Hampshire based wholesale nursery, Hortus Loci, have been trading for just over four years and are a key-player in the horticultural industry. They work with many of the top designers in the business and can boast about their impressive portfolio of past and future jobs. One of the busiest periods for the business is during show season, when they grow plants for RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Hortus Loci work with the best of the best and this year the line up for Chelsea includes multi-award-winning Cleve West who is designing for show sponsor M&G Investments, Hugo Bugg for Royal Bank of Canada and newcomer Sam Ovens for Cloudy Bay wines. In addition Hortus are also helping designer Jo Thompson by supplying her perennials and hedging. The Royal College of Pathologists led by Dr Tim Wreghitt is putting on a display in the Discovery Section of the Great Pavilion for which Hortus Loci are growing allergy free plants such as Astrantias, Eryngiums, Geraniums and Geums.
This year, Cleve West’s garden has a woodland theme and will have some surprising plants; one in particular originates from Sweden and has probably not been seen at Chelsea before. 12,000 plants are being grown for this garden.
Mark Straver and Robin Wallis were particularly intrigued and challenged in equal measure by Hugo Bugg’s Royal plant list. Both seasoned nurserymen barely recognised a single variety on the list of mostly Jordanian natives and so set off to source seeds and begin cultivation of all of the plants required. 150 varieties are now well under way at the nursery in Hook, some 8000 plants being grown for the 3500 needed for the garden. The excess plants grown for all of the Hortus Loci Chelsea Flower Show Gardens can be scooped up by nursery visitors wanting to ‘Get the Chelsea Look’ as soon as the show opens towards the end of May.
It’s very important to Directors Robin and Mark, that they support young horticulturists both by employing them at Hortus Loci and by working with the next crop of young garden designers and landscape architects. Both Hugo Bugg and Sam Ovens were RHS Young Garden Designers of the Year and Hugo has been a loyal customer from the outset, and The Chelsea Show Plant Team at Hortus Loci consists of three young horticulturists, all under 30 years of age (Jamie Butterworth, Michael Buck and Pedro Mayor). Robin and Mark are renowned plantsmen and as such can offer hands on advice to young designers. Mark travels the length and breadth of Europe on plant research and buying trips for, and with, his Chelsea clients from September right through until April.