Contemporary and Traditional for Chelsea Hillier

The most successful exhibitor in the history of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Hillier Nurseries, will be returning to the 2019 Show with ‘The Stihl Hillier Garden‘ blending together contemporary and traditional themes in this year’s design.

The central element of the garden, alongside the thousands of beautiful quality plants, will be a striking water feature that will bring a feeling of calm and elegance to the garden.

Sponsored by power tool manufacturer, STIHL, the garden marks the second year that STIHL and Hillier have partnered together at RHS Chelsea. Their 2018 garden was awarded a gold medal adding to Hillier’s record for the most consecutive Chelsea gold medals and they hope that the 2019 show will see them receiving their 74th!

This year, designer Lilly Gomm has joined the Hillier team as designer of the garden, making her RHS Chelsea Flower Show design debut. She will be mentored by Sarah Eberle, Chelsea’s most decorated designer. Lilly combines a love of plants with an interest in materials and hard landscaping and already has a string of medals under her belt, including a silver-gilt at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show in 2018.

Lilly explains that she feels incredibly privileged to be designing the Chelsea exhibit for Hillier: “Their ethos towards encouraging future generations in the industry is admirable and something I am personally grateful for. I was keen to create a design which is vibrant and interactive yet remained contemporary and I feel we have achieved this and more. With the knowledge and experience of Sarah Eberle as my mentor, alongside a confident team, I know we are going to showcase something beautiful for the visitors of the show,” she said.

Lilly has drawn upon a modern form set against planting that contains esteemed Hillier classics. Serene white borders transition to vibrant pinks and oranges, moving to hues of purple. Plant combinations will provide inspiration for use in people’s home gardens. The eye-catching water feature, which can be viewed from all angles of the garden, will provide vibrancy for the garden: “I wanted the vibrancy of the garden to change as you move around it and having the water feature definitely plays a part in this,” explained Lilly.

The presentation of a wide variety of Hillier hardy perennials, shrubs and trees, including new varieties and classics, will form a vital part of the garden’s vibrancy also: “Combining both traditional and contemporary can be a fine balance but we have made sure the two are seamless,” adds Lilly.

After three successful gold medal winning years designing the Chelsea garden for Hillier, Sarah Eberle has taken on a mentoring role with new designer Lilly: “It is an honour to once again be involved in the Hillier RHS Chelsea Flower Show exhibit. It is fabulous that Hillier is so supportive of young people in our industry and I relish working as a mentor to a new talented young designer,” said Sarah.

George Hillier, who is one of the fifth generation of Hillier family members to be involved in the business and is Director of Property, added: “A huge amount of time and effort goes into every Chelsea exhibit – it doesn’t seem that long ago that we were celebrating our last garden, but the amazing thing is that the team is already well underway with plans for 2019. We are delighted that Lilly Gomm is designing this year, mentored by the incredibly talented Sarah Eberle. At Hillier, inspiring future generations of gardeners is a mission that is close to our heart, so to see this sharing of knowledge in action with our Chelsea design is really gratifying.”

Simon Hewitt, Head of Marketing for STIHL GB said: “We are thrilled to be sponsoring the prestigious Hillier garden for a second consecutive year and are excited to see Lilly’s debut Chelsea come to life.”

Hillier have exhibited plants and trees at Chelsea for over 100 years and maintained the record for consecutive gold medals. The show is the platform from which the company launches many of its new plant varieties, showcasing the vast variety of plants grown on its nurseries.