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First Ever World of Gardens feature PDF Print E-mail

Thursday, 24 May 2012 19:09

Tuesday 4rd - Saturday 8th July 2012

This year will see the first ever ‘World of Gardens' feature at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Incorporating four show gardens, each of which is designed along the theme of a specific country or destination, the area will bring to life the iconic sites of Petra in Jordan and the State Russian Museum in St Petersburg and recreate the landscapes of the Swiss Alps and the Azores. Set against the backdrop of the Palace itself at Hampton Court, this promises to be an exciting and evocative addition to the World's largest flower show, which, this year, is sponsored by Ecover.

The Azorean Garden:

The Azores in conjunction with Sunvil - designed by Stephen Hall

Inspired by the features found on these beautiful, unspoilt islands, The Azorean Garden will depict the individual character and planting of the nine islands that make up the Azores Archipelago. Created by award winning designer Stephen Hall, the garden will introduce visitors to these relatively unknown islands, probably most often associated with the weather forecast, given that much of the UK's weather comes over from the area of the Atlantic near to the Azores.

Often described as the link between Europe and America, the Azores lie in the Atlantic Ocean between Portugal (1,500km) and North America (3,900km). Once thought to be part of the legendary lost continent of Atlantis, because of their remote location, the traditional lifestyle beyond the main towns is virtually unchanged, with a gentle pace of life and tourism in its infancy.

The islands' volcanic formation has endowed them with a spectacular natural beauty. Vast craters, glistening blue lakes, sheer black cliffs, lush rolling valleys, rugged mountains and hot mineral springs and geysers combine to form truly diverse scenery found nowhere else in the world. A temperate climate ensures an abundance of flowers throughout the summer and the deep greens of the lush grasslands contrast markedly with dark volcanic stone walls and neat whitewashed houses.

The garden will include a typical Azorean pool surrounded by Zantedeschia, Canna and Ferns, and will include a gentle waterfall tumbling down over rocks mixed with heathers and Gunnera. There will also be vines, and black basalt features which are so evocative of the region.

The Discover Jordan Garden:

Jordan Tourist Board in partnership with Cox & Kings - designed by Paul Hervey-Brookes

2012 marks the 200th anniversary of the rediscovery of the magnificent 2000 year old city of Petra, carved out of a red sandstone valley and hidden behind mountain peaks. Sponsored by the Jordan Tourist Board in partnership with Cox & Kings, The Discover Jordan Garden has been designed by noted English garden and landscape designer Paul Hervey-Brookes to celebrate the rich landscape and floral diversity of Jordan.

Celebrated for Petra, deserts and Bedouin culture, few are aware of the country's beautiful mountains and beaches, castles and ancient churches, the urbanity of its people and richness of its culture. When most people think of Jordan's natural landscapes, they will probably think of desert or deep, rocky gorges. In reality the scenery changes from this desert landscape to green highlands very swiftly.

For gardeners, Jordan has a vast and rich flora almost double that of the United Kingdom and when the desert is in bloom in Spring, the destination offers one of the richest experiences nature has to offer, with many regions of Jordan carpeted in a dazzling array of flowering plants. Few know that there are over 2500 plant species in Jordan, of which 100 are endemic to the region (including Syria and Lebanon), and ten from Jordan alone.  The Discover Jordan Garden will showcase these natural highlights, introducing visitors to a new and possibly unexpected side of the country and inspiring travel to Jordan to experience it first-hand.

The Russian Museum Garden: Friends of The State Russian Museum of St Petersburg - designed by The Twig Group

The State Russian Museum of St Petersburg has commissioned The Twig Group, based in Goudhurst, Kent, to create a garden designed to introduce British visitors to the beauty and splendour of St Petersburg. The design will reflect the colour, intricacy and splendour of the world's largest collection of Russian art housed in the awe-inspiring Museum in the imperial city of St Petersburg. The garden's design captures in cameo some of the 400,000 exhibits within the Russian Museum's 13 buildings that include the grand Michailovsky, Marble and Stroganov Palaces as well as the Michailovsky Castle of Emperor Paul I.

Visitors will enter the garden through a giant picture frame and under a sparkling chandelier. They will walk into a microcosm of the imperial city, known as the Venice of the North. The garden is partially bordered by a moat, with bridges and islands abundant with trees, container plants and topiary cupolas that mimic the St Petersburg skyline.

The work of Russian avant-garde artist Kazimir Malevich, much of whose early work drew on the landscape and whose art is displayed in the Russian Museum is being represented in the garden by a black vertical planted wall and circle seating area, imitating two of his early 20th century paintings, Black Square and Black Circle. Also in the 10 x 12 square-metre garden are Russian doll sculptures based on sets of nesting Matryoshkas inspired by Malevich. The garden is edged with rustic grasses, symbolic of the St Petersburg city-dwellers weekend exodus to their rural dachas.

Swiss Alpine Garden: Switzerland Tourism - designed by Sadie May Stowell

Designed by award-winning landscape designer, Sadie May Stowell and sponsored by Switzerland Tourism, ‘The Swiss Alpine Garden' will showcase the beauty of the Swiss landscape and its affinity with good health and well-being.

The garden will showcase a high alpine landscape, with key themes of ‘Get Natural' and Switzerland Tourism's 2012 main focus ‘Year of Water', with the intention of attracting visitors, especially in the spring and summer when Switzerland's natural landscapes and flora are best enjoyed.

The layout of ‘The Swiss Alpine Garden' will mirror the characteristic rocky features, alpine meadows and abundance of water that Switzerland has to offer. Swiss mountain streams and rocky mountain peaks will inspire the design together with the clear clean beauty of the native landscape. Alpine meadows and alpine planting will be featured as well as a traditional Swiss chalet which will be located to the side of the garden. The planting will be designed to capture the beauty of the Swiss landscape and also to encompass the theme of well-being through the incorporation of some plants which may occur in herbal/natural remedies.


Encircling the Long Water and with the magnificent palace in the background, the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show offers an idyllic setting for a day of home-grown fun which the whole family can enjoy. Ecover, producer of innovative, effective cleaning products designed to make a healthy and sustainable lifestyle easy, is this year's new headline sponsor for the show. With displays of floral design, inspiration for small spaces and budgets, as well as marquees filled with roses and rare plants, there are also hundreds of shops and stands provide products and accessories for every gardener, from secateurs and planters to barbeques and gazebos. Restaurants, cafés and picnic areas offer the chance to relax in truly magnificent surroundings.

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show Exclusive Preview Evening:

The Exclusive Preview Evening is a wonderful, relaxed and magical evening. Visitors can spend time listening to live music with friends and family while viewing the beautiful gardens and floral displays before tucking into a delicious picnic, or a meal in one of the restaurants. The perfect finish to the evening is a magnificent fireworks display with the superb backdrop of Hampton Court Palace. Tickets start at just £53 for RHS members (£58 for non-members). Additional pre-bookable catering options are available on request.

For more information, please visit www.rhs.org.uk and to buy tickets call 0844 338 7505 (overseas visitors call +44 121 767 4063).

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