Watch out for us at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021

For this year's event, we’ve teamed up with award-winning garden designer Tracy Foster, who has created a ‘Message in a Bottle’ garden inspired by our Plastics Challenge.

Message in a Bottle conceptual garden Message in a Bottle conceptual garden

The Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival will be running 6-11 July 2021, and we’ve teamed up with award-winning garden designer Tracy Foster, who has created a ‘Message in a Bottle’ garden for the event. Her conceptual garden is inspired by our Plastics Challenge, which has already seen thousands of individuals pledge to visit canal towpaths and collect litter.

A positive message

Created from cast iron, Tracy’s garden depicts a huge bottle, laying as if floating in a canal or river. Inside, the bright and beautiful garden represents the positive message that we can all help to fight plastic pollution, and includes the likes of dahlia, kniphofia and penstemon. Surrounding the exterior of the bottle is a sea of flax plants, chosen to represent the water because of its blue flowers, movement and texture. Flax can be used to produce a natural fibre and waterproof resin, and is just one of many plants that serves as a sustainable alternative to plastic.

Measuring an impressive 7 metres long and 1.8 metres tall, the structure is large enough for a gardener to enter and tend to the plants during the show.

Tracy Foster, award-winning garden designer

She said: “The problem of plastic pollution is huge and complex, but that shouldn’t stop any of us from helping in whatever ways we can, whether that is campaigning for change, picking up a piece of litter or asking your supermarket to use less packaging.

“Just refusing to buy any plastic that you don’t need such as bottled water, or things in sachets makes a massive difference when enough of us do it. There is hope, we can all help to fight the problem, we don’t have to be perfect, we just have to try.”

Read more about Tracy's motivations.

We can all take action

The message of the garden is simple: we can all take action to help prevent plastic pollution, be it in our own gardens, alongside our local canals and rivers, or as a part of our everyday life. An estimated 14 million pieces of plastic rubbish end up in and around the UK’s canals and rivers, with around half a million pieces flowing out into our oceans.

Our canals and rivers could be plastic-free in a year if everyone picked up just one piece during their visit. Tracy, along with thousands of people across the country, has already pledged to support our Plastics Challenge by collecting litter from the towpaths.

See you at the show

After coronavirus led to a cancellation of last year’s event, the 2021 Hampton Court Flower Show will feature all exhibitors that were postponed during the pandemic.

Tracy’s ‘Message in a Bottle’ garden will be open to view at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival in the Global Impact Garden section from 6-11 July 2021, 10am-7pm.

Last date edited: 28 June 2021