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A Q&A With Dean Claydon: Our RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Creative Consultant


A Q&A WITH DEAN CLAYDON, WILD AT HEART CREATIVE CONSULTANT 


Dean talks inspiration behind our RHS Hampton Court Palace Festival Tea Rose Garden, his tips for budding gardeners and his favourite rose varieties...

Tell us a bit about you – what is your role at Wild at Heart?


I have freelanced for 7 years at Wild at Heart creating events flowers, working on some incredible briefs with VIPs and high-profile clients. Having said that, I’m a frustrated landscape architect at heart! I studied landscaping architecture before joining the company and the RHS tea rose garden has provided the perfect opportunity to work alongside Nikki to create our vision of the most tranquil and charming rose garden.


What was your inspiration for the garden?


The RHS briefed us with creating a rose garden which people could walk through, relax and enjoy tea within. What we wanted to create was a truly charming and tranquil space, sedate in atmosphere that emanated the pleasant ethos of an Edwardian tea garden. I think we have achieved this – I can’t wait for visitors to discover our garden.


What was the greatest challenge in designing the garden and how was this overcome?


Cutting the turf proved to be the greatest challenge, we were supposed to do this with machinery but eventually that was done by hand! This was painstaking work but we got there in the end.


What advice would you offer to Wild at Heart followers looking to create a rose garden at home?


Choose the right rose for the right place, every rose is so different in their dimensions and requirements, so consider the location and growing conditions.Think about the scent, the nature of rose you’re planting and how they grow, are they rambling roses or climbing or shrubby? Finally - don’t pack too many roses in one space so that you can admire and enjoy them and give them space to flourish.


Do you have a favourite variety of rose and why?


I like Phyllis Bide rambling rose I took one from an events job I did a long time ago at Blenheim palace and planted in my allotment. Seven years on it’s still going strong! It grows up the church wall now and what I love about this rose is that depending where the light falls it changes colour, from peaches to pale creams and custard hues, it bears a myriad of colours.


What else are you looking forward to seeing / doing at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show?


As a keen gardener, I want to go and see the indoor pavilions - I’m looking to see the old-fashioned house plants such as zinnias.



RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival from 5 – 11th July.



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