Our growing year

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.

Find out more about what our gardeners are doing throughout the year in our series of short films below.

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

Autumn

The autumn leaves are beginning to fall at Hampton Court Palace as we leave summer behind. Take a look at what's in store for the gardening team this season in our film.

September

Our 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.

The Great Fountain Garden in autumn. The canal, looking south east towards Kingston Gate.
The Great Fountain Garden early morning mist. Showing a low sun through the trees and long shadows of the trees across the lawn.
The Wilderness garden, showing trees beginning to turn autumnal and a blue sky.

Winter

"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.

December

We order seed for summer bedding schemes and start sowing plants such as Eucalyptus which takes six 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.

Home Park in winter, showing mist over the Rick Pond and dark, bare trees reflected in the water.
The South Front and the Privy Garden in snow, looking north. Showing a figure walking along the snowy avenue in the Privy Garden.
A herd of fallow deer (bucks and females) surrounded by trees in short grass.

Spring

From daffodils blooming to nurturing seedlings in the nursery, spring is a busy time for our expert gardening team!

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 6,000 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.

Daffodils in the spring sunshine with blossom trees in the background.
Home Park, showing a close up of three black and white Egyptian goslings nestling in grass.
Visitors pushing a pram through the Wilderness of Hampton Court Palace. A tree with pink blossom stands in the foreground

Summer

Summer is here and the gardens of Hampton Court Palace are in full bloom.

From colourful displays in the East Front gardens to weekly harvests in the Kitchen Garden, find out what Hampton Court's gardens have in store this season.

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.

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 such as Abutilon, Heliotropium and Pelargonium.

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

Included in palace admission (members go free)

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

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

Open daily

Hampton Court Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)

The Kitchen Garden looking south east

Established in the late 17th century, the Kitchen Garden at Hampton Court produced vast amounts of fruit and vegetables for the royal table. Today, the garden has been re-created to its 18th century heyday, using the planting pattern laid down by the palace’s Georgian gardeners.
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

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Lifestyle imagery of picnic ware

Shop Picnicware

Enjoy fine dining outdoors with our magnificent picnic hampers. Discover our luxury hampers and exquisite picnic blankets.

Prices from £2.99 - £135

Historic Royal Palaces retail product - drinking glasses, books and deer cushion

Shop homewares

In our home section you will find stylish lifestyle home accessories and furnishings, including cushions, tapestries, ornaments and much more which will add those finishing touches to make your room complete.

Prices from £1.99 - £2500

A selection of silver jewellery celebrating the conservation of the Great Pagoda at Kew Gardens.

Shop Kew Palace gifts

The most intimate of our six royal palaces, Kew was built as a private house in 1631 and used by the royal family between 1729 and 1818. These gifts and souvenirs are all inspired by Kew Palace.

Prices start from £1.99