Hardy’s Last Chelsea
Hardy’s last Chelsea Flower Show garden was destined to be on show at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May of 2021.
Of course the Covid-19 pandemic put paid to that and to the spring 2021 show as well!
Faced with a rescheduled Chelsea Flower show in September 2021 Hardy’s sensibly decided to press ahead and create their last ‘Chelsea Garden’ at their nursery in Hampshire.
Consequently the Hardy’s last Chelsea Flower Show garden was duly created in May and opened in front of about 70 of the garden media on Monday May 17th.
Multiple medal winners
Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants – to give them their full name – are multiple medal winners at Chelsea and always create a magnificent display in the Grand Pavilion on the Chelsea Hospital grounds in West London.
In fact Hardy’s have been showing at this, the world’s most prestigious flower show, for almost 3 decades. They have been awarded 24 Gold Medals in that time. This last show garden would have almost certainly have racked up their 25th!
To exhibit at this show requires a huge amount of effort, expertise, time and money. Hardy’s had already decided that this was to be their last Chelsea garden but to everyone’s immense relief they will still be seen at all the other major flower shows in the future!
A Sponsoring Partner
To exhibit at Chelsea has become very expensive and so requires a sponsor.
In this case the gardening app Candide provided that supporting partnership.
Candide Gardening are celebrating a Festival of Flowers during May and so the Hardy’s last Chelsea show garden fits neatly into their programme too.
Rosy and Rob Hardy
The Hardys already had plants growing for the 2021 show when it was decided to postpone the event to the autumn.
But this year was to prove to be an especially challenging year. Abnormally late frosts throughout the late spring just held plant growth back. Hardys like to grow their plants naturally without forcing them on.
Using all the immense experience that they had gained with so many previous show successes they have pulled off another fabulous show garden!
Rob Hardy took the opportunity to thank the team that helps build their show gardens [both past and present].
Rosy Hardy is the mastermind behind their show successes and at finding plants that ‘wow’ gardeners! She is superb at putting plants that look good together. But also just as importantly plants that would grow together in the same growing conditions.
Hardy’s last Chelsea show garden was opened by BBC Gardeners World presenter Adam Frost.
Adam is of course no stranger at Chelsea Flower Show. He has won many Gold Medals himself. He has designed and built large show gardens.
And so it was especially appropriate that this TV presenter should formally open the garden!
He knows exactly what is needed to create a gold medal standard exhibit!
The Festival Flower Garden
A wooden feature -that looks like the ribs of an upturned boat- forms the entrance to Hardys last Chelsea garden.
The garden is filled with a mix of exciting hardy perennials. But unusual shrubs too. 13 white stemmed Betula utilis ‘Jacquemontii’ trees anchored the exhibit.
It’s a walk through garden so that every plant can be seen close up.
There’s a central seating and paved area where you can sit and just take it all in.
Of course there’s water which reflects the plants which edge it.
See it for yourself!
You can visit this garden throughout May by making a booking.
Candide are providing the booking facility for Hardys.
Candide Gardening App
Why not download the Candide Gardening App and join the gardening community online?
You’ll find masses of like minded people on there! You can get advice, read articles, get plants identified and even book tickets there.
You’ll also find a lot more from me on there!
I’m on there as @AlanGardenMaster and have written over 100 articles for the app.
My weekly and monthly Gardening Tips are especially popular.
Plants that especially caught my eye
The garden is full of great plants but here’s just a few that caught my eye this time.
While you’re in the area
Why not visit Mottisfont Rose Garden while you’re nearby? Details of my visit here.
You might also like to read my blog on the Greenfingers Charity Garden at Chelsea Flower Show in 2019.
Ironically Adam Frost features there too!