Camellias to star in first Spanish Hampton Court garden

Spain's first-ever garden at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show next week will transport visitors to Galicia's Camellia Territory and the Camino de Santiago.

Artist's impression of the Route of the Camellia garden. Image: Supplied
Artist's impression of the Route of the Camellia garden. Image: Supplied

Designed by Rose McMonigall for the Spanish Tourist Office and Turismo de Galicia, the 'Route of the Camellia' garden celebrates the beauty of the Galician Camellia territory and the iconic and ancient pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago.  The garden is being built by Bowood Landscapes and is entered in the World Gardens category.

A path of scallop shells, sourced from Galician waters, will lead visitors through the garden on a journey symbolic of that taken by pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostela, whist a carpet of camellia petals will represent the ancient Camellia trees which populate many of the gardens of the region's pazos (palaces).

"The Spain garden aims to encapsulate the journey of the pilgrimage, drawing the viewer's imagination into the garden and emphasising the wild and beautiful surroundings of this special corner of Spain" said McMonigall.

All plants, mosses and wild flowers in the garden are indigineous to Galicia. The garden will feature an 8ft camellia tree, a 35ft birch, hydrangeas, weathered cobbles, a granite Virgin Mary shrine and the symbol of St James the Great, the scallop shell.

The Camino de Santiago, dating back as far as the 9th century, is today enjoyed by many "pilgrims" from across the globe although many visit for non-religious reasons.

Galicia is a renowned flower destination, also known as 'the land of camellias'. These traditionally south Asian flowers have become such an integral part of the region that visitors to Galicia can follow a dedicated 'Camellia Route'; a journey that passes from northern to southern Galicia through 12 manor houses and gardens where camellias are the focus.

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