Hampton Court show garden to celebrate women gardeners

Floral fragrance house Yardley London and horticulture charity Perennial are collaborating on an RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show garden to celebrate women's influence in gardening.

Lavender. Image: RHS
Lavender. Image: RHS
Designed by Jean Wardrop and Alexandra Stevenson, A Growing Obsession – the Yardley London Perennial Garden recreates the elegance of a Victorian lady’s flower garden, inspired by Jane Loudon’s 1840 book Instructions in Gardening for Ladies. 

The garden’s design reflects the grandeur of the Victorian age, with the formal, geometric bedding shapes, pathways for promenading and a terrace with balustrade framing the view. A a decorative glasshouse from Griffin Glasshouses will host exotics, while the fernery will contain a variety of mosses and ferns growing up a vertical rockery. Fragrant flowers including lavender and roses will feature strongly, aligning with the launch of the Yardley London fragrance range.

Designer Jean Wardrop said: "The Victorian influences on gardening are fascinating, particularly in relation to women in gardening, and we hope to have captured some of that in our show garden. We have carefully selected plants and materials inspired by 19th century discoveries and practices, so visitors will get a true flavour of the legacy the Victorians left us. We are delighted to be working with Yardley London and Perennial whose heritage and values fit so well with the ethos of the garden."

Perennial’s roots are in the Victorian gardening tradition. In 1839, the custodians of Britain’s great estates came together to establish pension funds for their sick, injured and elderly gardeners, and thus Perennial was born. Today it is the UK’s only charity dedicated to helping all people who work in horticulture, and their families, when times get tough.

Historical themes and gardening heritage will be a strong element of this year’s show, which runs from 30 June – 5 July. This year marks both the 25th anniversary of the show and the 500th anniversary of the Hampton Court Palace itself.

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