9 April 2021. Following the death of His Royal Highness, there will be changes to opening hours for the gardens at Hampton Court Palace and Hillsborough Castle. For further information, please read our FAQs page
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 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.
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.
Winter bedding is planted out. Larger Exoticks like Citrus plants come back to the glasshouses.
Some winter bedding is kept in reserve in case plantings fail. We wash and disinfect the empty glasshouses.
"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.
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.
Cannas are split and potted in a warm glasshouse. If we’re short of any tender perennials we take extra cuttings.
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.
From daffodils blooming to nurturing seedlings in the nursery, spring is a busy time for our expert gardening team!
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.
50 trays a week of plug plants are arriving and over 6,000 seedlings need potting on each week.
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.
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.
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.
The Nursery's growing year begins with perennial wallflowers.
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.