I was delighted to be invited to the preview evening to discover the great gardens of the USA at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Such a lovely event with stunning show gardens, live music and fabulous fireworks. The Great Gardens of the USA are located in the “World Gardens” section of the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018 and that was primarily what we were there to see – America in bloom from Charleston, South Carolina and Oregon.

Brand USA, the destination marketing organisation for the United States, is showcasing the Great Gardens of the USA at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, the world’s largest flower show. The Charleston, South Carolina Garden and The Oregon Garden, both designed by Sadie May Stowell, an award-winning garden designer and landscape architect, will take centre stage from 3 – 8 July 2018.

Providing a taste of green inspiration, Brand USA spotlights some of the glorious gardens and horticultural hotspots waiting to be discovered in Charleston, South Carolina and Oregon.

Hampton Court Flower show charlston

Hampton Court Flower show charlston

Hampton Court Flower show charlston

Hampton Court Flower show charlston

Hampton Court Flower show charlston

Hampton Court Flower show charlston

Hampton Court Flower show charlston

Hampton Court Flower show charlston

Hampton Court Flower show Charlston

Hampton Court Flower show Charlston

The garden designer, Sadie May Stowell being thanked by the Brand USA team:-

Hampton Court Flower show Sadie May Stowell

Hampton Court Flower show Sadie May Stowell

The splendid grounds of Hampton Court:-

Hampton Court Flower show fountain

Hampton Court Flower show fountain

The fireworks (not a great picture!):-

Hampton Court Flower show fireworks

Hampton Court Flower show fireworks

Some of the other gardens on display:-

Hampton Court Flower show charlston

Hampton Court Flower show charlston

house on the hill

house on the hill

Battlefields to Butterflies – this garden, designed by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan pays tribute to the 24 men of the Royal Parks and Palace Gardens who lost their lives in WW1. This feature is made up of two spaces, first a raw desolate scene depicting the trenches and then an area full of trees and wildflowers. The journey from ruin to remembrance.

Battlefields to butterflies

Battlefields to butterflies

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA:

Experience the charm of historic Charleston combined with the contemporary vibes of South Carolina’s coastal culture. With its second-to-none restaurant scene, beautiful oceanfront resorts and enduring cultural roots, Charleston is a haven for history buffs and beachgoers. Flickering copper gas carriage lanterns, ornate hand-wrought ironwork and hitching posts used by horse-drawn carriages hint at a bygone era in the welcoming and elegant city.

Today, manicured sub-tropical public parks and glimmers of private gardens turn the city into a botanical wonderland, where the delicate aromas of tea olive trees and Carolina jessamine vines dance amid the soft sea breezes.

Charleston is a wonderful example of intelligent urban planning. The early city was laid out on a grid, which resulted in easy-to-navigate streets that are pedestrian friendly. It’s easy to move through the day wandering the pretty paths while discovering culinary delights, beautiful beaches, exquisite shopping and fascinating historical sites.

After exploring the gentle politeness of Charleston, there are several beautifully preserved plantations and gardens just minutes away. As you lose yourself amongst the moss-covered oak trees and blooming azaleas, you can’t help but find yourself being transported on a journey back in time. As one of the world’s premier vacation destinations, South Carolina offers travellers the full mountains to sea experience. Beautiful mountain trails, championship golf resorts and charming small towns are perfect places to escape in South Carolina.

Must-visit garden attractions in South Carolina include Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens, Charleston Tea Plantation, Drayton Hall, Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, Middleton Place and Brookgreen Gardens.

Inspired by The Charleston, South Carolina Garden, America As You Like It has launched South Carolina Discovery. The package offers 12 nights in South Carolina from £1,295 per person. Price includes flights, car hire and accommodation. For more information or to book, visit americaasyoulikeit.com or call 0208 742 8299.

OREGON:

Oregon is a state of natural wonders. From the authentic beauty that you will find in historic towns and sleepy fishing villages, to the stunning landscape encompassing rugged mountains and scenic wineries. Windswept beaches, verdant forests and snow-capped peaks give way to sweeping rangelands, towering rock formations and dramatic river valleys in this incredibly diverse land. Beyond 363 miles of pristine public beaches, high-desert country, painted hills and wine-producing valleys, Oregon is home to North America’s deepest river gorge (Hells Canyon), the country’s deepest lake (Crater Lake National Park) and the world’s second most-climbed mountain (Mt. Hood).

Whatever your passion, Oregon’s natural and scenic variety encompassing coast, mountains, rivers, high desert, plains, forests and valleys lends equally to exhilarating outdoor adventure or tranquil exploration. With more scenic byways and tour routes than any other state, as well as no sales tax, isn’t it time you come and experience Oregon’s hidden travel gems for yourself? And now it’s easier than ever on Delta Air Lines’ new direct service from London Heathrow to Portland, Oregon.

Must-visit garden attractions in Oregon include Darlingtonia State Natural Site, International Rose Test Garden, Portland Japanese Garden, Shore Acres State Park and Oregon Garden.

Inspired by the Oregon Garden, America As You Like It has launched Oregon’s Glorious Gardens and Scenic Byways. This package offers 14 nights in Oregon from £1,920 per person. Price includes flights, car hire and accommodation. For more information or to book, visit americaasyoulikeit.com or call 0208 742 8299.

For further information on inspiring holidays in the United States, visit Brand USA’s consumer website VisitTheUSA.co.uk and follow Visit The USA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I would thoroughly recommend a visit this week if you have time. The address is Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU and the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is held in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace in East Molesey, Surrey.

If you are travelling by rail then the closest railway station to the show is Hampton Court, which is a 30-minute journey from London Waterloo. This service is run by South West Trains and there are frequent trains throughout the show.

Additionally, Kingston train station is approx.30 minutes from London Waterloo, with trains leaving for Kingston around every 10 minutes. The Show is a 30-minute ferry ride from Kingston station.

If you are planning to drive to the show and wish to use a sat nav, please note that the show itself does not have a postcode – this is because it is a temporary event held in the parkland surrounding Hampton Court Palace. The closest village to the show is East Molesey. If you need a local postcode for your sat nav, the postcode of the palace is KT8 9AU, but please note that this is NOT the postcode for the show car parks; you will need to follow the AA signage for the show car parks when you reach the surrounding area.

The show is easily accessible from the M25 (exit 12, A308) or from central London (via the A3 and A309).

Parking at the Preview Evening: The Stud Gate car park (follow the black signage) is located off the A308 Hampton Court Road. Parking is complimentary at the Preview Evening. Due to everyone leaving at the same time, exit can take up to one hour at the end of the Preview Evening, so please be prepared to wait. Again, please let me know directly if you are planning to travel to the Show by car.

Enjoy! Lots of lovely places to eat and drink too.

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