Another Gold For Hillier At Chelsea


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Another Gold For Hillier at Chelsea

Report and Images: Kevin Gover, except where indicated

Winchester Today is delighted to announce the Hampshire gardening experts Hillier have been awarded another Gold Medal at Chelsea – their 74th in a row – and offer our congratulations.


The team at Winchester Today were at the show ground on the Chelsea embankment yesterday to view their stunning effort.

If you’re lucky enough to be going, either as an RHS member or as a member of the public – as all tickets have sold out – you will be able to appreciate Hillier’s message that all parts of the show garden can be replicated at home.


Chris Francis is the retail and wholesale director at Hillier Nursery and thinks this one is the best yet: “The brief we set was very much to keep the traditional Hillier planting, but in a contemporary garden setting. That’s why we’ve introduced the amazing water features and opened it all out a bit.

“Normally we put a lot of trees in, but this time we haven’t done that and we’ve just let the plants breathe. I’m absolutely chuffed to bits with what the team has delivered – in the five years that I’ve been leading this, I think this is the best yet.”

I asked Chris why he thinks Hillier manages to get a Gold year after year: “We aim for perfection. If you aim for perfection you probably get far enough to achieve a Gold medal. Really it’s about achieving perfection in the plants. We have an amazing team. They produce these plants to show standard and that’s what really delivers a Gold medal.”

I also asked Chris what he thinks people will be able to take back home for ideas: “What we do is split it into sections. There are certain squares and rectangles all themed around different conditions. We put all the plants together in such a way that you could take back a small piece and plant your garden in that way.”


“We put all the plants together that work well with each other and something for each aspect. We have a white garden. Then there’s a shade garden at the back far corner with all the shade lovers sitting there.”

“Then we have a hot sunny borders section too with all these much brighter and hot sunny flowers in the corners at the front.”


“Anyone can come and look at this planting combination and take away ideas and replicate it in their own garden.”

The team at Hillier were joined by acting royalty in the form of Dame Judi Dench – and all for a special cause.


(Image supplied by Hillier)

Hillier say that in the late 1960s, Dutch elm disease wiped out almost the entire UK population of elm trees. Following this devastating loss, Hillier partnered with specialist elm breeders in the USA and Europe, resulting in the development of a new disease resistant species, Ulmus ‘New Horizon’.

Through a new campaign, ‘Re-elming the British Countryside’, they are now hoping to plant elm stands throughout Great Britain, giving a new generation of nature lovers the chance to see elms once again.

They were delighted to launch the campaign at Chelsea together with Dame Judi Dench, who is a passionate advocate for trees.

“Our first planting destination is confirmed, with 20 Ulmus ‘New Horizon’ trees due to be planted at the National Memorial Arboretum in autumn.”