Hardy’s announce Chelsea retirement

After almost three decades and an amazing 24 RHS Gold Medals, Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants has this week announced their retirement from exhibiting at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Hardy’s were due to present their finale exhibit at this year’s RHS Chelsea in May 2021, with their largest exhibit, sponsored by Candide. However, with the postponement of the show until September 2021,due to Covid-19 restrictions, Rosy and Rob have sadly taken the decision to forgo their chance of achieving a 25th Gold Medal and bow out from the world’s prestigious horticultural stage.

The planned Chelsea exhibit would have been their largest with display that would have featured many hundreds of the nursery’s stunning species of spring and summer flowering herbaceous perennials and shrubs grown at the nursery in Hampshire.

With the move to an autumn show, the duo felt that they would not have been able to switch their planting scheme and have time to grow the many hundreds of ‘gold medal’ quality Autumn flowering perennials which would have been required for the exhibit.

All is not lost, however, as after many months of plant preparation and perfecting, Hardy’s and Candide are planning to hold a special May celebration, details of which will be announced in the coming weeks.

Rosy and Rob (left) will continue to exhibit at other RHS Shows and at a selection of plant fairs around the country. They will also continue to sell direct from their nursery in Freefolk Priors, Whitchurch, Hampshire.

Commenting, Rosy said: “We were originally due to have our finale exhibit in 2020 and after the disappointment of that cancellation we agreed to continue for one more year. However, with the postponement of this year’s May Show we have reluctantly made the decision to finally retire from RHS Chelsea.

We have loved our years exhibiting at RHS Chelsea and have some incredible memories. Stepping down from exhibiting there has been a very difficult decision especially as we had such a wonderful exhibit planned for May with our sponsor Candide. But we know the time is right to step back from the annual pressure we put on ourselves to create a flawless exhibit.

While we will not be exhibiting again, it’s very much ‘Au Revoir’ to RHS Chelsea, as we will continue to support all our fellow nurseries in the Great Pavilion, many of whom have become life-long friends.”

Helen Allsebrook of Candide explained that they were incredibly proud to support Hardy’s and disappointed Rosy and Rob won’t be able to have their finale exhibit at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2021: “However, we have a strong partnership with Hardy’s who are a true British grower and whose environmental and ethical values we share. We will continue to work with them on a ‘yet to be revealed announcement’ which we’re so excited to share with Hardy’s fans!”

For further information please visit the Hardy’s website at: www.hardyplants.co.uk

Photographs: Banner image and centre Hardy’s Chelsea Show Garden 2018 ©Reckless Gardener.