In 1988, newly-weds Rosy and Rob Hardy were selling home grown plants at a local car boot sale. Thirty years on, Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants has gained an international reputation as one of the UK’s leading independent plant nurseries, having won 22 prestigious Gold Medals at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where this May, the Hardy’s will be celebrating the Nursery’s and their own Pearl Anniversaries, with some exciting new plant introductions.
As befits the double celebration, Hardy’s will be unveiling two new herbaceous perennial plants on their Stand in the Great Pavilion. The Gaillardia has been bred by Rosy, at the family run Nursery in Freefolk in Hampshire.
The first of the new introductions is Gaillardia ‘Apricot Honey’, which Rosy has been evaluating and propagating for over two years at the nursery. As its names suggests, this 70cm high Gaillardia produces large, soft apricot flowers throughout the summer (or from when to when). Its elegant free form and gently arching habit, make it ideal for the middle of a warm sunny border, or in a large container.
The second introduction is Polemonium yezoense ‘Kaleidoscope’ which was bred in 2001 at Dunmore Nursery. This striking plant is sure to attract attention of visitors to Chelsea.
Its foliage emerges cream flushed, deep pink and red and matures to bronze green with creamy yellow variegation, maintaining a pink flush. It’s purple blue flowers reach 60 cm and it makes a good compact plant for the front of a sunny or partially shaded border, or in a container.
Commenting Rosy Hardy told The Landscaper “We are delighted to be returning to RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2018 and being able to celebrate the two 30th anniversaries. Those three decades have flown by and in that time we have appeared at more than 300 RHS Shows and introduced over 100 new plants. So, we are delighted to be able to celebrate with the introduction of two more beautiful perennials, which we feel sure gardeners will love to grow.”
“Over the years we have seen our plant displays at Chelsea change a great deal. We used to have small island stands for visitors to walk around, but in recent years, we have created much larger, walk-through displays, so that visitors can be up-close to the wide range of herbaceous perennial plants.”
This year Hardy’s stand is being supported by Marshalls who will be providing much of the hard landscaping for the stand and the peat free growing medium endorsed by the RHS for the hundreds of plants on display, is being provided by Melcourt Industries Limited.
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