Hampton Court Flower Show: Turf sculpture by Tony Smith

Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Artist Tony Smith stands with his beautiful turf sculpture on July 7 at the Hampton Court Flower Show in London. With more than 600 exhibitors spread over 34 acres, the annual event is the largest flower show in the world.

In addition to featuring fanciful garden installations, the show, which runs through July 13, hosts talks and demonstrations focusing on environmental issues such as building sustainable communities and growing your own food. This gives it quite a different character from its sister event, the Chelsea Flower Show, which has a slightly more prestigious, showy air.

Can't make it this year? Here's a brief taste of what you'll be missing. 

 
Hampton Court Flower Show: Elinor Scarth with

Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Designer Elinor Scarth sits with a book in her "Green is the Colour" garden installation.

* * * 
 
Hampton Court Flower Show: Giraffe sculpture with sunflowers

Photo: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

A statue of a golden giraffe peaks out from behind an impressive bevy of cheery sunflowers.

* * * 
 
Hampton Court Flower Show: Actors depicting the 4 seasons

Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Actors dress up as beautifully organic representations of the four seasons before performing at the Macmillan Legacy Garden.

* * * 
 
Hampton Court Flower Show: Shovel art installation

Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Shovels, pitchforks and other gardening implements stand in a garden called "Sloth - Quarry of Silences."

* * * 
 
Hampton Court Flower Show: Vegetable garden with accordians

Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

In this lovely installation, a variety of Italian vegetable plants are nestled amongst accordions.

* * * 
 
Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.