It’s been another glittering success for Hortus Loci plants at this year’s Chelsea. Harry and David Rich’s design for the Cloudy Bay garden (pictured top left), won a well-deserved Gold Medal for their design using Hortus Loci plants. Close on their heels were Matthew Keighley’s celebrated Sentebale garden (top right), Matthew Wilson’s Royal Bank of Canada garden (bottom left) and Gavin McWilliam and Andrew Wilson’s Wellington College garden (bottom right) – all of which were awarded Silver-gilt Medals. Our hearty congratulations to them all!
A wet and windy introduction to Chelsea may have provided additional challenges for the plantsmen, designers and builders of this year’s Show, but the results are as stunning as ever. Hortus Loci have nurtured over 40,000 plants that range from creeping drought-tolerant succulents, through a myriad of sought-after perennials to a 10m oak that featured on one of their four Main Avenue gardens: Sentebale, Cloudy Bay, Wellington College and the Royal Bank of Canada. In addition, Hortus Loci have supplied nearly all the plants featured in the RHS’s own Great Garden Design Challenge competition winners’ garden, as featured on the BBC during the build-up to the Show.
Last year’s People’s Choice winner, Matthew Keighley, designed the Sentebale garden to celebrate the opening of the Mamohato Children’s centre in Lesotho, South Africa. Ably assisted by Their Royal Highnesses Prince Harry and Prince Charles, Matthew’s vibrant design is divided into three sections: a wild terrain reminiscent of Lesotho; a calming Mamohato camp area; and a rocky waterscape that represents the mountainous topography of this part of South Africa. Perennials such as Acanthus mollis ‘Rue Leedan’, Erysimum ‘Apricot Twist’, Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’ and Lupinus ‘Persian Slipper’ featured, along with shrubs, such as Cornus kousa chinensis and Dasyliion wheeleri and succulents Aloe vera, Senecio serpens and sempervivum.
Cloudy Bay garden
You can also experience the subtle characteristics of two Cloudy Bay wines in the garden designed by the horticultural young guns, Harry and David Rich. Using a combination of subtle colours, perfumes and textures, they’ve visualised the flavours experienced when sipping a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, brimming with fresh and clean notes…alongside a Pinot Noir with its warmer, earthier tones. The plants were chosen to create a naturalist feel using airy grasses and perennials – including Chelsea first-timer Baptisia ‘Dutch Chocolate’ – while dome-trimmed yews for textural contrast. One novel feature the bothers included in their design was a movable steel and oak structure on rails that changes position when the clock strikes 11am, 4pm and 6pm. The garden design also includes a secret seating area – the perfect spot for having a tipple at the end of a hard day.
Wellington College garden
Marking the bi-centenary of Wellington’s victory at the Battle of Waterloo, Gavin McWilliam and Andrew Wilson’s design, captures the transition from the bleak brutality of the battle, through the optimism of regeneration, to the iconic architecture of Wellington College. Hotus Loci’s pleached and cubed beech provide a geometric structure that reflects the military square formations of the Waterloo battlefield, against a backdrop of beech and oak woodland. In between, grasses and perennials blend to create a meadow planting that links in with the ornamental gardens at the College, while seedling oaks represent the graduating students as they embark on life’s journey.
The Royal Bank of Canada garden
Designed by Matthew Wilson, this contemporary design explores living sustainably, incorporating sources of fresh water and food. It is divided into three parts: a Mediterranean-style drought-tolerant dry zone; a curvaceous wet area for harvesting and storing water; and a food-producing area. A raised seating platform provides views across the garden that’s ideal for alfresco dining, too. Of all the plants supplied by Hortus loci, it was the Bupleurum perfoliatum ‘Bronze Form’, Iris germanica ‘Mer du Sud’ and Bunium bulbocastanum that have caught the imagination.
