RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017 Highlights

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) announces a selection of confirmed highlights at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (4 – 9 July), supported by Viking Cruises, including new category ‘Gardens for a Changing World’, empowering gardeners to meet the challenges we face in our ever-changing, uncertain world.

Gardens for a Changing World
Extreme rainfall is one of the consequences scientists claim is a result of climate change, and 21-year-old Will Williams, who made his debut at the show last year, returns with ‘Holding Back the Flood’, highlighting a natural solution to flood prevention, inspired by the village of Pickering, North Yorkshire, a town prone to flood devastation. Increased rainfall has also inspired first-time designer Rhiannon Williams, who is promoting the increased need for sustainable rainwater management within residential areas.

London-based Tom Massey, another up-and-coming designer, is creating ‘The Perennial Sanctuary Garden’, championing the healing power of plants, which in current turbulent times is becoming increasingly important. More than 2,500 individual plants of different colours will make up the garden, exploring the effect colour can have on our mood.

‘Brownfield – Metamorphosis’, by town planner and designer Martyn Wilson, explores the power of plants to regenerate naturally and become established among industrial ruins. Andreas Christodoulou and Jonathan Davies are dismissing the manicured lawns of modern garden design and encouraging urbanites to transform city garden spaces into natural ‘forest glades’.

Show Gardens
Show sponsor, Viking Cruises have joined forces with acclaimed designer Paul Hervey-Brooks with a garden inspired by the overseas destinations they travel to. Multi-RHS Gold medal winning, Andrew Fisher-Tomlin and Dan Bowyer will shine a light on the work of Blind Veterans UK with a community garden for members, staff and volunteers that will be rebuilt at one of the charity’s centres after the show.

Zoflora returns this year with a large woodland play garden for children and adults with disabilities such as autism. Accessible and inclusive, the garden aims to reconnect children with nature through play. The garden resembles a woodland glade. Playful planting and the use of materials will stimulate the senses of sight, smell, touch, taste and sound, while allowing the children to experience reasonable risk as they play.

Floral highlights
More plants and flowers are sold per square metre at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show than anywhere else in the UK. This year, the Floral Marquee will house 98 specialist nurseries and National Plant Collection holders from across the UK. Six new nurseries will be at the show this year including Ottershaw Cacti (Surrey), selling their rare and unusual collection of cacti and succulents, Palms Exotics (Hampshire), for those wanting to turn their garden into a holiday oasis, and Strictly Daylilies (Cambridgeshire), the ideal plant for first-time gardeners as they need little or no care.

Wildlife features
Wildlife is a key theme at this year’s show to raise awareness of the UK’s declining wildlife population* and encouraging visitors to ‘Green Grey Britain’ with a rich diversity of plants that are vital for the future of the UK’s bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

The tropical Butterfly Dome returns this year filled with thousands of exotic butterflies, surrounded by a wildflower meadow, accompanied by nectar-rich plants for our native butterflies, and caterpillar food plants such as nettles, grasses and heather. The Floral Design Studio will be full of wildlife-inspired floral displays, and schools from the South East of England are taking ‘a walk on the wild side’ with their entries to the annual Scarecrow Competition. Across the weekend, activities will be centred on wildlife conservation including face painters, a children’s cookery school, entertainers and much more.

Experts and familiar faces including celebrity chef Jean Christophe Novelli and television presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan will be sharing their horticultural and culinary passions throughout the week in the talk theatres.

Nick Mattingley, Director of RHS Shows, said: “At more than twice the size of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and just a stone’s throw from London, RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is the best place for budding and expert gardeners who want advice, ideas, inspiration and an abundance of plants and gardening merchandise to beautify their outdoor spaces.”

The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will run from 4 – 9 July. For further information or to buy tickets, please visit the RHS website at www.rhs.org.uk/hamptoncourt

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