A riot of colour and beauty
Faces among the flowers
1. The butterfly dome
The enormous dome by the Thames entrance features tropical planting inside to match a flurry of tropical butterflies, which were acclimatising so they fly well during the show.
Landscaping around the dome will also encourage native butterflies and nectar caterpillars to surround the dome.
Mr Green said: “That’s a big attraction. A lot of people have been talking about that already. It’s been a massive job to get it together but it should be worth it.”
He said it would hopefully encourage people to try wildlife gardening at home. 2. Family day
Saturday (July 9) will see the show’s first ever family day, with many activities to keep children entertained, including CBeebies gardener Mr Bloom, who is appearing in the celebrity theatre.
There is a rocket science theme to the day, including kids’ cookery classes, storytelling in a double decker bus and an astronomical puppet show, after RHS linked up with Tim Peake’s space mission.
Mr Green said: “This will be a really nice day for families. They can see all the normal gardens as well, but there will be extra things for the children to enjoy.” 3. Surrey gardens
Mr Green picked out a few of his favourite gardens this year with Surrey links.
Squires, which has a chain of garden centres throughout the county, has had a garden at Hampton Court in every one of the 26 years and has once again pulled out all the stops on what is its own 80th anniversary.
The business teamed up with previous gold winner Chobham-based garden designer Catherine MacDonald.
Mr Green said: “It’s going to be one of the best things they have ever done here.”
He also mentioned Surrey designer Rae Wilkinson, who has created a garden for a dementia care home filled with features to make it a safe and welcoming space. 4. Festival of Roses Marquee
Mr Green said his team was proud of the annual Festival of Roses Marquee, with the flower more prominent on show publicity this year.
“This time of year the roses are looking really good and we want the roses to be in the centre of the show,” he said.
“It isn’t new but it is one we are really proud of alongside the big Floral Marquee.”
This year the thousands of blooms will be within a cottage garden setting inspired by Beatrix Potters’ garden, marking 150 years since the author’s birth. 5. RHS Greening Britain campaign
Four winners of the Feel Good Front Gardens design contest were announced at RHS Chelsea – Bristol, Kent, Cornwall and Manchester.
Their gardens, designed to highlight the health and wellbeing benefits of gardening to conquer depressing grey spaces, will be built for Grey Hampton Court.
A new city gardens’ category will tie in with this theme, with designers focusing on smaller areas which could be someone’s garden in a built-up area.
Mr Green said: “We added the city gardens this year because people said they want to see more of the things they could do.
“Sometimes they say the big show gardens, they could never have a garden like that, it’s too big. So, we tried to have pocket-sized stuff people can relate to more.” 6. Water gardens
River cruise line Viking Cruises has become the show’s headline sponsor, prompting a return of the water gardens’ category.
Mr Green said: “They were popular for quite a while – really spectacular water features, but they sort of went out of fashion a little bit.”
Viking Cruises’ own garden will feature a small pool with a sloped beach behind, while another will have an immersive room featuring water falling on three sides plus a wetlands-inspired design with water features based around the ecology.
A sight to see: The Festival of Roses.
Kelly Brook under the dome in butterfly world.
The World Vision Garden catches the eye.
Homage to the Olympics: The Rio Games are in August.
Gardens fit for a King.