Greenfield firm again on parade at the RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival

Date published: 06 July 2021

Greenfield-based Glasshouse and Greenhouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic has returned to prestigious RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival this year with a stand which celebrates and showcases its business through the decades.

The show stand communicates the Greenhouse manufacturer’s unrivalled heritage and reputation - built over 83 years - with five handmade Hartley Botanic structures, each representing different eras in its trading history.

The show stand traces the manufacturer’s incredible legacy using its beautiful handmade structures – from a 1950s vintage Semi-Dodecagon Greenhouse to a modern-day Hartley 8 Planthouse.

The stand has been built and planted by Stewart Landscape Construction, with design and styling by Llevelo Garden Design.

Hartley Botanic’s RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival show stand features a vintage Semi-Dodecagon Greenhouse (built in the 1950s,) a Wisley 8 (representing the 60s), a Hartley 6 Grow and Store (the 70s), a Victorian Terrace (90s) and a Modern Horticulture Hartley 8 Planthouse (present day).

The structures have been dressed to represent the relevant decades using planting schemes, garden tools and accessories typical of each decade.

From the 1950s Semi-Dodecagon Greenhouse with its Hydrangeas, Pelargoniums, straw boater hat, deck chair and sparse accessories (which would have been typical post-war) and the Hartley 6’s beginners’ ‘grow your own’ edibles, Busy Lizzies, Hanging baskets and abundance of plastic capturing the 70s, right up to a modern day Hartley 8 filled with herbs, a palm and trendy hanging houseplants planted with peat free compost in biodegradable pots, the show stand is truly a journey through Hartley Botanic’s legacy and the history of Greenhouse gardening as a whole. 

Hartley Botanic was founded in 1938 by brothers Vincent (RHS fellow) and Norman Hartley following their ground-breaking aluminium Greenhouse design.

A hugely respected brand within the horticultural world, it is the manufacturer of choice for leading organisations, institutions and designers with Hartley Botanic structures commissioned by the RHS, the National Trust, Kew Gardens, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Oxford Botanical Gardens, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Blenheim Palace, The Lingholm Estate and Hampton Court name a few.

Its entire product range is endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society.

In April of this year, the manufacturer was awarded a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the international trade category, thanks to the significant growth of its international business – driven largely by demand for its beautiful, handmade English Glasshouses and Greenhouses from customers in the United States.  

Tom Barry, CEO of Hartley Botanic, said: “Hartley Botanic has an unrivalled history when it comes to English Glasshouse and Greenhouse manufacture and generations of customers have put their trust in the hands of our expert, time served, highly skilled craftsmen. 

"We wanted the stand to communicate this.

"As a historic business, we are in a unique position to be able to provide an overview of the way Greenhouse design and use has developed and changed over the decades.

"From the Semi-Dodecagon styles of the post war years, to the small highly practical, suburban Greenhouses of the 1970s.

"It is also interesting to see some of the historical trends coming back into fashion today.

"As in the 1970’s, we are again seeing a resurgence in city dwellers buying smaller models so they can try growing their own for the first time – only this time, as a reaction to lockdown or another way to address sustainability concerns, rather than an attempt to live ‘the good life’."

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