Recycled & re-used at RHS Hampton Court

One year on and I’m back a #RHSHamptoncourt. This year I went on the preview evening as well as the Tuesday to make sure I could get to see everything. If you want to see the show gardens, I would recommend the evening preview as it’s less crowded and you can get to see all the gardens in relative peace. The fireworks at the end of the evening were stunning, but I’m never sure about the environmental credentials of such displays.  Green messaging was pretty strong at the show with lots of innovative recycling, reusing and re-purposing in the show gardens and this is what I have focussed on in this blog.

fernleigh community allotment garden
Community growing space with recycled items

New to the show was the community allotment area where 4 community groups each had an allotment to create a communal planting area. I loved the Fernleigh Recyclable Inspirational Garden Haven  – truly inspirational with lots of ideas for recycling and I can see why the colours and textures of this garden inspired the people with learning difficulties who use the Fernleigh Day Centre. One feature that caught the eye of many was the vertical herb garden made from pallet wood and plastic milk bottles – ingenious!  There were also strawberry planters made from old shopping baskets and bags. A magnificent effort by the team.

recycled plastic milk bottles to create a vertical herb garden

There were plenty of other examples of recycling. In the Year of Green Action Garden old cable drums had been repurposed into tables and beautiful bug hotels. The metal planter on top of the cable drum was used to plant vegetables as seen in the feature photo for this blog.

Recycled cable drum

Bug hotels featured elsewhere too, as the schools competition this year was to make a bug hotel and they created some fun places for minibeasts to stay.

Local school’s bug hotel

In the Urban Pollinator Garden there was a honeycomb sculptural wall field with nesting materials for mason bees and other pollinators, plus a few bee bricks. I love bee bricks. These are bricks drilled with holes for mason bees and you can buy them direct from We have some in buildings on the farm.

Honeycomb wall with nesting materials ofr minibeasts and bee bricks for mason bees

And there were examples of recycle and re-use on the trade stands too. The Lavender and Leeks stand ( had lots of vintage items for the garden. We loved the ingenious use of the handle from a broken spade to create a useful carry tray – in fact it came home with us.

Interesting handle to this useful garden tray !

I’ll be covering succulents, drought gardens, sustainable drainage and other ideas about #climatechangegardening at Hampton Court in my next blog (