As GardenSIte's plant specialist I always keenly anticipate the HTA National Plant Show. This is my chance to visit nurseries, find out what's trending in the horticultural world and source new stock, all from under one roof.
The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show takes place next month and Nathan James Dodd looks forward to what you'll discover at the largest annual show of its kind.
With something for everyone whatever their level of gardening interest or experience, the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show runs for six days, and is now the most impressive gardening event in the world.
Garden designs are always intriguing at Hampton Court, and this year there's likely to be a fabulous collection with the key theme of 'Health, Happiness and Horticulture'.
You may well have read the blogs regarding this subject that have been written recently for The Gardener, about gardening's therapeutic qualities, how it can improve quality of life and play a part in combating illness.
The gardens are divided into seven categories with naturalism and well-being emphasized by the Show Gardens. Conceptual Gardens always entertain and challenge with contemporary influences, and there are also Water Gardens with one from the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, and sweet smelling lavender features heavily in the Summer Gardens.
World Gardens have the ability to whisk you across the globe, there are Capability Brown gardens to celebrate the famous garden designer and, at the other end of the spectrum, a City Garden category to showcase what can be achieved in a compact space.
As in past years, the vast Floral Marquee is packed with superb exhibits from specialist nurseries and organisations, and the Festival of Roses also offers marvellous displays of colour and scent from Britain's best breeders.
Celebrity gardeners will be on hand giving demonstrations and talks in the Roses and Floristry Theatre and then there's the Plant Village where you can stock up on some wonderful and unusual garden plants and flowers.
If you have children, Family Saturday will keep them entertained with story telling, cookery classes and many more activities that have a rocket science theme which are both fun and educational.
Finally, and particularly exciting if you are a photographer and lover of wildlife, you can walk through the the Butterfly Dome where thousands of Indonesia and South America species will be flying freely. It should be a magnificent sight.
The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show runs from Tuesday 5 July – Sunday 10 July.
Nathan James Dodd
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