The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is an annual event produced by the United Kingdom (UK) Royal Horticultural Society. The show lasts for several days in early July, and tickets are generally in high demand. While the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is less prestigious than some other well-known flower shows, it has become the biggest flower show in the world in terms of attendance and event space. This event includes a wide variety of exhibits and workshops, and is geared towards the average home gardener rather than the professional landscaper or designer.
The first Hampton Court Palace Flower Show was held in 1990. It was largely developed and sponsored by British Rail, an unlikely host for a flower and garden event. British Rail convinced numerous agencies to help it put on the event, which was designed to encourage train travel to the show, and thus sell more train tickets. The 1990 Hampton Court Palace Flower Show was considered a huge success, and more than 300,000 people were in attendance.
In 1992, the UK Royal Horticultural Society took over management of the event from British Rail and its partners. The society was able to use its tremendous resources and marketing power to increase the size of the show. In 1993, the Royal Horticultural Society held its first Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, which was very successful. The size and attendance of this event had grown steadily since that time.
The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show includes a variety of lectures, demonstrations, and workshops related to flowers and gardening. Individual designers and hobbyists can create special displays for visitors to explore. These displays are eligible for a series of awards, which are chosen by professional judges as well as by the visitors themselves. The show also includes a large shopping area, where attendees can purchase everything from flower bulbs to local wine.
The primary goal of the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is to encourage and inspire people to create their own home gardens. The show provides planning and design tips, and introduces plants, flowers, and herbs that can be grown throughout the UK. Special exhibits teach visitors how to encourage wildlife or endangered insects and birds to best in their gardens.
While the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show shares many similarities with the Chelsea Flower Show, these events generally appeal to different audiences. The Chelsea Flower Show is considered a prestigious event, and is known to draw Britain's elite. The Hampton Court show appeals to a broader audience, and features more of a "how-to" focus than the Chelsea event.