Hillier Trees grace the new RHS Glasshouse at Wisley

Hillier Trees grace the new RHS Glasshouse at Wisley
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Exquisite specimen trees and shrubs from Hillier Nurseries have been selected by the Royal Horticultural Society to feature in key positions around the new bicentennial Glasshouse at Wisley.

As the UK’s foremost tree and shrub nursery, Hillier Nurseries were the natural choice for RHS to turn to for the best quality specimens. Appreciating the importance of trees in providing form, structure and year-round interest to the environment, designer Tom Stuart-Smith has incorporated Hillier’s trees and shrubs into his innovative exterior landscaping scheme, which links the Glasshouse to the rest of the Wisley gardens.

Hillier and the RHS – over 140 years of Association

Hillier have donated thousands of pounds worth of specimen trees and shrubs to the Wisley Glasshouse project, in recognition of over 140 years of association with the Royal Horticultural Society. Five generations of the Hillier family have been closely involved with the initiatives of the RHS.

In fact, Hillier have exhibited at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show every year since it began, and no fewer than 3 generations of the family have held the RHS Victoria Medal of Honour: Edwin Lawrence Hillier (2nd generation), Sir Harold Hillier (3rd generation) and John Hillier.

The Trees and Shrubs
The Hillier donation includes a colossal, seven-metre tall specimen of the Chinese Tulip tree – Liriodendron chinensis. This species is extremely rare, and is fast disappearing in the wild due to widescale commercial felling. In spring and early summer its young foliage is chocolate-purple, and in high summer, the tree bears small tulip-shaped flowers.

Featuring prominently in the scheme is Albizia julibrissen “Summer Chocolate”. Launched to wide acclaim by Hillier at Chelsea 2007, this new form of silk tree boasts fern-like leaves that open reddish-brown and gradually turn warm chocolate-brown. This delicate foliage is complemented by gorgeous pink fluffy flower heads in late summer. A slow growing tree, this award-winning albizia will reach 3m over 10 years, and needs moderately fertile, well-drained soil, in a sheltered, sunny position, protected from cold winds and severe frost. It is an ideal patio plant when young.

In addition, Hillier have donated magnificent magnolias, Japanese maples, Stewartia, Heptocodium jasminoides and 2 metre tall oriental dogwoods Cornus kousa satomi to the RHS. For a full list see Notes to Editors.

Trees similar to those donated to Wisley can now be ordered from the Hillier website at as well as through Hillier Garden Centres.

26 June 2007 – The Grand Opening

When Her Majesty the Queen opens the Glasshouse on 26 June, members of the fourth generation of the Hillier family will be there to support the RHS: John Hillier, President of Hillier Nurseries (VMH) and Robert Hillier, Group Managing Director.

“We are delighted to be able to support the Royal Horticultural Society, which has promoted and championed horticulture for 200 years,” says Robert Hillier (pictured right).

“We are proud to have been involved with the RHS for five generations, and this gift is a chance to acknowledge this association. We hope that the Glasshouse enjoys the success it deserves and commend the RHS on their vision and continued drive to promote horticulture in the UK and beyond.”

Full details of the specimen trees and shrubs donated by Hillier Nurseries to the RHS Wisley Glasshouse project:

Acer Palmatum Fireglow     
Albizia julibrissen ‘Summer Chocolate’
Betula albosinensis ‘Fascination’    
Cornus kousa satomi
Heptacodium jasminoides     
Koelreuteria paniculata multi-stem
Ligustrum lucidum ‘Excelsum Superbum’ multi-stem  
Liriodendron chinensis
Magnolia loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’    
Magnolia loebneri ‘Merrill’
Magnolia ‘Star Wars’     
Magnolia ‘Wilsonii’
Olearia haastii      
Osmanthus burkwoodii
Prunus accolade      
Prunus spire (Hillieri spire)
Prunus ‘Sunset Boulevard’     
Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’
Sorbus sargentiana      
Stewartia pseudocamellia

Hillier Nurseries was founded in 1864 by Edwin Hillier, and has an unrivalled record of 62 consecutive Gold Medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Hillier has 3 divisions:

Hillier Wholesale Nursery: supplies a network of UK stockists, producing around 2 million container-grown hardy plants, shrubs and herbaceous perennials per year.

Hillier Amenity Nursery: is Britain’s largest tree nursery, growing semi-mature trees in the open ground on 500 acres at Liss in Hampshire for commercial projects and local authorities in the UK; and 20 000 trees a year in containers from 45 litres to a staggering 1000 Litres at the Broadmead Nursery close to the Company’s headquarters at Ampfield, Hampshire.

Hillier Garden Centres: are specialist garden centres at 13 locations in England where the focus is on premium plant range and quality, gardening advice and customer service. Hillier has the largest membership of any garden society other than the RHS with 190 000 members, who receive the Club Magazine three times a year.  Hillier Garden Centres are in Bath, Newbury, Hemel Hempstead, Sunningdale, Chichester, Eastbourne, Horsham, Redditch, Botley, Braishfield, Liss, Romsey and Winchester.

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