Documents: Special Interest: Gardening In England:

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show Vital Statistics

6,000 flower pot muffins and three tennis courts’ worth of fresh fruit and vegetables
by RHS
July 4, 2010

The UK’s biggest gardening show is back in full bloom this summer.

Organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, Hampton Court Palace Flower Show has become a much-loved British institution, having gained a reputation for providing some of the world’s best conceptual gardens and a feast of Grow Your Own attractions. Visitors can expect an eclectic showcase of horticultural delights, making it a world class addition to the thriving summer festival season.


The show

  • This is the 21st year of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.
  • The cycle of planning for the show lasts 11 months.
  • Over 160,000 visitors attend the show.
  • Most visitors spend around five hours at the show.
  • The show covers 34 acres.
  • It takes three weeks to build a show garden, and two weeks to build a small garden, but the gardens all come apart in just three days.

Size of the show

  • There are 16 Show Gardens, 14 Small Gardens, six Conceptual Gardens, five Sustainable Gardens and six Shakespeare’s Comedies Gardens.
  • The new Home Grown marquee is 2000 square metres, enough space for 2200 phone boxes.
  • The total size of all the fruit and vegetables on display in the Growing Tastes marquee is 869 square metres, roughly the size of three tennis courts side-by-side.
  • The massive Floral Marquee is 6750 square metres – that’s enough room for Big Ben’s clock tower to fit in four times over.
  • The Rose Festival will feature 287 square metres of roses – equivalent to 13 London bus-loads.

What’s new in 2010?

  • Home Grown is a major new exhibit, which allows visitors to wander past chickens and beehives through fields of golden crops, orchards and a market garden to discover the range of produce grown in the UK today and the journey food makes from plot to plate.
  • Garden designers including Anthea Guthrie and Yvonne Matthews will create six gardens based on Shakespeare’s comedies. Including: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like it, The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night.
  • Visitors will be able to experience all the horticultural delights of Elizabethan England by visiting a Shakespearean allotment. Designed by Barry Locke, Head Gardener of The Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust, the allotment will showcase a range of heritage vegetables including skirrets (a species of water parsnip), crimson-flowered broad beans, purple carrots, quince trees and traditional herbs including hyssop, winter savory and lovage.
  • Celebrating Girlguiding UK’s 100th anniversary, Rainbows, Brownies and Guides from the around the country have created a 24 unique container gardens, planted in recycled objects as diverse as a prosthetic leg, umbrella and 1960’s heated clothes airer.
  • The Herb Society’s 25m2 exhibit will be modelled on the traditional four quadrants of a medicinal or physic garden and will include herbal crops, pharmaceutical crops, essential oil production and wild medicinal herbs.

The exhibitors

  • There are over 600 exhibitors at the show, including gardens, nurseries, floral arrangement and floristry, fruit and vegetable growers and trade stands.
  • There have been seven exhibitors that have taken part in every show. These are: Blackmore & Langdon, The Botanic Nursery, Fibrex Nurseries, Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, Southfield Nursery, Squires Garden Centre and WS Warmenhoven.
  • First timers at the show include:
    • LEGOLAND Windsor Landscape Designer, Paula Young, has created The LEGOLAND Pirates Landing Garden. Colourful LEGO brick models can be seen at every turn and include a band of hapless pirates, parrots, mice and a monkey. Elsewhere, LEGO brick flowers, plants, birds, butterflies and dragonflies can be discovered within the planting.
    • 15-year-old James Callicott has designed ‘An Artists’ Garden’, where half of the garden is planted while the other half is painted.
    • Paul and Tom Harfleet, have collaborated on The Pansy Project Garden, a confrontational concrete structure that references the pavement of the city; where the majority of The Pansy Project’s ongoing artistic activity takes place.

Food and drink

During show week, visitors consume:

  • 49,204 cups of fair-trade tea and coffee
  • 14,745 rounds of sandwiches and 1,500 baguettes
  • 13,859 glasses of Pimm's
  • 14,984 glasses of champagne
  • 5,598 flower pot muffins
  • 4,026 slices of cakes

The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (6-11 July 2010)
6-7 July, RHS Privilege Days
8-11 July, public days
Venue: Hampton Court Palace, East Mosley, Surrey
Tickets: 0844 338 7528 or 

RHS show information: 020 7649 1885 or 

Ticket prices range from £14 to £32 and are on sale now.
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people’s lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row