Beauty of Galacian coast at RHS Hampton Court

The breathtakingly beautiful Atlantic coast of north west Spain will be brought to life at the 2018 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show with a show garden designed by Rose McMonigall. The garden is a collaboration between the Spanish Tourist Office and Turismo de Galicia and will evoke, on a small scale, the extraordinary landscape of the Rías De Galicia, the estuaries on the rugged Galician coast.

‘Rias De Galicia: A Garden at The End of the Earth’ depicts the secluded coves that are dotted throughout the region, celebrating these coastal havens, their wild flora and the local tradition of shell-cladding. The garden will also give a nod to the delicious local seafood.

Visitors will be transported to a small cove, sheltered by two coastal pine trees. A path winds up from the beach, past a crumbling sea wall, through a selection of salt-resistant shrubs, rock plants and flowering grasses, to a weather-beaten fisherman’s cottage.

The backdrop depicts the distant hazy mountains of Finisterre using a panelled art installation filled with scallop shells to form an impressionist collage. Historically, the walls of buildings in this region were often clad in porous scallop shells to reduce humidity inside. The scallop shell is a sacred icon of the pilgrims on the nearby Camino to Santiago de Compostela and is the symbol of St James.

Shells will be scattered on the beach and traditional mussel baskets, nets and Galician lobster pots will feature.

Although the garden evokes the beauty of Galicia, the plants Rose uses can easily be purchased in the UK, so ideal for show-goers to use in their own outdoor spaces, particularly those with extremely free-draining soil or who live in exposed sites or near the sea.

Succulents such as sedums (stonecrop), saxifrage (rockfoils) and sempervivum (houseleeks) will feature with eryngium (sea hollies) stipa (grasses) and rosemary, thymes and fennels.

Designer Rose McMonigall said: “Falling at the brink of the summer holidays, I always think RHS Hampton Court has a happy atmosphere, vibrant with colour and thoughts of long, lazy days outside. I’m so excited to be creating a garden which paints a picture of an idyllic scene, a secluded beach on the Atlantic coast of Galicia, glimpsed through pine trees, with the ultimate hideaway of a fisherman’s cottage nestled amid the wild-looking vegetation. 
I’ve aimed to create a garden rich in atmosphere but using a palette of plants that can be used in any garden, especially with sandy, rocky or coastal conditions – an Impressionist memory of happy seaside holidays in your own special space at home.

Javier Piñanes, director of the Spanish Tourist Office is delighted to be collaborating with the region of Galicia and working with Rose McMonigall to present a show garden at RHS Hampton: “Galicia is a very unique, spiritual and cultural destination with an outstanding coastline strung with dramatic cliffs and pretty fishing ports. The interior offers a labyrinth of valleys and hills and is one of Spain’s most green and vibrant regions. We are excited to be bringing a slice of Galicia to London this year and look forward to showcasing some of the highlights at the Flower Show,” he said.

This will be the third garden that Rose has designed for the Spanish Tourist Board at RHS Hampton. Her previous two gardens were each awarded silver-gilt medals.

For more information on the region of Galicia, please visit:  
For more information on RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, please visit 

All photographs©Spanish Tourist Office & Turismo de Galicia. Garden image ©Rose McMonigall.