Disney’s The Lion King community garden opens at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival marking 25 years of the iconic West End show

Designed by Juliet Sargeant, the garden won three awards at the festival including best show garden

Disney’s THE LION KING is presenting a community garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival to commemorate 25 years of the iconic, award-winning West End musical.

Designed by leading garden designer Juliet Sargeant, the garden received three awards at the festival; Best Show Garden, the RHS Environmental Innovation Award and a Silver Gilt Medal*.

Disney’s The Lion King 25th Anniversary Community Garden  is open at the garden festival until 7 July, featuring rousing live performances and interactive activities throughout the week, providing a communal space for the public to sit and reflect on their own journey through the ‘Circle of Life’.

Thenjiwe Thendiva Nofemele performs in The Lion King 25th Anniversary Garden at RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival – photo credit Clive Sugden

Filled with colourful drought-tolerant flowers, the triple-award-winning garden reflects the bright hues of Julie Taymor’s theatrical design. Made from recycled, crushed red brick the soil is planted with swathes of resilient grasses to reflect the Pridelands with antelope from the production appearing to leap through the grass. It is surrounded by a wildlife-friendly dead hedge, which creates a traditional Boma providing a communal meeting place for visitors to enjoy.

The ‘Circle of Life’ echoes throughout the garden, creating balance and harmony, whilst a large fabric ‘sunrise’ provides a colourful and theatrical boundary focal point. Climate resilient plants and trees such as Bulbinella frutescens ‘Sunset Orange, ‘Zanthoxyllum simulans (Szechuan pepper), Kniphofia varieties, Zelkova serrata, Stipa pseudo-ichu, and Gleditsia Skyline (Honey Locust) offer ideas for savannah style planting that’s practical and drought-tolerant with the aim of encouraging people to experiment with new planting styles as well as with plants.

Juliet Sargeant on the garden – photo credit Clive Sugden

Since performances began at the Lyceum Theatre in 1999 more than 19 million people have experienced the breath-taking musical in London. Every performance takes 150 people, with 50 on stage and 100 backstage along with 232 puppets and 350 different costumes. To mark its 25th year in the heart of London’s West End, the show is proud to celebrate its quarter century at this prestigious event in the capital’s annual calendar.

THE LION KING 25th anniversary garden designer, Juliet Sargeant commented:“Simply exhibiting at a RHS show is a privilege, but to have been awarded Best Show Garden is amazing, especially given the calibre of gardens this year. The Environmental Innovation award is new to the RHS and so we really weren’t expecting to win. It’s lovely to have confirmed our message of environmental responsibility that runs through the garden and the ethos of the theatre show.”

More information can be found here



Disney’s THE LION KING Lyceum Theatre 21 Wellington Street, London WC2E 7RQ

Ticket information Performances at the Lyceum Theatre, London are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.thelionking.co.uk / 0800 912 6971

For further information relating to THE LION KING, please contact Bread and Butter PR: Kate Hassell | kate@breadandbutterpr.uk | 07921264564

Chloe Heard | chloe@breadandbutterpr.uk | 07961399241

For further information relating to Juliet Sargeant, please contact Emma Mason PR: Emma Mason | emma@emmamasonpr.co.uk | 07762 117433







NOTES TO EDITORS *The Silver Gilt Medal is the second highest medal to be awarded by the RHS. Main photo credit Alister Thorpe

