Real Gardens for Real People

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has revealed brand new Lifestyle Gardens at its largest flower festival, RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (2-8 July), supported by Viking Cruises. Featuring plenty of ideas for visitors to grow a garden they love, the four Lifestyle Gardens will be designed by designers who have taken part in previous RHS initiatives that highlight emerging talent.
The Health and Wellbeing Garden’ designed by Alexandra Noble will provide a contemplative space that encourages visitors to move along a continuous path that loops around with no start or end point to inspire a sense of being in the moment. All plants selected have medicinal, edible or fragrant properties to heighten the senses.
Creating a space ideal for socialising with friends, Anca Panait has designed ‘The Entertaining Garden’. Inspired by the popular spirit gin, the garden will see a range of traditional and more unusual botanicals alongside a bespoke outdoor bar for entertaining on a long summer’s evening.
Awe-inspiring and ahead of the trend, ‘The Style and Design Garden’ by Ula Maria combines style and design for a garden to be admired. Creating a contemporary interpretation of an orchard in an urban setting, it will be a bricolage inspired by an antiquarian’s eccentric lifestyle, world travels and passion for antiques.
The fourth garden by designer Lilly Gomm will be fun, functional and family-friendly. ‘The Family Garden’ is a space to live life, for adults to unwind and children to explore. The design will be relaxed and immerse visitors in nature with much of the planting chosen to support and attract wildlife while providing a space to learn more about the environment.
Gemma Lake, RHS Show Manager, says: “We are committed to inspiring new talent and encouraging more young people to pursue a career in horticulture. With the Lifestyle Gardens we hope to not only inspire visitors with lots of take home ideas but also highlight emerging talent and with this year marking the centenary of votes for women, we are delighted to celebrate upcoming women in the industry.”
Show Gardens
Show sponsor Viking Cruises is teaming up with multi-award-winning designer Stephen Hall to create ‘The Viking Cruises Nordic Lifestyle Garden’. Celebrating the Nordic way of life and love of nature, the space will feature a traditional sauna hut with a wooden framed plunge pool whilst Nordic trees and shrubs like Silver Birch and Pine trees form a woodland edge for a natural setting.
Also highlighting the benefits of outdoor spaces, Steve Dimmock and Paula Holland present ‘The RNIB Community Garden’, a sensory experience to celebrate RNIB’s 150 years and inspired by Dimmock’s own temporary sight loss. A safe and accessible space, it creates a sense of unity rather than isolation often associated with sight loss.
The Children with Cancer UK Mr. Happy Mr. Worry Hill’ garden in collaboration with Mr. Men / Little Miss Ltd have joined forces to showcase the charity’s work over the past 30 years. First time designer Emma Reed sets the garden within the home of the Mr. Men characters to highlight the resilience and emotional experiences of families living with cancer.
Other highlights include ‘The South West Water Green Garden’ by newcomer Tom Simpson which showcases the sustainable management of rainwater and Rhiannon Williams returns with ‘The Landform Garden Bar’ which embraces a modern alfresco lifestyle.
The popular World Gardens also return exploring worldwide destinations including Chile, the USA and Galicia.
The Conceptual Gardens bring powerful and thought-provoking designs inspired by current issues in our society. First time designer Joseph Gibson will be creating ‘Conscious Consumerism’ to address the animal agriculture industry and its role in deforestation.
Meanwhile, ‘A Very Modern Problem’ by Polly Wilkinson explores the problem of stylised images of ‘reality’ across social media and the potential impact it can have on our wellbeing. The garden is divided by a model smartphone, one side represents an unfiltered reality; disorganised and unremarkable, with a certain charm. The other, unachievable and impractical; the filtered reality we expose ourselves to online.
The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will run from 2-8 July with an exclusive Preview Evening* held on Monday 2 July. For further information or to buy tickets, please visit the RHS website at

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