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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.

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.

EXPLORE WHAT'S ON

  • Things to see

The Great Vine

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

  • Open in line with palace opening hours
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • Included in palace admission (members go free)
Learn more
  • Things to see

Hampton Court Gardens

Take time to explore and relax in these world-renowned gardens and find our free entry Garden Open Days dates.

  • Open in line with palace opening hours.
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • Included in palace admission (members go free)
Learn more
  • Things to see

Kitchen Garden

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

  • Open in line with palace opening hours.
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • Included in palace admission (members go free)
Learn more

BROWSE MORE HISTORY AND STORIES

The story of Hampton Court Palace

Home of Henry VIII and the Tudor dynasty

Life at the Tudor court

In the Tudor period, a monarch’s home was centre of the nation

Henry VIII

Who was the real Henry VIII?

Shop online

Shop Tudor gifts

Browse through our Tudor Collection to find a whole range of products based on the Tudors.

From £3.00

Elizabeth's Women by Tracy Borman

Discover the world of Elizabeth I with this insightful look at Elizabeth's relationship with woman and how they helped to shape her into a remarkable monarch. This thrilling book explores the lesser known side of Elizabeth I who is often portrayed as a ruthless 'man's woman'.

£16.99

Hampton Court Palace luxury embroidered hanging decoration

Our exquisitely detailed embroidered Hampton Court Palace decoration is decorated with traditional gold metal threadwork.

£30.00