Under a new agreement, M&G will be the official sponsor of the world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the three years between 2018 and 2020. M&G will also be supporting the RHS’s Greening Grey Britain campaign to transform grey spaces into planted up green places.

Anne Richards, Chief Executive of M&G, says: “We looked at a number of other options for our marketing and sponsorship in the UK but quickly came to the conclusion that there was little out there to compare with our excellent partnership with the RHS.

“Over the past eight years we have built a very close relationship with the RHS. We have much in common with the charity, not least a set of common values and a shared view that the best results come only with time and patience. There is no better fit for M&G in the UK.

“We are particularly excited to work with the RHS on its outreach programme, Greening Grey Britain. As we know from our investments in real estate and infrastructure, gardening really can transform lives and bring communities together. So we are delighted to be able to offer not only financial assistance but also give our staff the opportunity to volunteer their services.”

Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, says: “The fact that M&G is renewing its sponsorship of RHS Chelsea Flower Show after an eight year sponsorship run reflects the outstanding relationship we have with the company and the excellent opportunities that the show offers.

“We’re especially pleased that M&G is extending its relationship with us to support our Greening Grey Britain Campaign, where we’re transforming lives and communities by planting up places for the nation’s health and the environment.

“M&G is a superb partner for us and we couldn’t be more delighted that we’re extending our partnership with this company, which will see us working together for 11 years in total.”

M&G, an international asset manager and part of Prudential PLC, has been the official sponsor of the Chelsea Flower Show since 2010. Each year, M&G has also sponsored a show garden, winning 6 gold medals and scooping Best in Show for its 2017 design by James Basson.

Haddonstone’s award winning exhibit at The Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Haddonstone, the UK’s leading manufacturer of fine garden ornaments and architectural stonework, has been awarded a 4 Star Tradestand Award at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show 2017.

Designed by Simon Scott, a previous Chelsea Show Garden medal winner, the exhibit is a classically inspired garden incorporating a landscape folly, a water feature and garden ornaments. Haddonstone’s exhibit is in Southern Row, stand SR35.

Simon Scott, Marketing Director, comments ‘We are delighted to have won the award as it represents a reward for all of the hard work that has gone into designing and constructing such a magnificent exhibit. My thanks go out to the exhibition build team and in particular to Mick Teall who lead the construction team and Andy Miller who was responsible for the planting.’
Established in 1971, Haddonstone is the UK’s leading manufacturer of fine garden ornaments and architectural stonework in traditional, classical and contemporary styles. Based at East Haddon, in the rolling countryside of Northamptonshire, Haddonstone has beautiful show gardens and an interior showroom where visitors can see many of the designs in their intended setting. The gardens are open to the public Monday-Friday from 9.00am until 5.00pm (excluding public holidays and the Christmas period). The gardens will also open on the first Saturday of the month from April to September. Haddonstone exhibits each year at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Memories Are Made of Chelsea

At Chelsea Flower Show 2017, we invited visitors to play their part in Chelsea history by leaving a lasting memory in our memory book and hanging tags on our Davidia involucrata (‘Pocket Handkerchief tree’).

The Memory Tree initiative has been supported by Hillier charity partner Wessex Cancer Trust. To kick it off, a number of famous faces, garden designers and personalities kindly shared their memories, signing unique wooden tags. The first of these was shared by gardening legend, long-term supporter of Wessex Cancer Trust and Chelsea Flower Show favourite, Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL.

Alan Titchmarsh adds the first memory to our memory book

These special wooden tags, together with the memories shared, will be auctioned after the show to raise funds for Wessex Cancer Trust. Details of how to participate in the auction will be announced in due course.

Joanna Lumley takes a quiet moment to share her gardening memory

Dame Judi Dench, who was at the show to launch her namesake rose by David Austin Roses, shares a few thoughtful words

Gardener and presenter Rachel de Thame, pictured here with Jim Hillier from our Trees division, also signed a tag  

The collection of hundreds of additional memories across the week, commemorated by the hanging of delicate copper tags, was also a huge success. By the close of Chelsea week, passersby were stopping underneath the branches of the Davidia, mesmerised by the twinkling of sunlight bouncing off copper from every angle. Fond gardening memories were collected from all over the world, from Chelsea regulars to those superfans of the show from Australia.

Each copper tag on the tree commemorates a memory shared

Thank you to every visitor who took the time to share their memories – happy, funny, poignant – but each one proving what vivid associations people have around time in the garden.

Prestigious Medals Announced at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has awarded 73 prestigious RHS Gold Medals at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, sponsored by M&G Investments.

