RHS Hampton Court – good to be back

After the events of the past year there can be no doubt that visitors to the 2021 RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival were more than thrilled to be able to visit a flower show once again, not to mention the pleasure of visiting one in such grand and spacious surroundings.

With a resurgence in popularity of gardening across the country in 2020/21, RHS Hampton Court was certain to be a beacon for leading the way for both the novice and more experienced gardener and so it proved.

Best in Show was awarded to ‘The Cancer Research UK Legacy Garden‘, (above) designed by Tom Simpson, (Gold) marking his hat-trick Gold at RHS Hampton Court. Tom successfully followed up his 2018 and 2019 Golds as well as also succeeding in achieving a second People’s Choice Award. The garden was also awarded the Best Construction Award in the category. Tom’s design incorporated two interlinked circles to create an infinity symbol with a serpentine water feature flowing through the garden. He used a rich tapestry of bold drifts of flowering plants and a strong matrix of grasses in his planting to create a colourful and textural sensory experience for visitors.

The Viking Friluftsliv Garden‘, (above) designed by Will Williams for sponsor Viking, (Silver-Gilt) brought a very Scandinavian touch to RHS Hampton with its simplicity and elegant design.

Best Lifestyle Garden was awarded to ‘A Place to Meet Again‘ (above) designed by Mike Long for the Association of Professional Landscapers (Silver-Gilt). This garden also won the People’s Choice award in that category. The garden featured a lounge area, an area to stand and have drinks and a water feature. The main aim of the design was to inspire visitors to look at objects and their applications in new and creative ways using repurposed features to create interest.

The Communication Garden‘ – in support of Mental Health UK – designed by Amelia Bouquet Garden Design (Silver) was awarded Best Construction Garden – Global Impact & Lifestyle categories) (above)

Best Global Impact Garden was awarded to ‘The Fashion Footprint Garden‘, designed by Baz Grainger (Silver). Highlighting the impact the fashion and textile industry has on the environment and some of the steps we can take to tackle these issues the design took inspiration from the plants that can be used in the production of natural dyes.

Also, in the Global Impact category, ‘Message in a bottle‘ designed by Tracy Foster Garden Design (Silver) attracted a lot of attention as did ‘Extinction‘ designed by Felicity O’Rourke Garden Design. ‘Message in a bottle’ for the Canal and River Trust represented a discarded bottle floating towards the shore with the simple message that we can all help prevent plastic pollution.

‘Extinction’ with its crashed passenger jet proved a stark reminder of how fragile human life on the planet can be and raised awareness of the threats from exploitation and destruction.

In the Floral Marquee, Dibleys Nurseries were awarded Best display for their Streptocarpus and Peter Beales Roses scooped the Best Rose Exhibit. The National Collection of Polypodium Cultivar were awarded Best Plant Heritage Exhibit.

Picture credits: Please note all images are strictly copyright of the undermentioned:

Banner top of page: Rachel De Thame at RHS Hampton Court Flower Festival 2021 ©Credit RHS/Suzanne Plunkett; Cancer Research Garden ©RHS, credit RHS/Neil Hepworth; Viking Friluftsiv Garden ©and Credit Tim Howell (Instagram and Twitter @TimHowellX); Place to meet ©RHS, credit RHS/Joanna Kossak; Communication Garden ©and credit Tim Howell; Fashion Footprint Garden ©and credit RHS/Tim Sandall; Message in a Bottle, ©and credit Tim Howell; Extinction ©Tim Howell.