This year, we are delighted to announce that Hortus Loci was selected by the RHS to supply nearly all the plants for its Great Garden Design Challenge garden. The winning front garden design, by Sean Murray, aims to be both practical and beautiful. Utilising reclaimed and recycled materials, it includes a wildlife-friendly seating area, a shady sunken garden and even a parking space. Using a range of shrubs, perennials and scented climbers, a tapestry of colours and textures soften the overall effect, with annuals and bulbs providing year-round interest.
Many congratulations to Australian landscape designer Jim Fogarty (pictured above) for winning a Gold Medal and the coveted the Best Show Garden award at this year’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show with his Essence of Australia garden. Using Hortus Loci plants, the garden successfully unites a contemporary design with the native flora of Australia. Several other gardens, based on Hortus Loci plants, also caught the judges’ eye. Paul Martin’s Vestry Wealth’s Vista garden won Gold as did the Conceptual Gardens of Nilufer Danis (Wrath) and Amanda Miller (Pride). Silver-Flora Medals were also won by Selina Botham for her Jordan Cereals Wildlife Garden, Becky Govier for her Macmillan Legacy garden and Rachel Parker Soden for her conceptual garden entitled Lust. We salute them all!
Hortus Loci’s world of plants
Pushing the horticultural boundaries, once again, we’ve supplied over 20,000 plants to this year’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show to top garden designers creating a wide range of different gardens from all over the world.
The Essence of Australia garden designed by Jim Fogarty in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, was his first garden for the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. This laid-back, eco-friendly design was inspired by the mythical rainbow serpent that’s an iconic dreamtime creature from Aboriginal culture. Making use of recycled materials, the garden included a snaking deck walkway though an arid landscape of burping pools which are activated by tweeting #EssenceofAus. All planted with native flora supplied by Hortus Loci, that featured six varieties of Anigozanthos, several Grevillea, Ozothamnus, and Westringia, as well as Callistemon and Eremophila. Recycling doesn’t stop there, Jim explained: ‘We are delighted that all the plants will be donated to Kew Gardens after the Show’
Vestra Wealth’s Vista garden, designed by Paul Martin, offered a smart, modern solution for a contemporary garden. Using changes in levels, the design cleverly incorporated a large dining terrace alongside an airy copse of multi-stemmed trees under-planted with swathes hostas and other shade-loving perennials – with a raised rill adding the soothing murmur of water. Backed by a pleached hedge, the light yet secluded al-fresco eating area was supported by colourful borders packed with Hortus Loci plants including drifts of agapanthus, verbena, nepeta and lavender giving a calming white, blue and purple pallet. Serene, yet stunning.
In the Conceptual Gardens within the Inspire Zone at the Show, designers were challenged to create gardens that explored the seven deadly sins. Amanda Miller’s Stonewall Garden: Breaking Down the Walls of Pride drew a lot of attention. Inspired by her own experiences as a young gay woman growing up in small-town Australia, the garden represented the journey from the constraints of old-fashioned beliefs to a life of freedom. Using Hortus loci plants, she depicted the transition from darkness to full colour in her memorable design.
We really liked Rachel Parker Soden’s Lust garden that was inspired by the quote from the cult black-comedy film Withnail & I: ‘Flowers are essentially tarts; prostitutes for the bees.’ Her design explored the relationship between the perception of beauty and function of flowers. A cobbled path over a canal stream lured the casual gaze towards a glass room. This was filled with exotic flowers, complete with a glowing red ‘Peep Show’ neon-sign that showcased the seductive nature of plants. All surrounded with flamboyant plantings of Hortus loci perennials in sizzling shades.
The theme of Wrath& Anger was tackled by Nilufer Danis in her dramatic interpretation of the natural destructive power of a volcano. A theatrical production was achieved using smoke, sound, light and colour. A cunningly lit, smoke-belching crater, built from recycled coal dust and clinker, was spectacularly planted using a graduated colour scheme changing from hot shades, representing fire and glowing larva, to dark colours – symbolising cooling volcanic ash. A dramatic show-stopper of a garden!
