RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show July 9 – 14th

Make the most of your day out at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

I have just received my RHS show guide for the show and I find it a vital resource to plan the day.  The showground covers 34 acres and attracts around 600 exhibitors.  The organisers are constantly making changes and improvements to the show layout and this year is no different.  I can already see that a number of the show gardens are located in different areas and that the small gardens have moved completely so it’s easy to miss something.

1. If you have an advanced copy of the show guide study it before you go and make a list of what you want to see and get familiar with the show layout.  Alternatively there is plenty of information on the show website http://www.rhs.org.uk/Shows-Events/RHS-Hampton-Court-Palace-Flower-Show/2013

2.  Why not arrive in style and come by boat. The services are available from Hampton Court Station, Kingston Bridge or The park and ride car park at Molesey Lock. Details are on the website

3. Look out for the plant crèches where you can leave your purchases and collect later

4. Food – There are ample food outlets from fine dining and champagne bars to the food court areas but why not take a packed lunch and get a exit pass at  the Thames entrance and have a picnic by the River.

5. Footwear – With the showground covering a huge 34 acres it’s vital to be comfortable. The terrain can vary from soft grass, bark chips and sometimes mud. Soft flat shoes or trainers are ideal.

6. Dress – The weather often varies from a cool start to blistering sun at midday and showers by 4. So take layers, sunglasses and a waterproof.  Avoid umbrellas as they get it the way.

7. Avoid the leaflet temptation. We’ve all done it, gone to a show and come home with a bag full of brochures which we never look at.  Why carry them around all day, all the exhibitors are on the website and in the show guide.  If it’s of real interest ask for a business card instead or make a note of the company name.

8. Don’t forget to choose your favourite garden and vote for it on-line via the BBC

9. Take a notebook to write down any plant names you want to remember

10. Don’t forget your camera and spare batteries

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