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RHS Hampton: this is how British gardens may look in the not too distant future...

·2-min read
Photo credit: Luke MacGregor
Photo credit: Luke MacGregor

The quintessential British garden is changing and Jamie Butterworth's RHS Garden for a Green Future shows us how our gardens may look in the not too distant future.

On display at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival (formerly the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show), Jamie's garden design raises awareness of the climate change crisis and suggests what adjustments need to be embraced in order for our gardens to flourish.

'We need to adapt to the changes that are happening in our climate rather than fight against them. This garden seeks to show how we can do that,' says Jamie, garden designer and Managing Director of Form Plants. 'Plant selection is key, choosing varieties that are best able to cope with our increasingly unpredictable weather, and water management too, capturing rainwater, maximising its usage and directing its flow.'

With mounding landforms throughout, a versatile plant selection in hues of soft lilac, rich purple and zesty yellow, and cocooned seating areas nestled amongst dense planting, there are lots of take-home ideas for every type of gardener.

Drought-tolerant perennials and tough meadow mixtures feature on the slopes and tops of the mounds – these are broken up with 'rivers' of water that fill during winter flooding, but in July are mostly dry, arid areas where only cobbles, shingle, pebbles and self-sown flowers subsist.

Photo credit: Lynn Keddie
Photo credit: Lynn Keddie

Plants chosen for their resilience include topiarised field maple (Acer campestre), Koelreuteria paniculata and Acanthus mollis. Moisture-loving planting such as pollarded willows (Salix), Rodgersia and Persicaria thrive in the damper, lower-lying parts of the garden. Download the full plant list.

Elsewhere in the garden, beautiful multi-stem trees create dappled shade and distinctive structure.

Local nursery, Form Plants, have grown or supplied all of the plants and trees for the garden. Based at Dorney Court, just outside Windsor in Surrey, the nursery only uses peat free compost and biodegradable pots for its stock which is cared for by trained horticulturists.

Jamie says he feels 'truly privileged' to have designed the feature garden as it carries such a vital message.

'Gardening is all about care-taking and nurturing the earth and we all need to adopt a gentler hand in order to manage the changes that we are experiencing,' he says. 'If we can learn to adapt to these, rather than battle against them, our gardens and wildlife will flourish.'

Tour the garden below...

Photo credit: RHS/Tim Sandall
Photo credit: RHS/Tim Sandall
Photo credit: RHS/Tim Sandall
Photo credit: RHS/Tim Sandall
Photo credit: Lynn Keddie
Photo credit: Lynn Keddie
Photo credit: Lynn Keddie
Photo credit: Lynn Keddie
Photo credit: RHS/Tim Sandall
Photo credit: RHS/Tim Sandall
Photo credit: RHS/Tim Sandall
Photo credit: RHS/Tim Sandall
Photo credit: Luke MacGregor
Photo credit: Luke MacGregor

For all the latest news on the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021 supported by Viking, visit RHS.org.uk.

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