Current Issues, Events, Gardening Year, George, Hampton Court Flower Show, News, RHS

Now that the Christmas madness is over, it’s time to settle down and turn to the year ahead. Whether you want to plan an outing or stock up on plants for your own garden, there are plenty of upcoming gardening events to suit you. We’ve put together a calendar of garden events in 2016 so every month this year can be packed full of horticultural days out!

Check out the 2019 gardening events calendar!

Gardening Events 2016 Calendar

2016 Gardening Events

January

30-31 Big Garden Birdwatch – contribute to the RSPB’s annual survey by recording the birds you spot in your garden over an hour this weekend.

February

6 – 6 Mar Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens – visit the Princess of Wales Conservatory as it is transformed into a paradise of tropical Brazilian plants.
16 – 17 RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair – get your garden going with colourful winter and early spring flowers at Lawrence Hall.
26 – 27 RHS London Botanical Art Show – view the world’s best botanical masterpieces on display and meet the artists at Lindley Hall.

March

11 – 13 The Edible Garden Show – be inspired to grow and cook your own produce with this event at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire.
12 RHS On Tour at Wimbledon Farmers’ Market – pick up expert gardening advice and locally produced, quality food at this free event.

April

1 – 2 RHS London Spring Plant Extravaganza – find exciting new plants and see magnificent orchid displays from the experts at Lindley Hall.
15 – 17 RHS Show Cardiff – visit the stunning show gardens at Bute Park and Cardiff Castle, take part in family activities and browse many gardening product stalls.
21 – 24 Harrogate Spring Flower Show – take in the show gardens, live entertainment and displays in the plant pavilion before a bit of shopping.

May

5 – 8 RHS Malvern Spring Festival – explore gardening workshops, fabulous show gardens and family events in the stunning Malvern Hills.
24 – 28 RHS Chelsea Flower Show – visit the most famous gardening exhibit with world-class show gardens from upcoming and established designers to inspire and amaze.

June

3 – 4 RHS London Rose Show – admire displays by specialist rose growers and pick up tips on how to grow your own at Lawrence Hall.
3 – 5 Gardening Scotland – sample all that Scotland has to offer in gardening and outdoor living at the national gardening festival, held in the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh.
16 – 19 Gardeners’ World Live – hear talks from your favourite Gardeners’ World presenters, be inspired by a variety of show gardens and pick up gardening gifts at the NEC in Birmingham.
25 – 26 Woburn Abbey Garden Show – hone your gardening skills with advice from experts and browse a selection of wonderful plants from UK nurseries in the abbey gardens.

July

5 – 10 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show – wander through a butterfly dome, let the kids enjoy space-themed activities and explore the show gardens.
20 – 24 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park – get ideas from the show gardens to inspire your designs and witness up-and-coming talent in industry competitions.

August

13 – 14 Great Comp Summer Show – enjoy a summer day out browsing local art, plants from nurseries and ornamental gardenware.

September

16 – 18 Harrogate Autumn Flower Show – join live talks and demonstrations, visit the show gardens for autumnal inspiration and be wowed by the giant vegetable competition.
24 – 25 Malvern Autumn Show – enjoy the best of the season’s country food with live demonstrations and stalls, view the floral displays and pick up gardening advice for winter from RHS experts.

October

4 – 5 RHS London Harvest Festival – celebrate autumn with live music, apple bobbing, seasonal food, giant vegetables and gardening advice.
28 – 29 RHS London Shades of Autumn Show – explore horticultural art and design reflecting the best of autumn colours, with planting ideas to brighten your own garden too.

November

12 – 13 RHS London Urban Garden Show – buy beautiful tropical plants and learn how to care for them all year round at this new event in Lindley Hall.

December

17 – 18 RHS London Christmas Show – grab a few last minute Christmas gifts at this new event at Lawrence Hall, featuring plants, seasonal food and gardening sundries.

So there are plenty of wonderful days out for gardening enthusiasts coming up in 2016. A lot of these events have discounts and offers for early booking, so now’s the time to check them out and buy your tickets. We hope you enjoy these outings and have a fantastic year!

George at PrimroseGeorge works in the Primrose marketing team. As a lover of all things filmic, he also gets involved with our TV ads and web videos.

George’s idea of the perfect time in the garden is a long afternoon sitting in the shade with a good book. A cool breeze, peace and quiet… But of course, he’s usually disturbed by his energetic wire fox terrier, Poppy!

He writes about his misadventures in repotting plants and new discoveries about cat repellers.

See all of George’s posts.

Di, Events, Flowers, Guest Posts

Of all the RHS Flower Shows held across the country, I have to admit that the Tatton Show is closest to my heart! It’s almost on our doorstep (well, 20 minutes drive away) and situated in the heart of our beautiful Cheshire countryside.

I cannot believe it’s been 14 years since our very first “Tatton”, and we’ve visited most of them ever since.

