Gastro gardening at Hampton Court

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will have a gastro gardener theme this 3-8 July, says Matt Appleby.

Joseph Gibson's Conscious Consumerism garden
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The annual gardening show has a host of cooking celebrities on board and will feature food production gardens from chef Raymond Blanc and the famous Borough Market in London.

The Kitchen Garden at the show is a collaboration between Borough Market, Seeds of Italy, and the Eden Project. The three partners aim to inspire and educate visitors to RHS Hampton Court; highlighting the importance of seasonality, diversity and provenance of fruit and vegetables.

Authentic on-trend

Seeds of Italy’s Paolo Arrigo says the trend towards growing authentic food shows grow your own is now “not just old boys with flat caps and whippets. This is linked to Instagram and Facebook and urban gastro gardeners. Street markets, street food are popular and they want authentic regional ingredients.” Alpine Spinach from Asti, Neapolitan ‘Friarielli’ broccoletti, Chickpeas from Tuscany, and Borlotto beans from Saluggia will all be featured.

Seeds of Italy supplies French chef Raymond Blanc with seeds and the RHS Grow Your Own with The Raymond Blanc Gardening School garden has been designed to help beginner gardeners who fear they don’t have enough knowledge or much space to cultivate fruit and veg. The 20x15m (65x50ft) rectangular garden will showcase simple and fun growing techniques along with recipe cards.

Celebrity chefs

Celebrity chef Raymond is renowned for the organic vegetable and herb gardens at his Michelin-starred Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire.

Raymond will be cooking at the show at 6pm and 8pm on 2 July. Masterchef’s Gregg Wallace will cook at 12.30pm and 2.30pm on 4 July and Deliciously Ella is on at 1.30pm and 3.30pm on 6 July.

Chef Ursula Ferrigno and Paolo from Seeds of Italy will be cooking plants grown with the seeds at the Dig In Cookery Theatre on 3 July at 11.30am.

London’s oldest market

The Borough Market Kitchen Garden

The garden is Borough Market’s first RHS display, and represents London’s oldest market’s “commitment to raising awareness of food provenance, and connecting consumers to the process of growing produce”.
The Borough Market Kitchen Garden will include plants mostly grown by Pennard Plants in Somerset, from the range of seeds developed by Franchi for the Eden Project.

Vegan gardening

Joseph Gibson’s Conscious Consumerism garden at Hampton Court will draw attention to the animal agriculture industry as a cause of deforestation, which is the environmental motivation for many vegans, alongside gardening genuinely ethically and going beyond organics and wildlife gardening. Ditching animal manures and fertilisers is another growing area in gardening, dubbed vegan gardening.

RHS Growing Community Garden by community gardening champion Jon Wheatley

There will also be a walk-through RHS Growing Community Garden by community gardening champion Jon Wheatley, which features a plant production polytunnel, urban forest and a shop. Community groups and schools will all help to bring the project together.

The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show attracted 134,000 visitors in 2017 and will also feature on BBC TV. BBC’s Countryfile will also broadcast coverage a 30th anniversary garden by Ann-Marie Powell.

Matt Appleby

About Matt Appleby

Matt is a former teacher turned journalist. He took up writing while in New Zealand and trained as a journalist there. He has since written five books (three on cricket and two on gardening) with The Children's Garden due out in spring 2016 published by Frances Lincoln. He writes for Horticulture Week and other publications. Married with two boys, aged 3 and 6 he lives in London.
@mattapple1
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