Skip to main content

  September 20, 2024 – September 20, 2024
  10:00 am – 4:30 pm
  Kew Gardens

Everything you ever wanted to know about show gardens

Are you interested in creating stunning show gardens that will leave everyone in awe? Look no further! Our team of experts invites you to join us for an exclusive day where you will learn all the secrets to crafting beautiful and award-winning show gardens.

You will hear from experienced professionals and learn about how to fund your garden, latest design trends, construction and planting techniques, and more. Don’t miss this opportunity to enhance your skills and take your gardens to the next level. Register now and start your journey towards becoming a show garden expert!

What we’ll cover

Join our experts from the London College of Garden Design to find out more about –

– Finding sponsorship and funding your garden
– The application process
– Developing a strong narrative and brief
– Preparing for the show
– Finding a contractor and working successfully in partnership
– Planting your garden
– Measuring sustainable impact and using new construction methods
– Getting the best from your publicity

Your expert speakers

We welcome experts with extensive show gardens experience, some very recent, others formed over many years including current show judges.

Helen Olney graduated from London College of Garden Design in 2022 and won a graduate competition to design a garden for the Burma Skincare Initiative. She will share her experience of creating her first ever show garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024.

Jo Thompson is the recipient of four Gold and five Silver Gilt medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and People’s Choice award at the first RHS Chatsworth Flower Show. Jo is a member of the RHS Gardens Committee and Garden Advisor for RHS Rosemoor, an RHS judge, as well as being a member of the RHS Show Gardens Selection Panel.

James Alexander-Sinclair is an RHS Vice-President and the RHS Ambassador for Garden Design as well as chairing show garden selection and judging for the RHS.

Paul Cowell is a Chartered Landscape Architect and owner of PC Landscapes Paul is a past Chairman of BALI and construction expert. He is also a show garden exhibitor and an RHS judge.

Liz Nicholson is the Managing Director of Nicholsons, a consultancy and contracting business offering Landscaping, Forestry, Ecology and plant supply. She is very engaged in the environmental sector and is working with the RHS to provide environmental impact data for show gardens. If you are exhibiting at an RHS show in 2025 you will be working with Liz!

Nina Baxter is Director London College of Garden Design, RHS show garden judge and selector, Nina has been lucky enough to work with internationally-renowned designers on award-winning gardens at RHS flower shows including Chelsea, Tatton Park and Hampton Court. Between 2007 and 2010, Nina worked on show gardens for Andy Sturgeon, Chris Beardshaw and Paul Hervey-Brookes and in 2011 she formed a lasting working relationship with Jo Thompson as head of Jo’s planting team, that continues to this day.



Entry to Kew Gardens is included. Refreshments through the day can be purchased from the Orangery restaurant that adjoins our training room.

You will be sent instructions in advance of the day with where to go in order to gain free entry to Kew Gardens and how to find our training room at The Orangery Conference Room to the side of the Orangery Restaurant. Kew Gardens’ gates open at 10am and we will start at 10.15am. We will finish by 4.30pm.

Please visit our main website for location details on how to get to Kew Gardens, public transport and parking options.

Image LCGD Graduate show garden 2023 – Tom Massey