Medal winning garden at Hampton Court

Rose was commissioned by the Spanish Tourist Office and Turismo de Galicia to design their first ever garden at RHS Hampton Court Flower show. The ‘Route of the Camellia’ garden celebrates the beauty of the Galician Camellia territory and the iconic and ancient pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago. The garden was entered in the World Gardens category and won a prestigious Silver Gilt medal.

A path of scallop shells, sourced from Galician waters, lead visitors through the garden on a journey symbolic of that taken by pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostela, whist a carpet of camellia petals represented the ancient Camellia trees which populate many of the gardens of the region’s pazos (palaces).

My aim for the garden was to encapsulate the journey of the pilgrimage, drawing the viewer’s imagination into the garden and emphasising the wild and beautiful surroundings of this special corner of Spain” said McMonigall. “I am delighted 
to have been awarded the Silver medal for my first Hampton Court commission”.

All plants, mosses and wild flowers in the garden are indigineous to Galicia. The garden featured a stunning 8ft camellia tree, a 35ft birch, hydrangeas, weathered cobbles, a granite Virgin Mary shrine and the symbol of St James the Great, the scallop shell.

The Camino de Santiago, dating back as far as the 9th century, is today enjoyed by many “pilgrims” from across the globe although many visit for non-religious reasons. Galicia is a renowned flower destination, also known as ‘the land of camellias’. These traditionally south Asian flowers have become such an integral part of the region that visitors to Galicia can follow a dedicated ‘Camellia Route’; a journey that passes from northern to southern Galicia through 12 manor houses and gardens where camellias are the focus.