A total of 117 medals were awarded to the gardens and floral exhibitors in the Great Pavilion, which also included 30 Silver-Gilt Medals, 13 Silver Medals and one Bronze Medal.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show sponsors’ The M&G Garden was awarded their 6th Gold Medal and scooped Best Show Garden. Showcasing ecological sustainability based on the unique environment of Malta, the garden designed by James Basson also received the coveted Best Construction Award making it the second year running for contractors Crocus.

James Basson, The M&G Garden designer says: “I am absolutely thrilled to have won Best in Show for the first time at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It is an incredible feeling and a testimony to the hard work of the whole team, including Crocus and my wife Helen, and I am very grateful to M&G for its support.”

Show Garden Judging Panel Chair, James Alexander-Sinclair comments: “The garden is faultless and outstanding in terms of both construction and attention to detail.”

Kate Gould’s City Living garden, representing an urban apartment block and how to innovatively use space in an urban context, won Best Fresh Garden. Meanwhile Best Artisan Garden was awarded to Walker’s Wharf Garden supported by Doncaster Deaf Trust, by designer Graham Bodle.

A total of 61 Gold Medals were awarded to nurseries and growers at the heart of the show in the Great Pavilion, without any Bronze medals in sight. The Diamond Jubilee Award for the best display was presented to Penberth Plants for their ‘A reflection of Penberth – A Cornish Garden’ and New Design Award was given to Raymond Evison Clematis. The South African National Biodiversity Institute – Kirstenbosch stand received the popular President’s Award, while David Austin Roses Ltd, Cayeux Iris and Waterside Nursery were among the Gold Medal winners.

Full List of winners below in pdf format








Hillier Continues Chelsea Winning Streak with 72nd Gold

The most successful exhibitor in the history of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has continued its winning streak.

Hillier was awarded a gold medal for its ‘Spring’ by Hillier garden, making this the 72ndconsecutive Chelsea Flower Show where Hillier has won gold. This impressive result also means lead designer, Sarah Eberle, remains Chelsea’s most decorated designer with a total of 14 gold medals at the show – this year she celebrates the ‘treble double’; three years in a row of two golds for her gardens.

A beaming George Hillier enthused: “Chelsea is the lifeblood running through Hillier. It plays such a vital role in the business so we are absolutely delighted to have won gold for the 72ndtime in a row! It is absolutely a team effort and I want to extend a huge thanks to every single person involved, from our designers Sarah and Caitlin to everyone that works so hard throughout the whole year to make it all possible.

“Our mission is to inspire the creation of green living spaces for now and the future and, by adding to our legacy, this year’s garden has certainly helped us achieve that.”

Having exhibited plants at Chelsea in some form for over 100 years and having now maintained the record for consecutive gold medals, the Chelsea Flower Show grows more important to Hillier each year. The show is the platform from which the company launches many of its new plant varieties, including two in 2017 that are exclusive to Hillier. Malus x purpurea ‘Crimson Cascade’ is a rather unusual weeping Malus discovered in a garden near York and Corydalis ‘Porcelain Blue’ is a striking true-blue variety with a delightful fragrance and long flowering period.

Another attraction on the stand this year is the ‘Memory Tree’. Visitors are being invited to write down a treasured gardening memory and hang a plant tag on the Davidia involucrata tree, commonly known as the ‘Pocket Handkerchief Tree’, with the first tag having been hung by Alan Titchmarsh on Press Day. The aim is to have thousands of hanging tags by the end of show week.


David Austin Roses are delighted to announce that their rose garden exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show has been awarded a gold medal.  This accolade was combined with the premiere of three new varieties and a warm welcome to a Hollywood star, Dame Judi Dench.

Yesterday, three generations of the Austin family welcomed the great British icon of stage and screen, Dame Judi Dench,to the David Austin rose garden
at the Chelsea Flower Show to officially launch the new English Rose named in her honour.
Dame Judi was delighted with the accolade commenting
“…. would a rose by any other name smell as sweet….isn’t it beautiful.  It is very healthy and has a rather laidback quality”.

The relaxed style of the rose tickled Dame Judi’s sense of humour – and she appeared rather chuffed with the rose’s qualities
– indeed the characteristics of the rose seemed to be the perfect match for its namesake.

Great success for 40 Sunbury Road exhibit at Chelsea following a busy press day

The industry exhibit ’40 Sunbury Road’ has achieved a Silver Medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and one of the featured new plants Dwarf Mulberry Charlotte Russe from Suttons has taken the title of RHS Plant of the Year.

