Hartley Botanic scoops five stars and the Director General’s tradestand at RHS Chelsea

Lancashire-based greenhouse and glasshouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic has this year been awarded both the 5 Star award and the Director General’s tradestand award for its ‘provenance and history’ themed tradestand at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The stand, which was 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 handmade aluminium greenhouses from the same Lancashire factory, beneath the base of the dramatic Pennines’ Chew Valley.

Hartley Botanic managing director Tom Barry 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.”

RHS director general Sue Biggs added: “We were impressed not only by the beautiful planting but even more by the educational content in the gorgeous greenhouses about plant hunters of the past.”