Hartley Magazine

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Hartley Botanic’s RHS Tatton Park tradestand – stand number 429

Hartley Botanic’s RHS Tatton Park Flower Show tradestand designed by Tom Hearn of Base Squared features four of the manufacturer’s handmade greenhouses

British greenhouse and glasshouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic is showcasing the drought-tolerant and tropical plants increasingly being grown by UK gardeners ‘under glass’ as a result of our warming climate at RHS Tatton Park this year. The stand, which features four of the manufacturer’s handmade greenhouses and glasshouses, demonstrates how modern plant tastes and greenhouse usage is changing as gardeners increasingly enjoy more al fresco lifestyles and face blistering heatwaves during the summer. Plants on the stand, which has been designed and planted by landscape and garden maintenance company Base Squared, include architectural tropicals, hardy succulents and an exotic take on grow-your-own. The contemporary trend-led plantings are juxtaposed against a historical anniversary for Hartley Botanic, which this year, will have been making its beautiful, handcrafted greenhouses and glasshouses for 80 years. Key to the Lancashire manufacturer’s success has been its single-minded focus on customer service and its ability to respond to changing trends and tastes amongst gardeners.

Hartley Botanic’s RHS Tatton Park tradestand features four of the manufacturer’s handmade greenhouses and glasshouses, a modern Opus glasshouse, a Victorian Lodge, a traditional Grow and Store and a contemporary Hartley Planthouse, each illustrating climate-led, modern plant trends. The stand also features a special edition Hartley Botanic Patio Glasshouse in ‘ruby red’ to mark the manufacturer’s 80th anniversary. The overall look of the stand is a contemporary one, with a Victorian presence, with clean lines provided by light grey paving and green, leafy external plantings, interjected by deep, grey earthenware and glazed pots.

Victorian Lodge – architectural tropicals

Greenhouse filled with tropical plants

The largest glasshouse on the stand is filled with tropical, heat-loving plants which are now hugely popular with gardeners. Plants including Cycasrevoluta, Chamaerops Humlilis, Sterlitzia Augusta and Phoenix Canariensis fill the structure, suggesting how gardeners are not only using glasshouses to grow their specific planting passions, but also to display and enjoy them. A small pond with water feature has also been installed in a corner of the structure, reflecting the very personal ways gardeners are dressing and adapting their greenhouses and glasshouses.

Modern Opus glasshouse – al fresco accessory

The modern Opus glasshouse

The modern Opus glasshouse represents the appetite amongst many gardeners and homeowners to use a greenhouse or glasshouse as an al fresco accessory which enhances and broadens the way they can enjoy their gardens in our warmer weather. Trendy house plants such as Chlorophytum Comosum and Pilea Peperomioides have been carefully placed alongside attractive orange and lemon citrus trees and the interior dressed with a rattan bench and stylish glassware. The set illustrates a move away from using a greenhouse or glasshouse as a purely functional gardening tool and towards buying one as a way to enjoy a more outdoor lifestyle, especially in the summer.

Contemporary Hartley Planthouse – hardy succulents

Hartley Planthouse with double doors

Cactus plants, Sempervium and Echeveria completely fill a Hartley Planthouse with double doors and are presented in earthenware and glazed pots. The curated display illustrates how many gardeners are specifically using greenhouses to propagate succulents and species such as alpines and ferns. These more exotic and unusual species are incredibly popular and flourish in the climate-controlled conditions of a greenhouse or glasshouses.

Traditional Grow & Store – heat-tolerant edibles

Traditional Grow & Store

At first glance, the Grow & Store seems to depict the very traditional, and arguably most popular, focus of greenhouse gardening – growing edibles. However, on closer inspection the display shows edibles specifically selected for their tolerance of hotter temperatures. Fiery hot chillies and herbs which flourish in more arid conditions are shown in various stages of growth on potting benches.

80th anniversary – The Hartley Patio Glasshouse

The Hartley Patio Glasshouse

Also on the stand, within the Victorian Lodge, is a special edition of Hartley Botanic’s Patio Glasshouse which is available for a limited time in an arresting ‘ruby red’, allowing customers to mark the manufacturer’s 80th anniversary this year. Founded in 1938 by brothers Vincent (RHS fellow) and Norman Hartley, Hartley Botanic is one of Britain’s oldest and most trusted greenhouse manufacturers and was, to their knowledge, the first to develop and make entirely aluminium structures, representing a new class of greenhouse building in terms of practicality and engineering design. Vincent and Norman Hartley’s drive and ambition to create the finest greenhouses money can buy is still central to the company’s ethos which still specialises in handmade, made-to-order horticultural buildings which truly stand the test of time. Some of Hartley Botanic’s original structures are still standing and in full use, such as the Hartley Botanic greenhouse at Belgrave Hall, installed in 1950 and the glasshouse in Glasgow Botanical Gardens installed in 1988.

Hartley Botanic’s impressive 1958 glasshouse for The Royal Floral Hall, Rhyl – the glasshouse showcases the company’s original, ‘clear span’ aluminium greenhouse design

Of the tradestand Tom Barry, Managing Director of Hartley Botanic commented; “Hartley Botanic has always moved with the changing needs and tastes of its customers and we wanted to communicate this through the stand’s trend and climate-led plantings. This ability to respond to the times has also been a key factor in Hartley Botanic’s 80 trusted years, making the finest aluminium greenhouses money can buy. While we may be a historic British business, our products are constantly evolving and so is the way gardeners are using them.”

Thomas Hearn, Director at Base Squared added; “The last few years has seen an incredible upsurge in demand for tropical-style plants which not only have a trendy look, they are also more able to flourish in the UK’s warming climate – and do especially well ‘under glass.’ There is no doubt that climate change is influencing the choices of the UK’s gardeners and a stand with this theme felt particularly appropriate with the backdrop of our current heatwave.”

All Hartley Botanic’s greenhouses and glasshouses are handmade, bespoke and made to order. Customers interested in purchasing a Hartley Botanic greenhouse should visit: http://www.hartley-botanic.co.uk or call 01457 819 155 for more information.