Garden-to-Plate Inspiration from River Cottage & Food Experts at RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival

July 4th 2022

This July, RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival (4th - 9th July) will feature an immersive walk-through River Cottage Market Garden designed by Adam Crofts, Head Gardener at the East Devon cookery school, venue and kitchen gardens.

Focusing on the growing of organic vegetables, fruit trees, botanicals and wildflowers for pollinators, the feature garden will showcase country crafts, including bee-keeping and willow weaving, as well as demonstrating the pleasure of cooking and eating outdoors.

Founded by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, River Cottage’s commitment to the ethical and sustainable production of food aligns with the RHS Planet-Friendly Gardening campaign to encourage everyone to make small steps that will make a global impact.

Hugh will be appearing at the festival on Thursday 7th July and together with Culinary Director Gelf Alderson, they’ll be hosting an exclusive River Cottage Feast, an evening of seasonal plant-led food and drinks during the Flowers After Hours late event on Friday 8th July.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said:

“I’m really looking forward to being back at RHS Hampton Court this summer, this time with our own market garden, a great collaboration with the RHS which celebrates the joy of growing (and eating) your own food, and explores what we can all do in our gardens to help nature thrive alongside us.”

Organic growing techniques without the use of pesticides, a wide range of heritage fruit and vegetable varieties and companion planting will all feature alongside no-dig gardening beds to highlight how the technique can help gardeners with carbon sequestration.

The garden also aims to be humming with wildlife, as Hugh explains: “We are planting up part of the garden for pollinator-friendly flowers and perennials, and I’m excited that the garden will feature one of Matt Somerville’s ‘rocket hives’, which are now part of our natural approach to bee-keeping at River Cottage.”

At the heart of the design will be a glasshouse, surrounded by raised beds, leading to an outdoor cooking area where Adam Crofts will be on hand during the festival to talk about the garden and its organic principles along with fellow chefs and experts.

Head Gardener Adam Crofts offers his tips for beginner veg growers:

My main tip for beginner gardeners is don’t over-complicate things and try too many different crops all at once – just grow a few plants of each type of veg and see what works for you. Salad crops are easy to grow and quick to mature yet relatively expensive to buy and often don’t store particularly well. Eaten fresh from the garden, crisp, tasty salad crops are one of the true delights of veg growing. Lettuce, beetroot, spring onions, radishes, peas and beans all give good results.”

Passionate food experts including renowned chefs Raymond Blanc and Angela Hartnett; restauranteurs Simon Rimmer and Ollie Hutson; small-scale growers Natasha Edwards and Mark Ridsdill-Smith, and forager Poppy Okotcha will appear across the week in the Market Theatre in partnership with Cunard. Demonstrating cookery ideas and discussing how the provenance of the food we buy, as well as what we can grow to reduce our food miles and boost productivity in our own gardens.

And following the success of last year’s RHS Allotment, and with continued resurgence in the garden-to-plate revolution, this practical arena supported by Miracle-Gro, features 12 community allotments providing advice on what can be achieved with no formal training or big budgets.

Source: RHS Press Release

Tickets for -

RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival, please visit:

River Cottage Feast and Flowers After Hours, please visit: