Red hot Eden flowers bring blaze of colour to Hampton Court
A range of vivid red-hot pokers grown at the Eden Project are to create a spectacular display at the RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival.
The striking blooms will add a blaze of colour to the National Collection marquee at the world’s largest annual flower show, which runs from July 2-7.
The red-hot pokers – whose scientific name is Kniphofia - have been grown at the Eden Project nursery and are now being set in 18 colourful pots in time for the show.
Kniphofia are exotic, bee-friendly flowers which come in a variety of colours, from flame red to pale yellow and green, and can reach well over a metre tall.
Eden’s Hampton Court display is a great showcase for a steep hillside emblazoned with many varieties of the flowers, currently thrilling visitors at the Cornwall-based global garden.
Around 2,000 of the plants, whose origins are in Africa, were planted at Eden in 2016.
The project has since been awarded National Plant Collection status by the conservation charity Plant Heritage for its collection of Kniphofia cultivars (plant varieties created through breeding) and Kniphofia species (those found in the wild).
This was the first time that Eden had been given this coveted status for a plant collection.
The aim of the Plant Heritage’s National Plant Collection scheme is to document, develop and preserve a comprehensive collection of one genus of plants in trust for the future.
The collection at Eden has been established by the outdoor gardening team led by Julie Kendall. Julie is also preparing the Hampton Court display.
She said: “We’re looking forward to showcasing some of our stunning Kniphofia at Hampton Court and seeing everyone else’s displays.
“This may be the simplest floral display Eden has ever done. The hardest part has been ensuring that the red hot pokers flower at the right time. Our display will highlight the colourful nature of the individual plants against a plain background and will give the show-goers a taste of our Bright Sparks collection at Eden.”
Eden was recently part of a major success story at the RHS Chelsea Flower show where the CAMFED (Campaign for Female Education) garden won a prestigious gold medal.
The garden, designed by Jilayne Rickards with plants grown at the Eden nursery, shone a spotlight on climate-smart, sustainable agriculture led by female farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
The charity CAMFED (Campaign for Female Education) supports the most excluded girls and young women to go to school, succeed, and then become leaders in their communities.
Later this year the garden is due to be installed in the Mediterranean Biome at Eden so it can be enjoyed by the project’s one million-plus annual visitors.