KLC Garden Students Receive Behind-the-scenes Tour of Hampton Court Palace Festival


Humaira and Students in show garden - forward facing

KLC garden design students have been buzzing with delight since returning from an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival and by all accounts had an amazing time.  The trip provides students with a valuable industry networking experience where they are able to engage with top designers and visit the nurseries who may one day be supporting their own garden businesses.  KLC is immensely proud to be able to offer its students these early-access visits and is hugely grateful for the continuing goodwill shown by the RHS and support for the school’s horticultural design programme.

Students (backs) with frontward facing speaker in front of garden

While on sight this year, students were lucky enough to hear the insights and experiences of many generous industry professionals working on their respective projects including garden designer and 2019 gold medal winner Will Williams, The RHS ‘Garden for a Green Future’ designer Jamie Butterworth and also Horticulturalist Charlie Harpur who has been working on Tom Stuart-Smith’s show garden.  Students were also given talks by Plant Heritage Nursery and show judge James Alexander-Sinclair shared his industry experience and advice.  Finally, our very own garden design course leader Humaira Ikram gave the students a special viewing of the garden she has been working on for Tom Simpson who excitingly was awarded a RHS gold medal moments before the students arrived.

Hampton Court Palace Festival 2021 - landscape - students touring show garden

Hampton Court Palace Festival 2021 - landscape of students being shown around shown garden

Special mention must also go to KLC alumni Felicity O’Rourke’s show garden ‘Extinction’ which uses the fictional recreation of a passenger plane crash site as a metaphor for the threat humanity places on its own existence.  In their description of the garden the RHS says ‘This garden addresses the 6th mass extinction threat to our planet, caused by our continual exploitation and destruction of its natural resources and ancient ecosystems. Its purpose is to jolt people into both an understanding of the severity of the crisis and an appreciation of the scale of the behavioural change that we need to effect.’  Needless to say, we are very proud of our girl and the huge achievement her garden represents, described by KLC insiders as ‘a real show-stopper!’.

Well done Felicity and a big thank you to all our friends at the RHS who made us so welcome. 

landscape of alumni show garden Extinction (wreckage view)

Landscape of alumni 'extinction' show garden (buried nose cone)