Hartley Botanic celebrating 80th anniversary along history of plants at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

TOP Greenfield-based greenhouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic is celebrating its 80thanniversary as well as communicating the history of plants at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Hartley Botanic: their old truck

Hartley Botanic, which was founded in 1938 by brothers Vincent and Norman Hartley, has been making its beautiful, handmade and bespoke aluminium greenhouses and glasshouses from the same artisan factory on Wellington Road for eight decades.

Its history as a business and its carefully crafted garden structures are the inspiration behind its RHS Chelsea Flower Show trade stand.

It will be symbolically mirrored in displays which tell the historic stories of plants well-known to British gardeners.

The stand will feature four of the manufacturer’s handmade greenhouses and glasshouses, as well as a limited edition structure commissioned to mark its 80th anniversary.

Each greenhouse will be filled with individually designed planting schemes, providing glass-framed vignettes for visitors.

Plants to be showcased on the stand will be diverse, ranging from woodland species such as Thalictrum and Actea to exotic orchids and fragile-looking Lewisia alpines.

Most of the plant species to be featured are already known and enjoyed by British gardeners but all have rich, interesting origins.

It is hoped that by sharing their historic stories, these plants will become more valued and prized, as well as encouraging further discovery around plant origins and provenance.

Tom Barry, Managing Director of Hartley Botanic said: “The stand will challenge visitors to take a second look at plants they are hugely familiar with to gain a deeper appreciation and respect through learning their provenance and history.

“In the same way, our 80th anniversary this year draws attention to the history and heritage which lies behind a modern Hartley Botanic greenhouse.

Hartley Botanic: A historic shot of their factory

“Aesthetically, our horticultural structures are incredibly beautiful, but it is the 80 years of engineering expertise, craftsmanship and enduring commitment to artisan production which reveals their true quality and worth.”

Up-and-coming West Lancashire based garden designer Lee Burkhill of ‘the Garden Ninja’ has been 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.

Lee Burkhill said: “We are thrilled to have been chosen to design Hartley Botanic’s 2018 Chelsea stand, and I am particularly pleased to be working with one of the North’s best landscapers.

“Gareth and I will be looking to ‘break the mould’ this year with our combined design energy and plant enthusiasm, creating something that’s a true feast for the senses!”

Hartley Botanic is one of Britain’s oldest and most trusted greenhouse manufacturers. All their greenhouses and glasshouses are handmade, bespoke and made to order. Find out more on their website or call 01457 819 155.


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