; the River Cottage Market Garden demonstrates organic growing.
Anybody wanting to grow more unusual plants should head for the Floral Marquee and in particular the award-winning Todd’s Botanics specialising in drought tolerant plants.
And for this year there is the poignant Global Impact Garden raising awareness for the devastation caused by the war in Ukraine (two of its designers are Ukrainian).
For all ages and tastes
And there’s lots going on at the show for all members of the family, including the very young. The hands-on sessions with Kingston Forest school sound like fun, as does the Pop by Wild Town with its mini-beast hidey-holes and suggestions for recycling; discover more about foraging, tree identification, and what I would love to do – bee keeping.
Add to the day live music and eating experiences such as fine dining in the Waterside Restaurant, or tuck into street food from the likes of Smoky Gaucho, Belly n Bao, and Habibi’s; plus of course the more usual food outlets – or bring a picnic and do your own thing whilst being entertained by live music.
Flowers After Hours
For a visit with a difference book tickets for the evening of Friday 8 July and the very special Flowers After Hours party, watch the silent disco or boogie away to live music, and watch the night drop and the lights come up over the Long Water and the Palace, it’s quite magical.
Our special thanks to the RHS for their photos for this feature.
Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2022
4 – 9 July, Monday – Friday: 10am – 6.30pm; Saturday: 10am – 5.30pm.
Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU
Each paying adult can bring two children aged under 5 free of charge. Child rates are available for ages 5 to 16 years. Adult Tickets: £23.85 – £36.85
Flowers After Hours
Friday 8 July 2022, 7.30pm – 10.30pm (entry from 4pm). Members from £57.10, non-members from £62.10
For further information: rhs.org.uk/hamptoncourt