The garden, put together by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) and The Association of Professional Landscapers (APL), is run in conjunction with Peter Seabrook and The Sun and is a celebration of Peter’s 40 years working at the newspaper.

APL member Bowood Landscapes have helped to build the garden, which features ideas and inspiration from a typical modest suburban back garden, and celebrates and promotes the vibrant and strong garden and landscape industry that we have in the UK with growers and suppliers providing plants and sundries.


The exhibit received a lot of interest at the press day on Monday 22 May including a Royal visit from Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Other visitors to the garden included Joan Collins, Susan George, Jerry Hall, Rupert Murdoch, Alan Titchmarsh, Deborah Meaden and Baroness Floella Benjamin.

Peter Seabrook was presented with a bottle of champagne by HTA President Adam Wigglesworth and HTA Director of Operations Martin Simmons, to thank him for the work he and his team had done to help coordinate the garden.

The exhibit also saw the launch of the import substitution for oak report with HTA Head of Horticulture Raoul Curtis -Machin, HTA President Adam Wigglesworth and Kevin Hobbs from Hillier Nurseries.

The 16m x 5m plot in the Great Marquee features plants and sundries from growers and suppliers all of which are available nationwide in UK garden centres. This includes hanging baskets from Kerleys, Haskins Garden Centre, Bents Garden and Home and Aylett Nurseries, mint planted teapots grown by school children and dementia sufferers.

The garden features over 15 new plants including five that were entered for RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year including the winner – Dwarf Mulberry Charlotte Russe from Suttons), Pelargonium PAC Spanish Wine Rose (Cramden Nursery), Betula pendula ‘Fastigiata Joes’ (Frank P Matthews), Lilly Sunset Joy (Pinetops Nurseries) and Strawberry Just Add Cream (Thompson & Morgan).

Westland Horticulture’s ‘Rising Stars’ have created specially planted containers, with the three Rising Stars themselves (Emma Blackmore from Bents Garden & Home, Kathryn Hunt from Stewarts Garden Centre and Samantha Davies from Haskins Garden Centres) will also be at the Show on Thursday, May 25 to tell the story of their unusual planted containers.

The garden also features the Wonderwall vertical planting system with strawberries, thyme, salad and confetti plants – demonstrating how outdoor space can effectively use height to gain impact. Perennial, working with Fiddlehead Products, provided a roof top fairy garden on the featured shed within the garden, providing added interest with plants and conifers from Gedney Bulb Plant Company and Golden Grove Nurseries.

Forest Garden provided the shed and the decibel noise reduction panels with WoodBlocX providing raised beds, Bradstone the paving and a patio cleaning equipment from Hozelock.

Companies and brands from across the industry have joined together to contribute to 40 Sunbury Road including Aylett Nurseries, Armlee Nurseries, Ball Colegrave, Barcham, Benary, Bents Garden & Home, Big,  Cramden Nursery, Dobies, Double H Nurseries,  Eden, Evi loves you!, Fleuroselect, Floranova, Forest Garden, Frank P Matthews, Genesis, Haskins Garden Centres, Hozelock,  KADO, Majestic Trees, Myerscough College,  Neudorff, Pinetops, Plants for Europe, Quantil, Rolawn,  Seiont, Stewarts Garden Centre, Suttons, The David Colegrave Foundation, Thompson & Morgan, Westland, WoodBlocX, WonderWall, Wyevale Nurseries amongst others.  Many thanks to them all.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show takes place from 23-27 May 2017.

Chelsea Gold hat trick for Great Pavilion potato display

For the third year in a row, Morrice and Ann Innes of Newmachar, north of Aberdeen, have won a prestigious RHS Chelsea Gold Medal for their exhibit in the renowned Flower Show’s Great Pavilion. However there are no flowers on their stand which is sponsored by Thompson & Morgan; only potatoes.

Their award-winning potato display of 154 different varieties aims to highlight the diversity and versatility of the nation’s favourite vegetable, whilst tracing the origins of some of the potatoes in Morrice’s extensive collection of some 500 varieties.

In 2015, Morrice and Ann won the first ever Chelsea Gold Medal for a potato-only display in the show’s 150 year history. They won again in 2016 and have again been awarded Gold today, scoring the maximum number of points possible in all three marking categories.

Displayed on the stand this year is a selection of Wild Solanum potato plants, grown by Morrice and Ann, and by Thompson & Morgan’s potato expert, Colin Randel. Also on show are tubers of Solanum Tuberosum, cultivated from wild species of the group Stenotomum, as well as a selection of mini tubers which are in the early stages of new variety production.

