The biggest annual flower show in the world celebrated its 20th anniversary this year in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace from the 6-11 July 2010 and it was one of the best ever. The show is run by the Royal Horticultural Society; one of the world's leading horticultural organisations and the UK's leading gardening charity, whose mission is to be the leading organisation demonstrating excellence in horticulture and promoting gardening.


Britain's gardening charity, the Royal Horticultural Society, has a long and interesting history dating from 1804. Founded under the title The Horticultural Society of London, by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood, its aim was to collect plant information and encourage the improvement of horticultural practice. Interestingly, the prototype of the Society's popular flower shows today began in the late 1820s, with a series of floral fetes held at the Duke of Devonshire's estate in Chiswick.


Hampton Court is a fabulous setting for a flower show and, unlike the famous Chelsea show, gardeners have an opportunity to buy plants. The display gardens at the Taxi in Hampton court Palace Flower Show include Show Gardens, Water Gardens, Small Gardens and Conceptual Gardens. The show also comprises a number of floral marquees as well and just for 2010 the Festival of Roses, a Shakespearean theme, plus the Girlguiding UK centenary celebrations.


One of the most interesting and popular trade stands at the show this year was a holiday lodge situated within a beautifully landscaped garden winning one of the prestigious merit awards. What was remarkable was this was the first time that a holiday lodge was allowed to feature in the show.


So why did this happen? One of the biggest concerns of the RHS is ensuring that the Flower Show not only inspires creativity but inspires sustainability too, and the society aims to address current issues that are affecting the British people. Britons went on ten million fewer trips abroad last year as the recession hit foreign exchange rates. Families and businesses saved £5.1billion by cutting 15 per cent of foreign visits, the biggest annual fall since the 1970s. For many, the deciding factor was the fall in the value of the pound against the euro and the dollar, according to the Office for National Statistics.


The best selling travel guides last year featured guides to walking and camping in Britain, and at the beginning of 2010 it was predicted more of us would ditch staycation in favour of holidays abroad as the recession eased.


There was a moment of uncertainty for the future of the staycation, as recent surveys suggest that many holidaymakers caught out by the wet weather in Britain last summer were considering seeking sun abroad this year. However, with the recent volcanic ash cloud causing chaos in the skies, escalating unrest in Greece and violent demonstrations in Thailand, the staycation is again the ideal choice. However the risk of sleeping in a tent in a windy wet field has a some quaking in their wellingtons, so for those looking for more luxury in their homegrown holiday, lodges for sale are springing up in some of Britain's most beautiful spots.


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