All Change For Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants At Chelsea Flower Show 2008

All Change For Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants At Chelsea Flower Show 2008
All Change for Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants at Chelsea Flower Show 2008

Ever creative and pioneering Rosemary Hardy has come up with a new design for her 2008 Chelsea Flower Show exhibit. Staged in the round and raised off the ground the stand will be divided up into thirds, each representing a different aspect / soil type.  One of the thirds will be at ground level and will give the effect of a damp dell-like area planted up with moisture loving plants. Moving up the hill the plants prefer drier conditions and those on top like a sunny aspect.

This year’s two star launches are Gaura lindheimeri ‘Rosyjane’ and Campanula ‘Jenny’.  Both of these varieties have been produced from Hardy’s own breeding stock. The gaura will be situated on the hill section as it is a sun lover alongside Stipa gigantea

Gaura ‘Rosyjane’ is the first plant to be named (by Hardy’s) after Rosemary Hardy and appropriately is one of Hardy’s own selection. The petals have a lovely picotee effect, pink edges with white centre. The two tone petals are the first of this type.  This is a classic Gaura in that it grows to 75cm x 45cm and is of the Siskiyou strain. A brilliant plant for the herbaceous border, amongst Campanulas, Grasses, Verbenas.

Campanula ‘Jenny’ was found at the nursery in spring 2006 and has beautiful large cup shaped white flowers with a distinct blue central eye. It is a very free flowering perennial of the Carpatica strain and grows to about 25cm x 30cm, is a Good clump forming plant that flowers throughout the summer in a sunny site in reasonable soil. This Campanula can be used as a front edging plant or in containers mixed with grasses. The plant has been named after the wife of Hardy’s propagator after losing her long fight against cancer.

Rob Hardy’s personal tip for plant of the show is the perfectly delightful perennial and little grown, Geum ‘Bell Bank’ which thrives in good soil and on the stand will sit alongside Heuchera White Spires.  This plant produces a clump of crisp green, toothy leaves, above which in summer rise slender, branching, dusky stems, each branch terminating in a nodding bud that gradually lifts as it opens to display a beautifully formed circular head comprising a double row of peach pink petals.

Other key plants for the 2008 display are Cirsium heterophyllum which has lilac / pink thistle flowers and a long growing season, an easy plant for any good soil.  Rheum ‘Ace of Hearts’ is a dwarf ornamental rhubarb that thrives in sun to part shade in good fertile soil.  Novice gardeners with sunny aspect gardens will get good results with Allium cristophii, Artemesia ‘Valerie Finnis’ and Heuchera ‘Plum Pudding’.

Whilst the Floral Pavilion is the place for true plant aficionados, the Chelsea Flower Show also entertains on a grand scale with inspirational show gardens, many of which year upon year owe a debt to the 8000 superlative quality plants grown to order by Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants.  2008 show gardens who have recruited the Hardy’s to grow for them are; the George Harrison Life to Life garden by Yvonne Innis, the QVC Garden and Marshall’s Garden designed by Ian Dexter of Scenic Blue.

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