The RHS's show at Hampton Court Palace has been rebranded for 2019. Now a Garden Festival rather than a Flower Show this staple of the summer calendar retains its popularity with visitors thanks to it's relaxed, laid-back attitude.
Popular themes at this year's show included:
Following on from Chelsea, natural gardens designed to help our wildlife and climate were plentiful with plants to help our native pollinators being high on many garden designers wish list. The BBC Springwatch Garden was at the forefront of this with an innovative garden design that included three neighbouring plots each demonstrating different ways to 're-wild' your garden and help our wildlife. Designer, Jo Thompson said: "I'm thrilled to be working alongside the Springwatch team to create a garden that promotes the need for all us to help preserve our endangered species. I hope the garden will inspire visitors as it highlights the notion of urban corridors and other elements we can include in our gardens to help wildlife thrive" One idea demonstrated in this garden was to let your lawn grow wild to allow nectar-rich plants such as clover to grow, even a small corner of uncut lawn can soon boast some pollinator friendly plants to help out our insects. If the thought of unkept lawn isn't to your liking but you want to help our pollinators, nectar-rich plants can be incorporated into your beds and borders. Whilst it was once thought that only native plants would benefit our pollinators that is no longer the case as research is demonstrating how well they can adapt to benefit from non-native varieties as well. Pollinators are often attracted to blue and purple flowers with Lavender, perennial Geranium and Nepeta all making excellent additions to a pollinator-friendly garden.
Featured in many of the natural gardens, Achillea or 'Yarrow' is an easy to grow, long flowering perennial perfect for mixed beds and borders with the added bonus of being loved by pollinators. With flat heads holding an abundance of tiny, individual flowers and feathery, aromatic leaves these plants are attractive to a wide range of pollinators and are often found in wildlife friendly gardens. We grow some varieties of Achillea on our own nursery, further information on them can be found here.
Inspiring future gardeners
After the success of the Duchess of Cambridge's co-designed RHS Back to Nature Garden at Chelsea it was rebuilt at Hampton Court Palace to once again encourage families and communities to engage with nature and spend time in the great outdoors. Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, said: “It’s wonderful this collaboration with HRH The Duchess of Cambridge continues and carries on inspiring families to get together and enjoy the great outdoors and get back to nature!" Also featured at the Festival is the Believe in Tomorrow garden born from a project with primary schools in Brixton which featured many fun elements included to help children explore and learn about their environment.
If you're feeling inspired by Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival call into our garden centre to pick out your own 'perfect perennials'