Hartley Magazine

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Introducing Opus

The Hartley Botanic Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 – Introducing Opus

Hartley Botanic has been exhibiting beautifully planted trade stands at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for close to sixty years, but for 2016, MD Johnny Mobasher is taking it to another level with a Main Avenue show garden designed by Catherine MacDonald from Landform Consultants Ltd. Johnny has long been a fan of Catherine’ s painterly style of planting and had her in the frame for the design job as soon as he decided it was time to step up from a Main Avenue award winning trade stand to a full on show garden. The inspiration for the feature glasshouse which will appear to be emerging from a pool came from a design by Thomas Heatherwick, one of Britain’s most gifted and imaginative designers.

Hartley Opus Glasshouse RHS Chelsea 2016 Show Garden
Hartley Opus Glasshouse RHS Chelsea 2016 Show Garden

The plan is to deliver a garden that celebrates the best of British engineering innovation and in particular the glasshouse structures that Hartley Botanic are renowned the world over for. The garden will feature Opus, a stunning glasshouse attached to what would be a walled garden.

The Opus is a modern glasshouse and will highlight beautifully Hartley Botanic’s aim of celebrating their British engineered structures in a novel and forward thinking way, demonstrating their suitability for contemporary as well as period homes.

The scene will evoke a rural garden in southern England and the view from the glasshouse & surrounding water will depict woodland type planting. Woodland plants are likely to include Anthriscus sylvestris, Aquilegia vulgaris, Digitalis purpurea, Pimpinella major ‘Rosea’ and other wildflower species.

There will also be a mixture of flowering perennials & vegetables on the other side of the wall which seeks to represent the end of a ‘walled garden’ that would in reality be much larger. Plants in this area will include Anchusa ‘Loddon Royalist’, Beta vulgaris, Daucus carota, Lupinus ‘Chandelier’ and Raphanus sativus.

Hartley Botanic to Donate Stunning Chelsea Flower Show Opus Glasshouse to the Horatio’s Garden in Glasgow

As soon as The Chelsea Flower Show closes its doors to the public on Saturday 28 May, the work of disassembling the beautiful gardens, trade stands and horticultural displays begins. Once completed the Opus structure will be donated to the wonderful charity Horatio’s Garden. Johnny Mobasher said, “Since the beginning Horatio’s Garden has always been a charity close to my heart and in line with my hopes for continuity of some elements of our Chelsea Garden I’m truly delighted to announce that Opus our state of the art Hartley Botanic Glasshouse will find a new home at the second Horatio’s Garden”.

Horatio’s Garden
Horatio’s Garden

Designed by James Alexander-Sinclair, this garden will open in 2016 at the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit in Glasgow which cares for patients from across Scotland. Upon hearing that Hartley Botanic were donating the glasshouse valued at £30,000 designer James said, “We are super thrilled that Hartley Botanic have agreed to donate their Chelsea greenhouse to Horatio’s Garden Scotland. It will not only add to the general loveliness of the garden but will also be a great asset to the rehabilitation and health of the patients”

Horatio’s Garden is a charity that creates and lovingly cares for, beautiful gardens in NHS spinal injury centres. Leading garden designers develop the stunning sanctuaries for patients and their family and friends, creating an environment which becomes an integral part of their lives and care whilst spending many months in hospital.


We would love to see you at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and spend some time with you admiring the beautiful garden that has been created by Catherine MacDonald and discussing how the Opus would suit your own garden. Click the link above to secure your tickets to the show and join us for the celebration of gardening and British engineering at its finest.