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!
It’s great to see that so many of the garden designers who chose Hortus Loci to supply their plants, struck Gold at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.
The Best Show Garden award went to the Ecover Garden (pictured right) designed by Matthew Childs using Hortus Loci plants. This spectacular contemporary design explored the importance of water and how aquatic environments are under threat from pollution, notably plastic. Cliff-like monolithic walls provided the perfect backdrop to meandering plantings through gravel, interweaved with strips of plastic. Recycled materials were used imaginatively throughout.
Catherine MacDonald’s Desolation & Regeneration garden (top pic) that explored the aftermath of a forest fire, really caught the judge’s eye – winning a Gold Medal and the best Conceptual Garden prize. She used contrasting, strong, architectural distressed features made from metal a wood, alongside soft, naturalistic planting of perennials and grasses, to represent nature’s restorative powers. For added impact, the garden was created as a walk-through experience to stimulate the senses using sound, movement and colour from hot, fiery shades to refreshing greens and whites.
Ruth Marshall achieved a similar feat in the Summer Garden category, winning Best in Show and a Gold Medal for her Cool Garden (pictured left), designed to provide a private and restful space for all the family to enjoy. Cool running water rills and other decorative elements are set off perfectly by a lush under-planting of our perennials and ferns.
The McCarthy & Stone Garden (pictured left), designed by Chris Beardshaw, was another Gold Medal winner featuring predominantly our plants. Built round a circular structure with a giant head sculpture, the garden offered three pathways leading to a hidden sanctuary area to celebrate the wisdom of experience of the UK’s growing over-60s population.
Other gardens featuring Hortus Loci plants, that also impressed the judges, included the Silver Medal winning Macmillan Legacy Garden designed by Rebecca Govier, The Hot Stuff Garden by designed by Victoria Truman and Liz Rentzsch, The QEF Garden for Joy by Heather Appleton and the Vestra Wealth’s Jardin du Gourmet by Paul Martin.
Our heartiest congratulations goes to them all!
Gardening celebrities design planters using Hortus Loci plants
Ecover has also sponsored a competition at this year’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show where eight gardening celebrities pit their creative wits to design inspirational planters using Hortus Loci plants. Jekka McVicar, Annie Guilfoyle, Pippa Greenwood, Anne-Marie Powell, Adam Frost, Matthew Wilson, Toby Buckland and James Alexander-Sinclair have all contributed to the competition. The planters will be on display in the Inspire Zone throughout the Show, after which they will be donated to community-based projects.
At this year’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, Hortus Loci have been the first port of call for many garden designers. If you are visiting this year’s event, check out the ‘Inspire’ section, to see how Chris Beardshaw celebrates the wisdom of experience in his McCarthy & Stone garden using our plants. And don’t miss Matthew Childs’ Ecover garden which examines the sustainability of modern life with rivers ofHortus Loci perennials. In the ‘Conceptual’ section, you can see how Catherine Macdonald’s garden explores the two phases of forest fire; desolation and regeneration with some of our hottest colours. In the ‘Escape’ category, more Hortus Loci wares are on show in a range of gardens including Becky Govier’s Macmillan garden which traces the uncertain journey of a cancer patient, while Paul Martin delivers a productive contemporary garden using our plants entitled Jardin du Gormet and Ruth Marshall unveils her spa garden for all the family.
Following our glittering Chelsea success inside the showground, we have learnt that plants we supplied for the rag & bone shop in Sloane Square has won top-prize in the Chelsea in Bloomcompetition. Dilly Murphy’s window display, using exclusively Hortus Loci plants, was considered Best Floral Display by the RHS judges. This was the first time rag & bone had entered this competition which encourages local retailers to show off their creative talents in support of the Show. The theme this year was ‘Decades’ and the rag & bone display focused on 2010 onwards, as Dilly explained: ‘The freshness, authenticity, attention to detail and use of high-quality material, while recyclable shrubs and herbs were included to reflect a casual, natural elegance.’
We’re chuffed to bits to hear that a plant Hortus Loci supplied to this year’s Show was voted the best ever at Chelsea over the past 100 years by members of the public. In their centenary year at the Royal Hospital in London, the RHS undertook the rather ambitious task to find the best plant ever to grace the grounds. They asked a panel of experts to make a shortlist of the best plants from each decade and then let the public have the final say on the ‘Plant of the Centenary’. We agree with their choice, too, since it is a fabulous cranesbill with real staying power – in a sheltered garden it can flower from June to November.
