We thought we’d share an insight into one of our favourite stands at The RHS Hampton Court Flower Show this year, Hortus Loci. It literally stood out for me, as the jewel of the show. Controversially I thought their planting combinations were better than some of the show gardens. Then they do know their plants I guess!
Hampton Court Flower Show is a pretty high profile flower show in the UK calendar for gardening enthusiasts and horticulture professionals these days, but has a slightly different feel to it from The Chelsea Flower Show. Less of a society event, but incredibly strong on supporting families, communities, and the next generation of gardeners. Especially this year, great to see the emphasis on young gardeners.
What’s interesting though is it’s still a very serious event for plant nurseries, horticulturists, designers and florists. An intriguing area at the show is an area with 18 stands in it (the show is HUGE!) which are exhibits by some of the UK’s top plant nurseries. It’s called the Plant Village. It’s stunning, just seeing the plants beautifully displayed. But also, and more importantly for the enthusiast or professional gardener, it showcases the incredible range of varieties of plants that are used by designers.
I think sometimes it’s easy to forget that whilst the landscape designers and garden designers soak up a lot of the limelight with their impressive gardens, the plants are lovingly nurtured and supplied continually by armies of plant nurseries. Most of the plant nurseries there – are supplying designers globally for their top designs, and for The Chelsea Flower Show.
For this year's Chelsea Flower Show for example, the Hortus Loci team grew 120,000 plants and then chose 40,000 of the best, which were then transported in 115 lorry loads. They sourced the very best specimen plants including 17 trees and supplied a total of 11 gardens at the show. It’s not surprising then that these guys know how to make plants dazzle and have that special mastery of blending different plants to make an overall impression of beauty, like an artist would with paint. I suppose what’s interesting is that you most often see this in the show gardens, but it shouldn’t be surprising considering that Hortus Loci are the suppliers to so many winning show gardens and designers.
Eryngium 'Big Blue'
Hortus Loci is on a 17-acre site, near Hook in Hampshire, you will find a comprehensive selection of the highest-quality specimens in a range of sizes that will enchant garden design concepts on any scale. They literally supply many of the best designers in the UK, so an interesting secret gem in terms of quality and taste in plants. My own experience of them has also been very positive – as you can buy online, always a plus for those of us who prefer remote, or who are located in areas that aren’t necessarily UK based.
Echinacea Hot Summer with Helenium backdrop
We have previously interviewed Jamie Butterworth for learningwithexperts.com who is their plants show manager and designed the display at Hampton Court Flower Show that you see in the photographs here. This time though we interviewed Robin Wallis one of the firm’s partners.
Robin Wallis, Partner
Robin comes from a long line of nurserymen, and has spent his working life in nursery and garden centre management, starting as a trainee in the early 80’s and working his way up to Garden Centre Manager by the late 80’s. In 1990, he was a founding partner and director of a successful landscaping business which is still trading today, however Robin moved on after 5 years.
Hortus Loci at Hampton Court Flower Show
Robin has supplied high quality plants to top garden designers as well as more mainstream landscapers and garden centres. He has superb knowledge of plant sourcing, propagation and growing, and is also an expert in the systems and processes to manage garden centres and plant catalogues.