Hartley Magazine

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Greenhouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic wins 5 stars for its tradestand and the coveted Director General Linley award at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018. Left to right: Martin Toogood Chairman of Hartley Botanic, Lee Burkhill of ‘the Garden Ninja’ (tradestand garden designer) and Tom Barry Managing Director of Hartley Botanic

Hartley Botanic Tradestand – stand number SR32

Lancashire-based greenhouse and glasshouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic has this year been awarded both the 5 Star award and the Director General’s Linley award for its ‘provenance and history’ themed tradestand at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The stand, which has been designed and planted by RHS winning Lee Burkhill ‘the Garden Ninja,’ with landscaping by award winning G.K. Wilson landscape services, provides a historical snapshot into the incredible stories and plant hunter origins behind some of our best loved and most familiar plants, celebrating the fearless work of ‘orchid hunters’, the passion and ambition of Victorian plant collectors and the pivotal scientific discoveries which came about through botanical study. The stand’s ‘provenance and history’ theme was inspired both by the increasing importance of thoughtful plant sourcing, and by its central importance in Hartley Botanic’s own story – for 80 years the company has been making its beautiful, handmade aluminium greenhouses from the same Lancashire factory, beneath the base of the dramatic Pennines’ Chew Valley.

The award comes after Hartley Botanic was named the RHS’ recommended aluminium greenhouse and glasshouse supplier last year and countless appearances at the annual RHS Chelsea flower show – the manufacturer can trace its presence at Chelsea back to as early as the Queen’s Coronation in 1953.

Hartley Botanic’s stand features four of its handmade greenhouses and glasshouses, a modern Opus glasshouse, a Victorian Lodge, a traditional Grow and Store and a contemporary Hartley Planthouse, each with an intricate and striking display, telling an individual and compelling botanical history story. Beautiful greenhouses in stylish green, grey, stone and bronze colours are surrounded by woodland-styled external plantings which provide a soft exterior. Woodland style plants including Thalictrum, Anthriscus and Actea provide an intriguing backdrop whilst the likes of Achillea, Waldsteinia and Nepetain mellow yellows and oranges, planted in staggered heights, give enticing views through to each of the greenhouses. These natural-looking exterior plants are the unsung heroes of woodland canopy planting and thrive in the UK’s climate. The stand also features a special edition Hartley Botanic Patio Greenhouse in ‘ruby red’ to mark the manufacturer’s 80th anniversary.

Of the award win, Tom Barry, Managing Director of Hartley Botanic commented; “We are thrilled by our stand’s double award win. The theme and design of our stand was particularly special for us this year as it tells a planting story which reflects our 80th anniversary and our desire to share Hartley Botanic’s provenance and history with customers. As with the many plant varieties gracing our gardens, the heritage of our greenhouses and glasshouses is not immediately apparent, but gardeners are increasingly understanding the value and importance of provenance and are looking closer in their purchasing decisions to create sustainable gardens which give joy over a lifetime.”

Lee Burkhill of ‘the Garden Ninja’ and the stand designer commented; “Myself and G.K. Wilson landscape services are over the moon and honoured to receive these awards. It was a complete privilege to be able to design the Hartley Botanic stand, and the hook of the business’ 80th anniversary provided an invaluable stepping-off point for our historical theme. The historical stories behind some of our most well-loved plants are both engrossing and humbling when you consider the lengths botanists and plant collectors went to for us to enjoy such a deep range of species today. There is more than meets the eye behind the Hartley Botanic tradestand and we hope visitors will take away a deeper appreciation of plant history and provenance as a result.”

The coveted Director General Linley award on the Hartley Botanic ‘provenance & history’ themed tradestand

Up-and-coming West Lancashire based garden designer Lee Burkhill of ‘the Garden Ninja’ was chosen to design the stand, along with landscaping delivered by Gareth Wilson of Derbyshire’s G.K. Wilson landscape services. It is Lee’s first time designing for Chelsea after winning the BBC’s 2016 Feel Good Garden competition at RHS Hampton Court with his Manchester-themed Show Garden. Landscapers G.K. Wilson are multi Royal Horticultural Society award winners with a legacy of medal-worthy gardens across the RHS’s various flower shows, including Golds at RHS Chatsworth and RHS Hampton Court last year.