A Golden Start to the Season

Working with UBS and two RHS designers

Presenting with Helen Cross Gardening and Food Writer at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024
29th May, 2024

Two RHS shows barely a week apart and two Gold Medals. We’re exhausted but elated.

We started show season at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival with glorious weather and visitors eager to buy. It’s the show that’s closest to the nursery, which made re-stocking after selling out far easier.

Malvern finished on Sunday and by Tuesday we were on the road again for our third time at RHS Chelsea. As well as our nursery exhibit, we were one of four specialist nurseries chosen to take part in a special display in the Great Pavilion giving an insight into life as a grower. Some of our herbs were in the raised beds while some of our seedling plants and cuttings could be seen in the central polytunnel displayed and arranged by designers Rosy Hardy and Emma Tipping.

We started planning for our nursery stand back in October, propagating the plants and growing them on to get them to a display-worthy size. We always grow far too many – about 10 each of the different things. It’s the only way to make sure we have enough perfect plants when we come to build. 

Even so, the cold spring gave us some worry as the flowers we wanted to add pops of colour were refusing to open. Luckily, we had some sunny days just before Chelsea and the Calendula, Valerian, Borage and Peltaria alliacea started to bloom. 

Our very best plants were kept for Chelsea and the display was different to the one for Malvern. It was based around three beautifully weathered terracotta pots, which were positioned first before a curved stepping stone path was added and then the rest of the planting.

Adding height to the whole display was our Pomegranate, which we’ve been growing on since buying it in as a 2L pot. At the other end of the scale, Corsican mint was used along the path rather than moss to give the display a natural feel. And adding colour to the mid-level was Allium obliquum – it’s taken us three years to raise this from seed to show standard.

With interviews for television, stints talking about our life as plant nursery growers, and the chance to discuss herbs with visitors, it’s been a busy week but we’ve loved every minute.

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