Wimbledon may be nearly over, but we can look forward to another busy week in south west London as the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) holds one of the world’s largest flower shows at the Royal Palace of Hampton Court, on the banks of the Thames.
The RHS Show is held in the grounds rather than the gardens, and it is an event that we thoroughly enjoy. But as we spend all day at the show, there’s no time to see the Palace and gardens, so last September, we visited the gardens. Here we share some of the delights of this historic garden with you.
The Great Vine was originally planted in 1768 by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, who is probably better known for his restructuring of many formal gardens into sweeping landscapes on estates across the country.
The Privy Garden is a re-creation of the 1702 design for William and Mary. The formal rhythms and use of much evergreen topiary makes it a quite a contemporary space, and offers ideas that could be transposed into an easy maintenance twenty-first century garden.
Hampton Court’s Maze dates from 1690; it’s supposed to take about twenty minutes to reach the centre – I think Nathan took a short cut though.
The Exotic Garden was developed for many botanical species that were brought to Hampton Court Palace for the monarchs William and Mary. Their collection had over 2000 specimens, grown in large pots which were relatively easy to move between their summer home in the exotic garden and their winter home in the orangery.
The plants needed winter protection as most would not tolerate a British winter, but could still be on display. The Hampton Court Lower Orangery Gardens is a unique restoration and very much a living history display of botanical and social importance.
The great fountain gardens are visible if you visit the RHS Flower Show. When you walk across the Long Water to get from one section of the show to the other, look towards the Palace.
We’re looking forward to visiting the Flower Show next week and being inspired by gardens; promise we’ll share some of our favourite gardens and plants with you from this year’s RHS extravaganza.
Marie Shallcross, Senior Partner, Plews Garden Design
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