Other garden designers using mostly Hortus Loci plants at this year’s Show included Selina Botham for her Jordan Cereals Wildlife Garden (pictured left), Becky Govier for her Macmillan Legacy garden (middle) and Catherine MacDonald for her Hartley Botanic display (right).
Show Gardens based on Hortus Loci plants are wowing judges and visitors alike at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. At every corner of the showground there were Hortus Loci trees, hedging, perennials and grasses bringing the Show to life. We had planned to supply the plants for four Show Gardens: Cleve West’s M&G garden (winning Gold); Hugo Bugg’ Waterscape (also Gold); Matthew Childs’ Brewin Dolphin garden (Silver-Gilt); and the Cloudy Bay garden by Gavin McWilliam and Andrew Wilson (Silver-Gilt). However, other garden designers were so impressed with the quality and size of our plants during the build-up to the Show that Hortus Loci plants became an essential ingredient of many more. These included the trees and hedging on Charlotte Rowe’s No Man’s garden (winning Gold), as well as many perennials on the Rich brothers’ Vital Earth garden (Silver-Gilt), the Garden for the First Touch at George’s by Patrick Collins (Silver-Gilt), and the Positively Stoke-on-Trent garden by Bartholomew Landscaping (Silver-Gilt). We also helped out with over 20 trade stands and other exhibits, including Hartley Botanic, which won best Trade Stand with a garden created by Landform using Hortus Loci plants. We congratulate them all!
Hugo Bugg became the youngest ever Gold Medal winner at this year’s Show
Silver-Gilt winning Cloudy Bay garden by Gavin McWilliam and Andrew Wilson
Hugo Bugg is the name on everybody’s lips at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show after becoming the youngest ever Gold Medal winner – with a Show Garden crammed with Hortus Loci plants. Hugo is the ascending star of garden design, picking up many accolades and admirers along the way, including being named the RHS Young Designer of the Year in 2010 and scooping a Gold Medal at Hampton Court Palace Show a year later. Hugo is chuffed to bits with his success: ‘It’s amazing! Fantastic!’ he said, but is keeping his feet firmly on the ground – determined to make a success of his garden-design business in Exeter. His 2014 Chelsea garden, called Waterscape, illustrated practical, sustainable solutions that can be applied to any garden. Different gradients replicated nature’s way of regulating water flow and encouraging filtration, while layered geometric shapes created intriguing glimpses and angles to delight and tease the casual viewer. Cooling recessive blues, lime-greens and yellows were the predominant colours in the planting scheme with a memorable swathe of iris ‘Gerald Darby’ at its heart. It was sensational success!
Hot-foot from the huge Rådhusparken landscaping project in Umea, Sweden where he’s using a wide range of Hortus Loci plants, Ulf Nordfjell is hard at work creating a comprehensive landscape design for our new wholesale and retail areas. The redevelopment, to be completed over the next few years, features a large Alitex glasshouse for functions and displays, a Croatian-style log cabin to house the new main office and a café-style coffee shop forming the hub of a redesigned retail Plant Centre. Together they will form the perfect shop window for Hortus Loci’s unrivalled range of trees, perennials, shrubs and other plants.
Whitewater Plant Centre’s Adam Hawking stars in this week’s Horticulture Week where he reveals the trials and tribulations of working in the garden retail trade. He explained how he got started in the industry and what his typical day involved. He said he was particularly proud of being part of the team that transformed the old nursery into a thriving Plant Centre. When asked what advice he’d give to others starting out, he said: ‘Do whatever you can to keep learning. You will never know everything, but knowledge is the key.’
Garden designers at this year’s RHS shows up and down the country have had such a successful year using Hortus Loci plants that we have won at least 1 Gold at every event in the gardening calendar (apart from Cardiff where we had no designers exhibiting).
2013 Gold Medal Accumulator…
· Malvern Show: 1 Gold
· Chelsea Flower Show: 4 Golds
· Hampton Court: 4 Golds
· Gardeners’ World Live: 1 Gold
· Tatton Park: 1 Gold
…not to mention our 5 Best in Show awards!