Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021 (formerly the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show) is the largest garden event in the world.
Like pretty much all events last year, RHS Hampton was cancelled due to the pandemic, but it’s now scheduled to return in July (5th-11th), and it’ll be the first major RHS Show this year ahead of the likes of Tatton Park Flower Show (21st-25th July) and the Chelsea Flower Show (21st-26th September).
The festival will provide plenty of inspiration for visitors, with an abundance of beautiful gardens and plants on display, a great programme packed with talks, demonstrations and workshops, plus live music and shopping.
Following the Government’s coronavirus conference on 14th June 2021, during which Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that lockdown easing in England will be delayed by four weeks until 19th July, RHS Hampton will still be able to go ahead as planned with additional safety measures in place, say the organisers.
Some of these measures include visitors requiring a covid-19 rapid lateral flow test before attending the show, as well as socially distanced queueing systems, and changes to layouts in popular areas.
‘The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is working closely with Public Health England and awaiting confirmation on the numbers allowed on site at RHS Hampton Court but is confident that the popular festival will be able to run near to usual capacity,’ RHS said in a statement.
The RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021 returns from 5th – 11th July.
Monday 5th July is Preview Evening from 5pm – 10.30pm. The exclusive Preview Evening is the perfect opportunity for those wanting to be one of the first to experience this year’s gardens. You’ll get to enjoy a summer evening listening to live music with a magnificent fireworks display to add to the festivities.
The remaining opening times are:
• Tuesday 6th to Wednesday 7th July, RHS Members only: 10am – 7pm
• Thursday 8th to Saturday 10th July, RHS Members and Public: 10am – 7pm
• Sunday 11th July, RHS Members and Public: 10am – 5pm (At 4pm on the last day of the show the plant sell-off begins)
As its name suggests, the event will be held in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace.
The full address is:
Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU
Tickets to RHS Hampton are on sale now and can be bought at rhs.org.uk/shows.
Please note, tickets are cheaper if you’re an RHS member, plus you also get unlimited access to the RHS gardens including Wisley in Surrey, Rosemoor in Devon, Harlow Carr in North Yorkshire, Hyde Hall in Essex and the newly-built Bridgewater in Greater Manchester, plus free entry to partner gardens.
All visitors will be required to take a lateral flow test before travelling to RHS Hampton and have recent evidence to prove a negative result before being admitted to the event. Lateral flow tests are available for free and can be taken at home or at a local test site. Visit nhs.uk.
Tests need to be taken the day before or the morning before you travel to RHS Hampton. Proof of a negative test can be provided as a printed document, an email, or a text message, and visitors must provide proof of a negative test even if you have been vaccinated. Children aged under 11 do not need to take a test.
Any ticket holders who test positive will be offered an exchange to the 2022 show, a credit or a full refund in line with RHS terms and conditions.
The RHS are also implementing a number of covid safety measures at Hampton to help keep visitors and staff safe. The following measures are being planned:
• Socially distanced queueing systems at the entrance gates and at key points e.g. catering areas.
• Extra parking/park and ride to assist with larger numbers driving to the event.
• Changes to layouts and expertise in crowd management to avoid build up in popular areas.
• Enhanced cleaning regime and waste disposal.
• Hand sanitiser available to staff and visitors at strategic points.
• Cashless transactions where possible.
• Track and trace check-in as per the guidance during show week.
Immerse yourself in flowers and plants of every kind at the Floral Marquee and Plant Village, plus buy plants, and seek free advice from specialist growers. Roses lovers should most definitely head to the famous Festival of Roses where enchanting aromas abound.
Learn practical tips and get advice on gardening, floristry, design, food, health and wellbeing from a range of celebrity experts on the Festival Stage and at Dig In Live. Guests this year will include Mary Berry, Jean-Christophe Novelli, Arit Anderson, Adam Frost and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall amongst many others.
You can also hear from model-turned-horticulturist Poppy Okotcha on creating her own edible and medicinal garden in Devon, and general tips about ‘growing your own’ from food writer and grower Mark Diacono, and The Grenfell Gardener, Tayshan Hayden-Smith.
Elsewhere, browse boutique trade stands selling gardening accessories, tools, homewares and artisan crafts. Or head to the Country Living Pavilion for one-of-a-kind products, unusual gifts and indulgent treats. There will also be live music and entertainment throughout.
There are 17 gardens to see at Hampton this year across several categories:
- Feature Gardens
- Show Gardens
- Lifestyle Gardens
- Global Impact Gardens
- Get Started Gardens
Highlights include The RHS No Dig Allotment Demonstration Garden, inspired by Charles Dowding’s 40 years of experience pioneering and developing no-dig techniques, and Stephanie Hafferty’s decades of organic allotment growing and running no-dig kitchen gardens.
The Canal & River Trust: Message in a Bottle garden, designed by Tracy Foster, aims to highlight the action we can all take to help prevent plastic pollution – whether within our own gardens, or in urban green spaces in our towns and cities, and around our canals and rivers.
The RHS Cut Flower Garden, designed by Carien van Boxtel, takes inspiration from the Dutch flower fields with repetitive ribbons of colourful blooms. It represents Carien’s working garden during the pandemic.
And make sure to stop by at the RHS Rose Tea Garden, designed by Nikki Tibbles of Wild At Heart. Taking inspiration from the Edwardian era, the garden is a refuge of serenity and a place to enjoy a cup of tea in a tranquil setting.
Headline sponsor Viking will return with 2018’s RHS Young Designer of the Year, Will Williams, to create The Viking Friluftsliv Garden. This garden takes inspiration from the Scandinavian lifestyle and its design principles and will feature an outdoor kitchen and a snug seating area with an exterior fireplace.
The ‘Get Started Gardens’ is a brand new category showcasing small garden plots which highlight simple, low cost and achievable ideas, all packed with inspiring designs and colourful planting combinations.
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