From 30 June – 5 July, the world’s biggest annual flower show, run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), returns to the grounds of Hampton Court Palace in Surrey to celebrate the best in gardening through an eclectic mix of gardens, displays and shopping, as well as a very special silver anniversary.There will be a range of exciting displays to mark the 25th year of RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, including a 30 x 30m maze, which will greet visitors at the entrance to Thames Gate. The maze, designed by Tony Smith, will incorporate a mix of turf and hedging in celebration of the anniversary. An exclusive silver anniversary turf sculpture, in partnership with Rolawn, and a giant floral birthday cake courtesy of Ball Colegrave will form part of the celebrations.
This year a new zone is introduced to the Show as Feast replaces Escape to create, with Inspire and Grow, three zoned areas:
• In the Inspire zone, visitors can enjoy seven Conceptual Gardens following the theme of sensations, which will create an immersive and interactive experience.
• Grow will provide keen gardeners with access to a range of nursery displays, flower beds and plants for sale, as well as four new Historic Gardens.
• The indulgent Feast zone will house all edible and grow-your-own exhibits, an array of food stands, and the ever-popular Cookery Theatre, which this year includes a pop-up Children’s’ Cookery Class to teach kids the importance of a balanced diet.
World-class gardens will range from the inspiring designs in the larger-scale Show Gardens to compact Summer Gardens and an exciting new category – World Gardens – which will transport visitors around the globe.
Additional show highlights this year will include:
• RHS Hub
The RHS Hub, based in the Inspire zone, will focus on bringing families and communities together, featuring a Village Green, complete with bandstand, food stalls and an Alice in Wonderland-themed activity area full of seed sowing and cutting activities. It will also include the RHS Community Street feature, which aims to demonstrate the importance of urban regeneration, as a real-life RHS Britain in Bloom community space is selected and redesigned to show how derelict areas can be transformed through the use of plants. For younger visitors, the popular Scarecrow Competition will return with pupils from infant and primary schools across the South East each adding their own imaginative twists to traditional scarecrow designs. This year the theme is history, in keeping with the show’s anniversary. A scarecrow trail will lead the visitor from place to place over the showground, culminating at the Scarecrow Competition with a giant scarecrow as the centrepiece.
• Floral Marquee
The Floral Marquee hosts 90 award-winning nurseries from around the UK, including new exhibitors and native specialists, all selling the best-quality plants around. Four nurseries will focus on new, innovative ways of displaying everyone’s favourite plants. This year the Floral Marquee will also feature six brand new 3 x 3m Flower Boxes at its entrance to welcome visitors.
• Plant Heritage Marquee
The Plant Heritage Marquee will house eight National Plant Collection holders, offering specialist advice and plants for sale.
• Festival of Roses and Floral Design Studio
Carrying on the history theme, the Festival of Roses will showcase a wide range of beautiful, colourful and scented roses within a historic walled garden setting. A programme of talks and events will complement the beautiful visual displays, and the prestigious Rose of the Year 2016 will also be announced. Next door, the Floral Design Studio will display professional florists’ creations alongside the up-and-coming talent emerging from the UK’s top floristry colleges.