Spring and summer blooms at Hampton Court Palace

Discover the vibrant daffodils, tulips, roses and dahlias that our expert gardeners use to make beds sing each spring and summer.

By Historic Royal Palaces

Snowdrops in the Wilderness, Hampton Court Palace (2020) by Richard Lea-HairHistoric Royal Palaces

The gardens at Hampton Court Palace are full of flowering plants to see all year round.  

Our team of gardeners is always busy adding bulbs, bedding plants and tending the perennials and flowering shrubs and trees to keep the display on track with the changing seasons.​  

Early spring flowering bulbs (winter aconites) in the Wilderness, Hampton Court Palace (2020) by Richard Lea-HairHistoric Royal Palaces

Winter aconites and snowdrops are among the first flowers to appear in the Wilderness.​  

Early spring flowering bulbs (cyclamen) in the Wilderness, Hampton Court Palace (2020) by Richard Lea-HairHistoric Royal Palaces

This natural looking display of bulbs scattered through the grass and flowerbeds gives us a first taste of spring, with more pops of colour arriving every week.​

These fuchsia-pink cyclamen come up just before the daffodils.  

Early spring flowering bulbs (hellebores) in the Wilderness, Hampton Court Palace (2020) by Richard Lea-HairHistoric Royal Palaces

Hellebores are also known as Christmas or Lenten roses. They rarely flower at these times, but can be seen in the earliest days of spring.​  

Daffodils in the Wilderness, Hampton Court Palace (2020) by Richard Lea-HairHistoric Royal Palaces

There are many different types of historic daffodil varieties planted in the Wilderness.  

Daffodils at Hampton Court PalaceHistoric Royal Palaces

Here, Gregory Leeson, Historic Royal Palaces' Horticultural Manger, takes a sunny walk through the garden and shows us some of the different varieties of daffodils.

Daffodils in the Wilderness, Hampton Court Palace (2020) by Richard Lea-HairHistoric Royal Palaces

Daffodils can also be seen in the seasonal bedding displays in the more formal areas of the gardens.

Bumblebee collecting pollen from a white crocus flower, Hampton Court Palace (2011)Historic Royal Palaces

Crocuses open up as the days get longer and lighter.​  

Tulips in bloom, Pond Garden, Hampton Court Palace (2019) by Richard Lea-HairHistoric Royal Palaces

In the Great Fountain Garden and Pond Gardens, the beds are filled with tulips and wallflowers.​  

This traditional style was popularised by the Victorians.​  

Citrus myrtifolia, Hampton Court Palace (2020) by Richard Lea-HairHistoric Royal Palaces

Some spring flowering plants are hidden from view. 

The citrus, aloes and other tender plants that are part of Queen Mary II Exoticks collection flower during the winter when they are in the warmth and shelter of the greenhouse. Only the gardeners get to see these exotic blooms.

Scadoxus puniceus (Blood Lilly), Hampton Court Palace (2020) by Richard Lea-HairHistoric Royal Palaces

Scadoxus puniceus is also known as the blood lily. Hailing from South Africa, it flowers during our winter months.​  

Wisteria at the Pond Garden, Hampton Court Palace (2019) by Deborah FarmerHistoric Royal Palaces

Wisteria is a spectacular sight in early summer. You can see it surrounding the Pond Garden and the Tudor brick walls of the Vine Keeper's House.

Gardener in the Pond Gardens, Hampton Court Palace (2015) by Richard Lea-HairHistoric Royal Palaces

As the days get warmer, the flower colours become more vibrant and intense. These agapanthus come in a range of deep blues.​  

Pond Gardens, Hampton Court Palace (2019) by Richard Lea-HairHistoric Royal Palaces

The bedding plants are changed twice a year in winter/spring and in the summer to keep the colour going through the seasons.

Golden rudbeckia brings a splash of rich colour to the Pond Gardens.​ 

Gardener in the Great Fountain Garden, Hampton Court Palace (2015) by Richard Lea-HairHistoric Royal Palaces

In the Great Fountain Garden, the beds are planted out with midsummer colours.  

Long Border in summer, Hampton Court Palace (2017) by Richard Lea-HairHistoric Royal Palaces

The Long Border runs the length of the half-mile long Broad Walk that borders the Great Fountain Garden.​  

Here, the style of planting is more relaxed than the formal carpet bedding with a mixture of flowers, colours and textures.   

Dahlia 'Oakwood Dazzle' at Hampton Court Palace (2019) by Richard Lea-HairHistoric Royal Palaces

At the height of summer, the dahlias take centre stage, putting on a show right up until the first frosts of autumn.  

Dahlia 'Bishop of York', Kitchen Garden, Hampton Court Palace (2019) by Richard Lea-HairHistoric Royal Palaces

They are the perfect late summer flower – colourful, flamboyant and bold. 

Dahlia 'Duet', Hampton Court Palace (2019) by Richard Lea-HairHistoric Royal Palaces

Dahlias of all shapes and sizes fill the beds of the Kitchen Garden, as well as the Dahlia Border.  

Dahlias at Hampton Court PalaceHistoric Royal Palaces

Hear from Greg as he takes a look at some of the varieties that are on display in the Hampton Court Palace Gardens in late summer. 

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