Thompson & Morgan’s commercial director, Paul Hansord, said:

“Amid all the glamour and colour of the world’s most celebrated flower show, it’s great to see a homage to the humble potato win another Gold Medal. Morrice and Ann have put on a fantastic show again this year.”

Colin Randel commented:

“With their display, Morrice and Ann tell the tale of the potato. There is an incredible array of colours, shapes and sizes, from very old heritage tubers, right up to our new variety, Vizelle, which will be available exclusively from Thompson & Morgan in September ready for the 2018 growing season.”

RHS Chelsea Best New Plant announced – HibisQs® Petit™ Orange takes third position

Thompson & Morgan is delighted to have been recognised in the prestigious Best New Plant 2017 category at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show for a newly developed and very different type of hibiscus, HibisQs® Petit™ Orange.

Chosen from an impressive list of finalists, HibisQs® Petit™ Orange had previously been awarded the ‘IPM Innovation Award 2017’ in the Flowering Pot Plant category at IPM Essen in January.

“Everyone at Thompson & Morgan is delighted that HibisQs® Petit™ Orange has been placed in the top three of the Best New Plant category. It’s great to see a stunning exotic plant such as this being given the recognition it deserves. Its flowers really have to be seen to be believed!” said Paul Hansord, Thompson & Morgan’s commercial director.

From new breeding and selected from tens of thousands of seedlings, HibisQs® Petit™ Orange differs from other traditional hibiscus with its smaller, vibrant orange, bicoloured flowers, its naturally compact habit and its small and shiny leaves. The plant is aimed at consumers who want a more minimalist, but still exotic product that is suitable for display in the home or on the patio or balcony during the summer months. Flowers are plentiful and long-lasting, blooming from May until the first frosts, while the shiny, dark green foliage provides the perfect backdrop and is an added decorative bonus.

‘HibisQs® Petit™ Orange produces twice as many flowers as traditional Hibiscus and its blooms last for twice as long’

Plants are available now from Thompson & Morgan for despatch by the end of June 2017. Go to www.thompson-morgan.com/hibisqs-petit-orange to order.

Chelsea, Chelsea! Rising Stars get ready for world famous flower show!

Westland_Rising_Stars_LogoWith under a week to go, Westland Horticulture and the Rising Stars Programme are getting ready to exhibit at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

A total of 3 Rising Stars will be taking part and have created a specially planted container to exhibit, which will be seen by members of the public, journalists and perhaps even royalty!

The Rising Stars themselves will also be travelling to Chelsea Flower Show on Thursday, May 25 to tell the story of their container, which is based around the theme of ‘unusual containers’.

The containers will take pride of place in the ’40 Sunbury Road’ garden in the Great Pavilion next week. The garden has been created by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) in conjunction with Peter Seabrook and The Sun and is a celebration of Peter’s 40 years working at the newspaper. It aims to create a typical modest suburban back garden that consumers can relate to, whilst at the same time inspire and provide some new and interesting ideas that could easily be copied. Plants and sundries have been provided by suppliers and growers for this collaborative industry exhibit.

Here’s what the Rising Stars had to say about their creations which will be featured in the garden:

Kathryn Hunt – Stewarts Garden Centre in Christchurch, Dorset

“My container is created in homage to my beloved black Labrador Harley who died last year. One of Harley’s favourite pastimes, was going for walks in Black Park, a vast woodland area with fields and heathlands and also a massive man-made lake. The plants in the container are plants that grow there throughout the park. The rustic barrel planter and the bark that has been used to top dress it, add to the ‘woodland’ look.”

Sarah Stewart – Klondyke Garden Centre in Falkirk, Scotland

“I will be using a kettle barbeque as the container with a mini garden inside. This will be planted with a selection of alpines, ferns and grasses, some lovely pebbles to give it a landscaped look and some bunting to give a real sense of celebration.”

Emma Blackmore – Bents Garden Centre in Preston

I’ve created my container in a toy car which we have in our children’s Boutique at Bents range. It’s planted with some really bright and colourful bedding plants. I got inspiration from my daughter who spends so much time exploring and playing outside but doesn’t tidy up after herself, so you’re sure to find some sort of toy lying around.”

Keith Nicholson, Marketing Director for Westland Horticulture, sponsors of the Rising Stars Programme, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the Rising Stars and their garden centres to exhibit at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

“Not only will they have the opportunity to experience another element of the horticulture industry, but they will also be able to be part of the most important horticultural event in the world.”