The Dream of the Indianos at RHS Hampton

A flamboyant 19th century style Galician pleasure garden is set to entice visitors to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival (2nd to 7th July 2019) for sponsors the Spanish Tourist Office and Turismo de Galicia.

‘The Dream of the Indianos’ sees the return of designer Rose McMonigall to RHS Hampton with a garden designed to tell the rags to riches story of 19th century emigrants who travelled abroad to make their fortune and then return to north-west Spain to build lavish mansions and gardens.

The garden highlights the history of those ambitious people and their turn-of-the-century gardens which are a lesser known chapter of Spain’s horticultural past.

Described as ostentatious in style and laid out with new and exotic plant varieties – including shockingly out-of-place palm trees – the garden will demonstrate how the Indianos used their gardens as the ultimate status symbol. Having made their wealth in the West Indies, the philanthropic Indianos built homes heavily influenced by Caribbean colonial and elegant French design.

New materials such as ironwork and concrete added into the mix to create a major and startling impact on Galician life, with elements that are still visible today. Rose has designed the imagined front garden of a pink Galician mansion with a dramatic double staircase sweeping down to a clipped topiary, double circle parterre and white marble water feature.

(pictured above: Rose on the 2018 garden)

Two signature phoenix palms will dominate the space, softened with traditional Galician plants such as camellias and blue mophead hydrangeas, as well as canna lilies and yew.

Rose McMonigall said: “I was spellbound by the story of these dynamic people who made their dreams come true, returning to their Galician homeland to create their personal, paradise gardens. Quite a few of these gardens have been lost but you can still sense what these once glorious spaces would have felt like as now giant palm trees stud the landscape. The mansions themselves give an enticing glimpse into the once-lavish lifestyles led by the Indianos.

The garden will evoke the flamboyant style of the Indianos but it will use mainly plants which gardeners can enjoy in the UK, so ideal for show goers who want an exotic but formal vibe in their own outdoor spaces.

Javier Piñanes, director of the Spanish Tourist Office in the UK, said: “We are delighted to bring this unique and eccentric garden design to Hampton Court this year.  Los Indianos that returned to Galicia contributed a great deal to the styles and architectural trends that can be found in Galicia today. This garden is a celebration of this heritage.”

This will be the fourth garden that Rose has designed for the Spanish Tourist Board at RHS Hampton Court. Last year she created Rías de Galicia: A Garden at the End of the Earth, in 2017 The Pazo’s Secret Garden and in 2016 The Route of the Camellia.

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Photo Credit: all photographs ©Spanish Tourist Office/Rose McMonigall.