Rosy and Robert Hardy get ready for the 2012 Chelsea Flower Show

April hail showers didn’t make life easy for Rosy and Robert Hardy in the run up to the 2012 Chelsea Flower Show.  Rosy says it’s been a matter of ‘fleece on and fleece off’, especially with the large leafed plants which require a lot of protection from the elements.

In addition to growing for their own stand, Rosy and Robert are providing plants for several show gardens (some of Chelsea’s  main attractions). The show garden designers rely on them to produce perennials in top condition because it affects their medal chances.

The Hardy’s 10m x 10m exhibit will consist of hard landscaping elements including a walk through path, water feature and metal swing seat. Seven hornbeams used in their 2011 exhibit will provide some architectural interest.  The garden will be softened with beautiful perennials.

Each year Rosy chooses from thousands of varieties of plants. This year she will be showing a brand new variety: Osteospermum ‘in The Pink’  – hardy, with masses of daisy-like bright pink flowers produced on short upright stems in June and July. It can survive temperatures as low as minus ten degrees Celsius.  20 pence from every plant sold will be donated to Breast Cancer Care.

Rosy will also be showing another new plant: Leucanthemum ’Freak!’ –  a pure white with yellow centre and compact, shapely daisy flowers. It blooms from the end of April / May until early Autumn.

Rosy will also be including some of her ‘old favourites’ such as Gaura lindheimeri ‘Ruby Ruby’ – runner up in the RHS plant of the year competition a few of years ago and one of Hardys Cottage Garden Plants best introductions. This plant boasts a super long flowering season.

The Hardy’s cottage Garden Plants exhibit can be seen at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from 22nd – 26th May.