The Battle of Hastings at Hampton Court

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 Hampton Court, where you will be able to see the Norman garden during the RHS Flower Show

Hampton Court, where you will be able to see the Norman garden during the RHS Flower Show

At the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show which starts on July 5th, there will be an unusual garden display this year, the like of which hasn’t probably been seen for centuries.
In honour of the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, the Normandy Tourist Board has teamed up with the local Hastings tourist board – named Hastings and 1066 Country – to create a mediaeval Norman garden. I can’t show you what it loks like as it is yet to be constructed.
Called Le Clos d’Hastings, the garden re-creates a centuries-old landscape: hedges built up on steep banks and traditionally planted with bushes and low trees then trained to form a fence of interwoven branches. These hedgerows were also planted with larger trees to create the effect of a linear forest that typifies Normandy’s so-called bocage landscapes. Le Clos d’Hastings Medieval Garden evokes ancestral meadows, with barley growing alongside flax (the plant that provided the material on which the Bayeux Tapestry was embroidered), daisies and meadow flowers. It also features a densely planted area designed like a Baroque tapestry and plants from across the globe that the English and Normans have enjoyed exchanging for centuries.
The gardens were created by two Normandy residents, Stéphane Marie, gardener and French TV presenter, and Alexandre Thomas of the Agapanthe Gardens near Rouen.
Part of the purpose of the garden is, of course, to encourage us to visit gardens in both Normandy and the Hastings area. Examples would be the Bois-Guilbert Sculpture Garden, the regal park and gardens of the Chateau de Miromesnil and the exotic Dragon Wood at the Shamrock Collection in Normandy and, over here, the gardens of Pashley Manor and Herstmonceux Castle.
It is also designed to raise awareness of the anniversary and the events taking place both sides of the channel leading up to the date of the battle which was on the 14th of October 1066. On that day there will be a re-enactment of the event at Battle. In France, events are already under way with the Bayeux Medieval Festival starting today.

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