ABOUT DISNEY THEATRICAL GROUP Disney Theatrical Group, a division of The Walt Disney Studios, was formed in 1994 and operates under the direction of Andrew Flatt, Anne Quart and Thomas Schumacher. Worldwide, its ten Broadway titles have been seen by more than 200 million theatregoers and have been nominated for 62 Tony® Awards, winning Broadway’s highest honor 20 times. The company’s inaugural production, Beauty and the Beast, opened in 1994, playing a remarkable 13-year run on Broadway and produced in replica productions around the world over four decades. In November 1997, Disney made theatrical history with the opening of The Lion King, which received six 1998 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Director, Julie Taymor, who became the first woman in Broadway history to win the award. Surpassing 25 landmark years on Broadway, it has welcomed 112 million visitors worldwide to date and has nine productions currently running worldwide. The Lion King has played over 100 cities in 24 countries on every continent except Antarctica and its worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or entertainment title in box office history. Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida opened on Broadway next, winning four 2000 Tony Awards. It was followed by Mary Poppins, a co-production with Cameron Mackintosh, which opened in London in 2004 and went on to enjoy a six-year Tony-winning Broadway run. Tarzan®, Tony-nominated for its 2006 Broadway premiere, went on to become an international hit with an award-winning production enjoying a ten-year run in Germany. In January 2008, The Little Mermaid opened on Broadway and was the best-selling new musical of that year. Disney Theatrical Group opened two critically acclaimed productions on Broadway in 2012, winning seven Tony Awards between them: Peter and the Starcatcher and Newsies, each of which enjoyed a two-year run and launched North American tours, with Newsies playing a record-breaking Fathom Events in-cinema release. Aladdin, Disney Theatrical Group’s 2014 hit, continues its smash Broadway run. It has launched nine productions around the globe and been seen by more than 17 million guests. Disney Theatrical Group’s newest hit, the 2018 Tony-nominated Best Musical Frozen currently has four productions around the world. Other stage ventures include the Olivier-nominated London hit Shakespeare in Love, stage productions of Disney’s High School Musical, Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame in Berlin and King David in concert on Broadway. Disney Theatrical Group has collaborated with the nation’s preeminent theatres to develop new stage musicals including The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Freaky Friday and Hercules. As a part of the recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Disney Theatrical Group also heads the Buena Vista Theatrical banner, which licenses Fox titles for stage adaptations including Anastasia, Moulin Rouge! The Musical and Mrs. Doubtfire. With dozens of  productions currently produced or licensed, a Disney musical is being performed professionally somewhere on the planet virtually every hour of the day. Next on the Disney Theatrical schedule: the world-premiere of Hercules in Hamburg, Germany and the North American tour of a reimagined production of Beauty and The Beast in 2025.

ABOUT JULIET SARGEANT Juliet Sargeant is a Sussex-based garden designer who loves to use gardens to tell stories and inspire creativity. In 2016, she was awarded a RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal and The People’s Choice Award for her ‘Modern Slavery Garden’ and a Siver-Gilt for The New Blue Peter Garden: Discover Soil, 2022.

In this garden, Juliet celebrates all the creative talents who have contributed to the success of The Lion King West End Show. She uses the parched landscape of the African savanna to underpin a climate resilient ‘Circle of Life’ theme to the garden, with colourful drought-tolerant planting to inspire us all.

Juliet has long advocated the importance of gardens for health and in her private practice, she uses gardens to help connect people to landscape and nature. At her ‘Sussex Garden School’ she runs courses to de-mystify gardening and help people to get to know their gardens better.Juliet has won awards from the SGD in 2012 and 2015, for sustainability and hard landscaping design. In 2017 Juliet was made a Fellow of the SGD for her contribution to garden design & horticulture and in 2019 she was made Fellow of The Landscape Institute.In 2016 Juliet was celebrated for her role as a change-maker and role model at the GG2 Leadership Awards. She was also one of the Evening Standard’s Progress 100 influential people. In 2018 she was named as one of the BBC 100 Women.

ABOUT THE RHS Since our formation in 1804, the RHS has grown into the UK’s leading gardening charity, touching the lives of millions of people. Perhaps the secret to our longevity is that we’ve never stood still. In the last decade alone we’ve taken on the largest hands-on project the RHS has ever tackled by opening RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford, Greater Manchester, and invested in the science that underpins all our work by building RHS Hilltop – The Home of Gardening Science.  We have committed to being net positive for nature and people by 2030. We are also committed to being truly inclusive and to reflect all the communities of the UK.  Across our five RHS gardens we welcome more than three million visitors each year to enjoy over 34,000 different cultivated plants. Events such as the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show, other national shows, our schools and community work, and partnerships such as Britain in Bloom, all spread the shared joy of gardening to wide-reaching audiences.Throughout it all we’ve held true to our charitable core – to encourage and improve the science, art and practice of horticulture –to share the love of gardening and the positive benefits it brings. For more information visit www.rhs.org.uk.
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262