Thurston nursery ‘over the moon’ with golds

Roger Harvey, owner of Harveys Garden Plants, and Catherine Stokes, nursery assistant, with the award-winning display they built at last week's Hampton Court Flower Show
Roger Harvey, owner of Harveys Garden Plants, and Catherine Stokes, nursery assistant, with the award-winning display they built at last week's Hampton Court Flower Show

A Thurston nursery is celebrating a trio of top awards after battling hot temperatures – and a pesky snail – to win gold at last week’s Hampton Court Flower Show.

Harveys Garden Plants’ trio of gold medals at this year’s Chelsea, Chatsworth and Hampton Court flower shows is something the family-run nursery, known for its rare and unusual shade and woodland plants, has spent more than a decade ‘aspiring to’.

Harveys Garden Plants won gold for this display at Hampton Court Flower Show

Harveys Garden Plants won gold for this display at Hampton Court Flower Show

Owner Roger Harvey said: “We have all worked very hard, it’s been a very good team effort and we’re over the moon about it because we’ve never had gold at three RHS shows.

“It’s something we’ve been aspiring to for over 10 years, that’s how difficult it is. It’s a lifetime aim, really, in the plant world and everybody in the team wants to get this achievement.”

Preparing for the shows, though, was not without its challenges, with dramatic variants in temperature making this a particularly ‘tricky year’.

Of Hampton Court, Mr Harvey said: “Trying to keep the plants in good condition and well watered is quite tough when we have had these very high temperatures, to such extent we had to keep them under three degrees in our chiller to try to hold them just ready for this show.

Harveys Garden Plants award-winning stand at Hampton Court Flower Show

Harveys Garden Plants award-winning stand at Hampton Court Flower Show

“Everything has to be in perfect condition, in full flower, not budding, and, of course, it mustn’t have gone over either.”

A pesky snail also added to the drama, forcing a last minute spruce up before judging commenced at 8am on Monday.

Mr Harvey explained: “Judging takes place from 8am so you have to go in early to make sure everything’s in good condition.

“We found one of our hostas had a hole in it. We think a snail crept in overnight and ate it, so we cut the leaves off to make it look pristine again.”

Harveys Garden Plants award-winning exhibit at Hampton Court Flower Show

Harveys Garden Plants award-winning exhibit at Hampton Court Flower Show