Meet the gardeners

A team of 42 gardeners and specialists look after 60 acres of formal gardens and 750 acres of royal parkland.

A team of 42 gardeners and specialists look after 60 acres of formal gardens and 750 acres of royal parkland.

The Gardens team

We are a team of 42 gardeners and specialists looking after 60 acres of formal gardens and 750 acres of royal parkland at Hampton Court Palace.

Most of the managers and team leaders here began their careers as apprentices at Hampton Court or other Royal Parks. Six of us have worked here for over 40 years!

Working in seven specialist teams concentrating on different areas, we are proud to look after the world's oldest puzzle maze, the world's oldest grape vine, Britain’s longest herbaceous border, three National Plant Collections, 15 glasshouses, some of the most magnificent historic gardens in the world and a Site of Special Scientific Interest in Home Park.

Look out for our new Gardeners' Hut – a mobile exhibition travelling around the gardens, packed with interesting stories about our work in the gardens and some surprising objects!

The Pond Gardens, looking south. Showing a member of the Garden and Estates team carrying  gardening equipment.

Our growing year

July

The Nursery’s growing year begins with perennial wallflowers.

August

We are busy producing winter bedding with Bellis, Myosotis and Polyanthus. We’re also taking cuttings of tender perennials e.g. Abutilon, Heliotropium and Pelargonium.

September

Gardeners clear Cannas, Chlorophytum and Dahlias from the flowerbeds and rest them in the Nursery over winter. We move the smaller plants from the Exotick Collection back under glass.

October

Winter bedding is planted out. Larger Exoticks like Citrus plants come back to the glasshouses.

November

Some winter bedding is kept in reserve in case plantings fail. We wash and disinfect the empty glasshouses.

December

We order seed for summer bedding schemes and start sowing plants such as Eucalyptus which takes 6 months to grow. We pot on the perennial cuttings we took in August.

January

Cannas are split and potted in a warm glasshouse. If we’re short of any tender perennials we take extra cuttings.

February

We’re sowing seed weekly to stagger the task of pricking out seedlings. Some plants take several weeks to germinate. Others need pricking out 5-7 days after sowing.

March

Trays of plug plants start to arrive from specialist suppliers. Plug plants reduce some of our risk and cost in germinating seed and allow us to reach target plant numbers more accurately.

April

50 trays a week of plug plants are arriving and over 6000 seedlings need potting on each week.

May

The glasshouses are full and planting out begins by the third week of May. The Great Fountain Garden team leader orders the plants she needs from the Nursery and we pick them out and deliver them by tractor each day.

June

We’re delivering bedding plants every day throughout the gardens. By the middle of June all the Exoticks are outside in the Orangery Garden and Privy Garden Terrace. As the glasshouses empty, they are washed down and disinfected and the Nursery Team starts thinking about winter bedding again.

"Gardeners don't hibernate in winter", explains Terry Gough, Head of Gardens and Estates at Hampton Court Palace. In fact, the spring displays wouldn't exist without the work that happens during the winter months. Find out more in this video.

A gardener attends to the Great Vine under its green branches at Hampton Court Palace
Things to see

Listed in 2005 as the world's longest grape vine, the Great Vine at Hampton Court Palace is a fantastic spectacle.

Open daily

Hampton Court Palace

Aerial view of Great Fountain Garden at Hampton Court Palace showing Baroque East Front of palace
Highlights Things to see

Renowned across the world, Hampton Court Palace's beautiful gardens are an unmissable attraction.

Open daily

Hampton Court Palace

Things to see

Experience the recreated Kitchen Garden, which would have fed the Georgian royals and now supplies Henry VIII's Kitchens.

Open daily

Hampton Court Palace

Royal Beasts Lion tree decoration beautifully handmade using metal and silk threads on a satin background

Royal Beasts Lion tree decoration

The Lion is a common heraldic symbol that signifies bravery, valour, strength, and royalty and traditionally is regarded as the king of beasts.

£14.99

Royal coat of arms tapestry cushion

Royal coat of arms tapestry cushion

This tapestry cushion depicts the Royal coat of arms which is the official coat of arms of the British monarch.

£50.00

White Tower luxury embroidered hanging decoration features the iconic White Tower with a silhouetted Tower raven perching at the top of the Tower.

White Tower luxury embroidered hanging decoration

This sparkling silver luxury White Tower hanging decoration is hand embroidered using the same metal thread work techniques used to sew royal dresses and finery in centuries past.

£10.99