Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

English Garden

It’s an important summer season for Hartley Botanic! They have been regular exhibitors at the most important flower show in the world, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, for decades, but 2016 will be their very 1st foray onto Main Avenue with a full show garden.


The garden has been designed by the very talented Catherine MacDonald whose painterly style of planting has long been admired by Hartley Botanic MD Johnny Mobasher.

Catherine has designed a garden that celebrates the best of British engineering innovation and in particular the glasshouse structures that Hartley Botanic are renowned the world over for. The garden will showcase and launch Opus, a stunning glasshouse attached to what would be a walled garden.

Opus is a modern glasshouse in a matt bronze finish and will highlight beautifully Hartley Botanic’s aim of celebrating their British engineered structures in a novel and forward thinking way that demonstrates their suitability for contemporary as well as period homes.

The likely owner of the Chelsea Flower Show garden might be a large garden owning gentleman who wants a glasshouse as a retreat and a home for an assortment of tropical, aquatic & carnivorous plants, and from which views of surrounding woodland could be appreciated.

The scene evokes a rural garden in southern England and the view from the glasshouse & surrounding water depicts woodland type planting. Woodland plants such as Anthriscus sylvestris, Aquilegia vulgaris, Digitalis purpurea, Pimpinella major ‘Rosea’ and other wildflower species will add colour and texture.


Planting Within the Opus Glasshouse

Inside the fabulous Opus Glasshouse, the planting is adventurous and perhaps a little masculine and leafy in style with trumpet ‘pitcher plants’ taking centre stage. Star of the glasshouse will be a brand new plant bred by Hampshire Carnivorous Plants. Sarracenia x courtii c.v. ‘Claire Soper‘ will be seen for the first time on this garden and has been singled out to receive the coveted RHS Award of Garden Merit. It produces a rosette of very dark purple pitchers throughout the growing season (Mar-Late Sept/Early Oct) with beautiful dark purple flowers in March/April. During the trial plants withstood temperatures down to –9°C.

Sarracenias are fast becoming the most stylish plants to have, pushing the more old fashioned cheese plants and parlour palms out of the picture and this season it’s all about carnivorous plants. Stunningly beautiful, darkly intriguing, these plants will give your room, glasshouse or even your garden a theatrical edge and will also bring some welcome green into the mix. But don’t be misled, Sarracenias are hardier than you think, some species & hybrids will thrive outside in a bog garden all year round!

Easy to take care of, ‘pitcher plants’ can make even the most unskilled gardener look good. Just sit back and watch the drama unfold.