Highlights RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2024

Returning to the historic grounds of Hampton Court Palace from 2-7 July 2024, the annual RHS show, stretching over 31 acres is packed with all things gardening – herewith a few highlights…

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Highlights for the 2024 show


  • The entirely peat-free, the RHS Feature Garden which is designed by Arit Anderson. A show case for peat free gardening, from plug to plot and highlights the fact that sustainable alternatives can be used to make a beautiful garden. Anderson’s design for the RHS Peat-Free Garden mimics an untouched peatland, before transitioning into a recognisable domestic garden complete with shaded as well as sun loving borders and beds. The plants for the garden have been sourced from growers including Golden Valley Plants and Rijnbeek, and partners in the RHS Peat-free Fellowship, such as Farplants and Hilliers.
  • The Money-Saving Garden designed by author of the ‘Money-Saving Gardener’, Anya Lautenbach and RHS Ambassador, Jamie Butterworth. The garden will showcase how to create a beautiful garden from plants that can be grown for free, save money gardening and show how nurturing plants is good for your health, wellbeing and the planet. In addition to (frugal) planting, the garden will feature reused and recycled materials, from old containers or pots, plant supports and paving slabs from online recycling groups.
  • The Climate Forward Garden, designed by Melanie Hick is a front garden re-imagined with sustainability and style. Front gardens are becoming a rarity, with many being paved over to accommodate (electric) cars but they could represent a vital refuge for plants and wildlife. This garden is designed for homeowners keen to turn their front garden, or courtyard into a more climate-friendly retreat, taking inspiration from the conditions and natural hues of the Australian bush.
  • The Pocket Planting gardens, themed Resilience for 2024 and are mentored by award-winning garden designer Tom Massey and supported by Hortus Loci. This design category is for new garden design talent whom may be currently studying, or recently graduated, or new to the industry, offering an opportunity to kick-start, or further their careers in the horticultural industry whilst gaining exposure and experience exhibiting at an RHS Show. For the first time, the Resilient Pocket Planting category will be judged by RHS judges. Some very interesting ideas on show, look out for:
    • Beautifully Stressed Garden by the University of Sheffield to show the resilience of plants and their ability to adapt to stressful environments. Inspired by the capabilities of stress-tolerant plants to survive and flower on brownfield sites, the garden draws attention to those plants that can find a home in places where most others do not and shows the potential that many common plants have for survival. Designed by Xun Xie, Jingwen Liu, Andrew McMaster and Awika Butnark
    • The Moonshadow Moth Garden, designed by Sarah Mayfield, supports the charity The Wild Flower Conservation Society and explores the theme of resilience with a day-to-night garden celebrating moths. There are 2,500 species of moths in Britain, but their numbers have declined by 28% since the 60s. The design encourages gardeners to consider how planting with moths in mind can help strengthen their garden’s ecosystem and its resilience.
    • The Ripple Effect Raingarden designed by Dr Sarah Cotterill, founder of Wild Atlantic Gardens. Very apt timing considering current weather conditions. Inspiring homeowners to capture rainwater, prevent stormwater runoff and showcasing adaptable plants that can withstand temporary water logging.

Talks & demonstrations

  • Advolly Richmond will be doing presentations on the Get Growing Festival Stage. Richmond, a plants and gardens historian is the author of A Short History of Flowers and will be speaking about the intriguing histories behind the plants and flowers that shape our gardens.
  • Charles Dowding will be speaking about No Dig on the Get Growing Festival Stage where he will explain the why and how of this cultivation method. Since 1982, Dowding has created and cropped from his no dig market gardens, the enviable produce of which one can admire on his social media channels. He has written 11 books, provides online gardening courses, writes for gardening magazines, and gives talks/courses online, at home and abroad.
  • Carol Klein, needs no introduction. Klein, a plantswoman at heart will sharing her plant growing expertise in her talks entitled ‘Grow Your Own Showgarden’ on the Get Growing Stage.
  • On the How to Stage, look out for; Kate Bradbury the author, journalist and TV presenter, specialising in much needed, wildlife gardening. Mark Diacono, prolific writer of fabulous plot-table cookery books, always witty, and brimming with intriguing inspiration as to recipes and novel kitchen garden ingredients. Diacono will be speaking about new directions in horticulture for wellbeing. Jekka McVicar for advice on all things herbs, her knowledge of growing and using herbs is second to none. Also good to see a few exhibitors speaking, such as Felco and Niwaki on how to sharpen secateurs and keep your tools in good condition. After their success at RHS Chelsea, Tabi Jackson Gee and Kent Wildflower Seeds, will be speaking about using wildflowers in gardens to support soil health and for habitat creation. The Caley Brothers will be speaking about how to grow beautiful, delicious mushrooms at home and the Land Gardeners, Henrietta Courtauld and Bridget Elworthy will be sharing their unique recipes to heal soil.


The show hosts hundreds of exhibitors, spread around the showground, in the Plant Village and Floral Marquee. Too many to mention here, but keep an eye out for:

  • Burnoose Nurseries, armed with their 2024 Gold Medal from RHS Chelsea, the Cornwall based Burnoose nurseries always have interesting trees, shrubs and perennials on show.
  • Caley Brothers for all things edible fungus from the curious to the beautiful. Established by Tina Guillory, an environmentalist and gardener in 1995.
  • Carrier Company for sustainable heritage workwear designed for gardening and nature exploration
  • Crocus, the mail order purveyor of all things plants and gardening, featuring a myriad of their attractive Crocus Collection products designed by Julia Leakey.
  • Daisy Roots, a small independent nursery, part of the Plant Fairs Roadshow team, run by Annie Godfrey and partner Steve Machin. They specialise in drought-tolerant plants and have an eclectic range.
  • Fiskars tools. A favourite of the editor of thedirt.news on account of their range being suited especially for the taller gardener.
  • Ladder specialist Henchman will be revealing the winners of the inaugural Henchman Topiary Awards
  • Hortus Loci. Nursery extraordinaire, purveyor of RHS Chelsea show gardens and a favourite of many, many, many garden designers. Since 2017, they also have a retail plant centre in Hampshire.
  • Niwaki. Irresistible gardening paraphernalia from the sharpest secateurs to snazzy tripod ladders.
  • She Grows Veg, beautiful heritage vegetable seeds.
  • The Botanic Nursery for their ever amazing foxgloves.

Location, location, location

Whilst at the show, the Hampton Court Palace Kitchen Garden are certainly worth a look – especially the Kitchen Garden which has been restored to an approximation of how it would have looked in the 18th century. The one acre Rose Garden, built on the site of Henry VIII tournament grounds, has been evolving since the 1930s and should be brimming with roses at the time of the show.

Hampton Court Palace is the holder of three important National Plant Collections – Heliotropium, Lantana and Queen Mary II’s Exoticks which is designated a Heritage Collection.

The world’s oldest grapevine Vitis vinifera ‘Schiava Grossa’ (Black Hamburg) lives at the palace and was planted in 1768 when Capability Brown oversaw the gardens.