And the finalists were…
Streptocarpus ‘Harlequin Blue’ (2003 – 2012)
Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (‘Gerwat’) (1993 – 2002)
Heuchera villosa ‘Palace Purple’ (1983 – 1992)
Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ (1973 – 1982)
Cornus ‘Eddie’s White Wonder’ (1963 – 1972)
Rosa ‘Iceberg’ (1953 – 1962)
Rhododendron yakushimanum (1943 – 1952)
Lupinus ‘Russell Hybrids’ (1933 – 1942)
Pieris formosa var. forrestii (1923 – 1932)
Saxifraga ‘Tumbling Waters’ (1913 – 1922)
WINNER: ‘Plant of the Centenary’ - Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (‘Gerwat’)
For the second year running, a Show Garden featuring exclusively Hortus Loci plants has been awarded the People’s Choice accolade at the Chelsea Flower Show. This is the only award that is decided by visiting members of the public. We congratulate designer Chris Beardshaw for his inspired and vibrant plant combinations in The Arthritis UK Garden that were a shining beacon of colour throughout the week.
Chelsea Flower Show, it has scaled the horticultural heights for its centenary year, celebrating 100 years at the Royal Hospital in London. This year’s Show is special for Hortus Loci, too, since we have supplied over 70,000 plants for a wide range of gardens and exhibits, including four of the main Show Garden.
Nigel Dunnett’s RBC Blue Water Roof Garden (MA13) that investigates the challenges and opportunities of urban gardening as a vehicle to support wildlife and biodiversity. It contains a central wetland area maintained by captured rainfall, and low-tech living walls surrounding an area that incorporates rooftop essential infrastructure including cooling vents and air conditioning units. A flower-rich planting threads its way through four distinct conservation zones of shady woodland, sun-drenched, wetland and aquatic – each filled with a selection of hand-picked, well-adapted species.
RHS Award: Gold
Chris Beardshaw’s Arthritis Research UK Garden (RHW/1), explores a sufferer’s journey of discovery with his design that passes through three distinct zones of emotion. The shaded ‘veiled’ woodland complete with a contemporary retreat and underplanted with a range of shrubs and herbaceous links, via a stepping stone path, to a formal ‘lucid’ area with reflective pool and white-themed planting, then finally a ‘radiant’ garden containing a vibrant combination of pink, purple, orange and blue flowers (foreground).
RHS Award: Gold
The Brewin Dolphin Garden by Robert Myers (MA21) showcases a calm, reflective garden for relaxation and entertainment, using native plants. In a central sunken area, a verdant textual combination of groundcover and clipped box provides a counterpoint to the pleached field maples and a scattering of multi-stemmed rowans, underplanted with a blend of grasses, shrubs and herbaceous with white, purple and blue flowers. Towards the front the colour theme is dominated by blue pink and white with splashes of yellow with patio and pebble seats.
RHS Award: Gold
In Jinny Blom’s B&Q Sentebale Garden (MA16), in association with HRH Prince Harry, a textural picture has been created using muted tones inspired by the landscape and culture of Africa, to highlight the plight of Lesotho’s forgotten children that suffer from extreme poverty and an HIV/AIDs epidemic. Her design highlights the stark regional contrasts of a moist valley delta alongside a dry mountain slope. The damp plain is planted with six pollarded willows in a sea of lush Ajuga, Anthriscus, Damera peltatais, Rheum, Cyperus and Osmanda. There’s a forget-me-not meadow and a ‘hearts and crowns’ stone terrace set in a mossy lake. The dry mountain slope is planted with a craggy pine and arid grasses from the region.
RHS Award: Silver-Gilt
We are very excited about a fantastic new flowering crab called Malus ‘Peter’s Red’, that’s now available exclusively from Hortus Loci. Selected by German arboriculturist, Peter Fluegge, it’s prolific in flower, has a compact habit, with stunning autumn colour and persistent red fruits that last well into the New Year. Reaching just 10m at maturity, it is an ideal choice for small gardens since it provides year-round interest and offers great garden value. ‘Peter’s Red’ is at its most impressive during May when smothered with huge clusters of eye-catching, cerise-pink, single flowers, but it remains an attractive specimen throughout the summer months. The leaves turn bonfire shades in autumn, followed by a large crop of spherical, bright-red fruit that are a highlight of the winter garden. This lovely new crab apple is also disease resistant. Available as a multistem 2.5-3m tall, or as a heavy standard (8-10cm girth), with prices starting from £395 (ex. VAT) per tree.
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