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Charlotte, Events, Flowers, Gardening, Guest Posts

Hampton Court Flower Show Preview

I was thrilled last week to receive an invite to the hottest event of the month. Was it the Wimbledon finals, or men’s Olympic relay? No! While both of these would have been welcomed, instead it was something to delight the gardener in me: VIP tickets to the preview evening of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

Hampton Court Swiss Alpine Garden
Swiss Alpine Garden

World of gardens

Perhaps in honour of the Olympics and the many international visitors who will be flooding to London this summer, this year’s show featured four gardens designed to transport guests to faraway lands without leaving the palace grounds.

From Russia to the Azores I wandered, discovering Jordan along the way, finally reaching my favourite of the four, the Swiss Alpine Garden. Designed by Sadie May Stowell, and winner of a Silver Gilt medal, the garden includes a traditional Swiss chalet and glacial lake. The stark contrast between craggy rocks and delicate planting represents a Swiss mountainside, whilst the beautiful wild flowers whisked me away to an alpine meadow.

Conceptual Gardens

Hampton Court Light at the end of the tunnel garden
Light at the End of the Tunnel

Of the Conceptual Gardens, I most enjoyed Light at the End of the Tunnel. Designed by Matthew Childs, a survivor of the 7/7 London Bombings, the garden was crowned ‘Best Conceptual Garden’ and awarded a Gold medal. A one-way system directs visitors through the tunnel-like garden which at first is dark, confined and sparsely planted. Moving along the path the tunnel opens up becoming lighter and revealing, at the end, more voluptuous planting. The journey through the garden depicts the road to recovery taken by the designer following his ordeal in the 2005 bombings, showing how something positive can come from a negative.

Sustainability

Whilst browsing the gardens I was interested to see how many incorporated sustainability into their designs. I was pleased to see a number of environmentally conscious concepts within the displays.

Insect house in Old and New Garden at Hampton Court
Insect house in Old and New Garden, designed by Imogen Cox Associates
Charlotte surrounded by Ecover’s sugar cane field
Charlotte surrounded by Ecover’s sugar cane field

The headline sponsor of this year’s flower show was Ecover whose show feature, designed by Tony Smith, was by far the most ecologically conscious. The display of renewable Arundo donax represented a tropical sugar cane field, inspired by Ecover’s new product packaging. Made entirely from sugar cane the ‘Plant-astic’ packaging offers a sustainable alternative to petrochemical derived plastic bottles. Many trees around the show could be spotted ‘fruiting’ the 100% plant material bottles, demonstrating that packaging really can grow on trees.

The Butterfly Jungles Transitions, designed by Paul Allen, Lucy Hughesdon & Lydia Harvey was another highlight for me. It aims to raise awareness of the worldwide decline in butterflies. There has been a significant lack of butterflies in my own garden this year so I was interested to learn what plant varieties would attract and support them. How do you lure these beautiful creatures to your surroundings? ‘Butterfly Jungles’ incorporates butterfly friendly planting ranging from wildflowers to exotic vegetation. The climax is the tropical greenhouse which is home to a striking selection of butterflies. Wing your way over to the display and you may be lucky enough to spot some of the common UK butterfly species which will be released during the show.

Romantic Roses

I spent a considerable amount of time in the Romance & Roses Marquee, enjoying the sight and fragrance of the hundreds of rose varieties on show. I was determined to find the perfect gift for my grandparents’ forthcoming Diamond Wedding Anniversary. There were a number of aptly named roses but none of the blooms seemed special enough to mark an incredible 60 years of marriage. If you know of a glorious ‘diamond’ rose, I’d be delighted to hear about it.

Being a romantic at heart, the flower which stood out for me was ‘William & Catherine’ a delicate lace-like variety reminiscent of the stunning dress worn by Miss Middleton at her marriage to Prince William last year. Another personal favourite was ‘Champagne Cocktail’, with gorgeous variegated pink and yellow petals.

William & Catherine white roses at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Rose ‘William & Catherine’

Champagne Cocktail yellow and red variegated rose
Rose ‘Champagne Cocktail’

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It was whilst viewing these beauties that I was dragged from the marquee to enjoy a cocktail of my own at a reception with delightful musical accompaniment. This was followed by a sumptuous 4-course dinner in the Allium restaurant, with panoramic views over the show. The evening closed with a breathtaking fireworks display over the Long Water, my enjoyment of which was not hampered by the persistent rain.

If you’re heading to Hampton Court this year you’re guaranteed to discover a few delights and I look forward to hearing your highlights. If I have any advice to offer it would be to check the weather forecast- Take it from me, open-toed wedges and muddy walkways are not a great combination! Secondly, allow yourself plenty of time to explore. Although it’s a privilege to be among the first to view the show, the preview evening was a little too short to enable me to see everything I’d hoped. However this does give me a reason to return for a second viewing. Encore!

– Charlotte