Hampton Court Flower Show 2014

There couldn't really be a better setting for the world's largest annual flower show than Hampton Court Palace. Nathan James Dodd reports on the attractions to see and do this year.

Created by Nathan James Dodd on Tuesday, 8th of July, 2014.
Updated on Friday, 6th of May, 2016.

Built for Cardinal Wolsey and then commandeered by Henry VIII, walking along the river you pass the imposing great gatehouse and catch sight of the impressive gardens before reaching Thames Gate.

Inspiring Gardens

Once inside the show, you immediately enter the Inspire zone with ideas that are perhaps a little too avant garde for the ordinary gardener to contemplate but there's certainly some arresting sights.

Turf Sculptures, no plants just rolling and oddly shaped mounds of soil and grass make an immediate impression, as do the Conceptual Gardens depicting the seven deadly sins.

The Sloth garden intriguingly features a succession of spades planted uphill to reflect the pursuit of goals and a graveyard of lost dreams and ambition. Wrath is depicted by a garden that billows smoke, rising from an angry cluster of fiery red hot pokers.

This zone is also home to the Celebrity Theatre where you can here talks from well known gardeners including Diamuid Gavin, Toby Buckland and Charlie Dimmock.

As you walk through the show there's a great number of retailers from whom you can purchase everything you have ever wanted for your garden – ornaments of all sorts, crafts, outdoor furniture, tools and equipment, landscaping - but the real attraction are the show gardens, in total over thirty of them. 

Show Gardens

Before leaving Inspire, there's the Macmillan Legacy Garden that whimsicallly has dancing nymphs accompanied by a harpist, and the World Vision garden, built from pallets and wooden boxes, devoted to the transformation of Ethopia from an area of famine to a lush landscape exporting bananas, figs, olives and much more. I particularly recommend trying their fresh strong coffee.

There's far too many gardens to mention individually with such diverse influences but this year's top prize was awarded to 'Essence of Australia' in which decking twists through the landscape referencing an Aboriginal serpent as it leads you to what is now a contemporary and cosmopolitan nation.

And don't be dismayed if you garden on a budget, there are a set of gardens that exhibit what great results can be achieved on a relatively modest outlay. Also to really inspire non-professionals there's the winner of this year’s amateur competition whose garden with nine square pools is based on a Roman bathhouse.

Themed Marquees

Next to the Ocean Spray garden, with ponds full of thousands of cranberries, you'll find the Growing Tastes marquee, containing everything from sausages and cheeses to curry ingredients to crusty pies. There's also a cookery theatre with personalities such as James Wong and Mary Berry giving talks.

If it hasn't hit you by now, the scent from the Rose marquee soon will, and inside is just a wonderland showcasing roses of every colour, size, habit. Here you'll find the rose of the year, 'For Your Eyes Only', pink with a dark centre, that will be available in the autumn.

Visit the Country Living marquee if you require the better things in life, clothes, jewellery, cosmetics, interior design ideas before crossing 'The Long Water' to what for me was the star of the show, the RHS Floral Marquee.

Inside there is a huge area overflowing with magical orchids, gladioli bursting out of their display like fireworks, magnificently statuesque carnivores, small but perfectly formed bonsai, dahlias to die for, and wonderful cottage garden plants - it really is a fantastic sight.

Plant Village

Further on in the Grow Zone you can purchase plants from a multitude of nurseries in the Plant Village and also visit a fascinating Plant Heritage marquee that highlights national collections and how important it is to conserve these plants.

Don't worry if you have children, the RHS is very aware that they need to grow the next generation of gardeners. Your offspring won't be bored with the Great War orientated scarecrow competition, taking part in various hands-on activities and inspecting bugs and plants through microscopes in the Invisible Garden.

The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is a pleasure to visit due to its diversity and spaciousness, there is so much to see in such a spectacular location. It takes place from Tuesday 8 July – Sunday 13 July and gates open at 10.00am.

Gardening & Flower Shows

We have also reported on the following gardening shows this year:

Chelsea Flower Show 2014

Gardeners' World Live 2014 

HTA National Plant Show 2014

Related Articles

Hampton Court Flower Show 2016

Hampton Court Flower Show 2016

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show that opens today (5 July) has something to offer everyone, with show gardens, talks, trade stands and plenty more. Nathan James Dodd attended the Press Day and was impressed with how much there is to see.

Author: Nathan James Dodd

Written by Nathan James Dodd.
Published on Tuesday, 5th of July, 2016.

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2015

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2015

With glorious weather predicted, Nathan James Dodd reviews what you can expect to find at this year's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

Author: Nathan James Dodd

Written by Nathan James Dodd.
Published on Tuesday, 30th of June, 2015.

Hampton Court Flower Show

Hampton Court Flower Show

Summer is really gathering pace now and we hope that you've been enjoying our blogs on this year's gardening events.

Author: Nathan James Dodd

Written by Nathan James Dodd.
Published on Tuesday, 1st of July, 2014.

comments powered by Disqus


View RSS Feed


Nathan James Dodd

Garden Designer

View Profile

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

Poinsettias Now Available From Our Garden Centre

Poinsettias Now Available From Our Garden Centre

With Christmas rapidly approaching, our New Oscott Garden Centre has just taken delivery of that most seasonal of plants – the Poinsettia. These are David Hall's tips on to how to keep these beautiful plants at their colourful best.

Author: David Hall

Written by David Hall.
Published on Thursday, 8th of December, 2016.

GardenSite Donates Christmas Tree To Hospice

GardenSite Donates Christmas Tree To Hospice

Our garden centre has been part of the local community for over 60 years, so when one of our partners, David Coton, received a request to donate a Christmas tree to a nearby hospice, he had no hesitation in helping them out.

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Wednesday, 7th of December, 2016.

How To Choose A Real Christmas Tree

How To Choose A Real Christmas Tree

Many people believe that Christmas would not have the same festive feel without the scent of a 'real' Christmas tree. They're naturally fresh, giving off a lovely aroma, and here Martyn Loach gives advice on which ones to buy..

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Tuesday, 6th of December, 2016.

Premier Christmas Lights

Premier Christmas Lights

There's a huge selection of Premier Christmas Lights, and it's no wonder why they are market leaders judging by the variety and innovation that's on offer. This is Andy Taylor's guide to their range of top quality lights and decorations.

Author: Andrew Taylor

Written by Andrew Taylor.
Published on Monday, 28th of November, 2016.