Sustainability and Innovation on the Hillier ‘Sail for Gold’ Exhibit

Sustainability and Innovation on the Hillier ‘Sail for Gold’ Exhibit
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Gardening conditions in the UK are changing, and this year’s Hillier exhibit is packed with product innovations and plants to help satisfy the needs of British gardeners.

Planting for challenging conditions
Last year’s dull wet weather produced an abundance of lush growth, but failed to ripen the wood of many shrubs and trees at the expense of spring flowers. Some that produced blooms, magnolias and camellias for example had them stripped from the branches by frost. It was a great season to recognise the winners in plants that have flourished against all odds and sometimes to the surprise of the gardener.

Rosemary is one such winner. Despite the wet, it grew and flourished, and defied the frosty weather with a magnificent show of early blue flowers. As we prepare for periods of extreme conditions in our gardens, this is the sort of plant we are looking for.
Many of the plants that survive the salt-laden winds of coastal gardens fit the bill. Cistus, especially small-leaved varieties such as the Hillier introduction Cistus ‘Thrive’ are reliable favourites.  Silver-leaved subjects, especially brachyglottis, santolina and helichrysum have proved themselves to be tougher than we might imagine.

Evergreens such as Viburnum davidii and Sarcococca confusa adapt to any soil and thrive under the shade of trees.   Euonymus fortunei varieties seem to grow anywhere whatever the season throws at them. 

Alongside these reliable garden mainstays new survivors are emerging. Colourful callistemons and glorious grevilleas add an exotic touch and phormiums provide colour, form and texture throughout the year with their sword-shaped leaves.

Growing sustainably – The Hillier model
Hillier Nurseries have long been recognised as pioneers of environmental solutions. Developing ideas on water and waste and integrated pest management have yielded environmental benefits as well as commercial savings.

Water: All collectable "run-off” (rainfall and irrigation) from the main Hillier container nursery is recycled. A 3.8 million-gallon reservoir and water filtration system ensures that water can be stored and re-used. The scheme won a national water "Waste Watchers" award and means that the unit is virtually self-sufficient.

Waste: Pots and other plastic waste used in the production process are recycled. Various biodegradable pots are being trialled with the aim to further reduce the use of plastics. All organic waste is processed into quality graded soil conditioner.
Peat: Reductions in the use of peat in growing media are ongoing. Commercial trials resulted in our container tree production becoming peat-free.

IPM: Hillier Nurseries control pests and diseases using biological control alongside low impact chemicals that work in harmony with natural predators.

Product Innovations
Organicstone’s beautiful & pollution-busting pathway
The Hillier exhibit will see the launch of organicstone’s highly innovative landscape flooring used as a beautiful pathway through the garden.  Waves part in the centre of the path to reveal a channel of recycled Bombay Sapphire glass.

Not only do the shortwave and longwave patterns of ‘Stonewaves Modern’ allow for sinuous and natural flowing waveforms in the design of pathways and patios, they are also helping to combat the ravages of pollutants in the atmosphere.

This paving utilises a thin layer of Tiocem on its surface. This revolutionary new material from Castle Cement decomposes air pollutants using a photocatalytic reaction based on patented technology.

All organicstone products are hand-made in Britain with 100% recycled granite and use earth-friendly manufacturing processes.

Tensaura - the year-round solution to outdoor living

Hillier Nurseries commissioned Aura of Southampton to create textile sail sculptures to cloak the Monument and to shade the contemporary terrace.

Echoing the style of canvas awnings and parasols used for alfresco dining and entertaining, Tensaura Classic Conic is a more robust structure which can cope with the variable conditions of the typical British summer and prolong the pleasure of dining outdoors into the rest of the year.

Designed to withstand even the harshest conditions its tensioned canopy enables the structure to withstand winds in excess of an incredible 100mph! And when those sunny days occur, the PVC canopy is UV resistant with an easy-clean PVDF coating.

Timber beach huts, decking and edging from the Forest sustainable range

The supplier of the stunning beach huts on the Hillier exhibit, Forest Garden plc fully supports responsible forest management that promotes forest sustainability and results in long-term environmental, social and economic benefit.

Forest Garden is accredited to the FSC Chain of Custody Certification and gives purchasing preference to certified forest products that originate in forests that have been independently audited and certified as well managed by a credible, independent third party. Forest

Garden ensures that the supply of FSC material is monitored and recorded, providing absolute traceability throughout the manufacturing process and is committed to the continuous improvement in the level of FSC material sourced.

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