After almost three decades and an incredible 24 RHS Gold Medals, Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants has announced their retirement from exhibiting at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Hardy’s were due to present their finale exhibit at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2021 with their largest ever exhibit.
Sadly, as RHS Chelsea has had to be postponed until September 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions, Hardy’s have taken the decision to forgo their chance of achieving a 25th Gold Medal and bow out from the world’s most prestigious horticultural stage.
Hardy’s final exhibit was scheduled to have been their largest ever at 160 sq. meters, which is ¾ the size of a Main Avenue Show Garden. As with all Hardy’s exhibits, the display would have featured many hundreds of the nursery’s stunning species of spring and summer flowering herbaceous perennials and shrubs. All the plants have been nurtured and grown at Hardy’s Nursery in Hampshire over the last two years, in preparation for the Show in May.
With the postponement of this year’s Show until September, Hardy’s would not have been able to switch their planting scheme and have the time to grow the many hundreds of ‘gold medal’ quality, autumn flowering perennials which would have been required for the exhibit.
However, the many months of plant preparation and perfecting, will not go to waste, as Hardy’s and Candide are planning to hold a special May celebration, for which more details will be announced in the coming weeks.
Although Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants will no longer exhibit at RHS Chelsea, the team will continue to exhibit at all other RHS Shows, Malvern Autumn Show and at a selection of plant fairs around the country. Hardy’s will also continue to sell direct from their nursery in Freefolk Priors, Whitchurch, and online at hardysplants.co.uk.
Rosy Hardy said, “We were originally due to have our finale exhibit in 2020 and after the disappointment of that cancellation we agreed to continue for one more year. However, with the postponement of this year’s May Show we have reluctantly made the decision to finally retire from RHS Chelsea.
We have loved our years exhibiting at RHS Chelsea and have some incredible memories. Stepping down from exhibiting there has been a very difficult decision especially as we had such a wonderful exhibit planned for May with our sponsor Candide. But we know the time is right to step back from the annual pressure we put on ourselves to create a flawless exhibit.
While we will not be exhibiting again, it’s very much ‘Au Revoir’ to RHS Chelsea, as we will continue to support all our fellow nurseries in the Great Pavilion, many of whom have become life-long friends.”