Count Down to RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021

After making the decision in 2019 that the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2020 was going to be our last one, the cancellation of Chelsea brought with it a feeling of both relief and sadness. We have a brilliant sponsor in Candide, who have stuck with us. So it was an easy decision to move forward and decide that we would still do our last Chelsea Flower Show, in 2021.  This does not mean that we will not be at other shows in the future, it is just to Chelsea that we are saying farewell.  

Follow our story, month by month from start to finish.



March 2021 - Festival of Flowers 

As lockdown restrictions begin to lift and to kick-start Summer 2021, Hardy's will be hosting a Festival of Flowers in conjunction with their sponsors Candide, in a joyful celebration of gardens, plants, pollinators and people!
The show will go on - for Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants!
As one of the highlights of the Candide Festival of Flowers on 17th May, Rosy and Rob Hardy will unveil what would have been their final display at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, instead of the exhibit within the Grand Pavilion, the display will be created as a walk-through ‘Festival Flower Garden’ in the grounds of the nursery in Hampshire* for all visitors to enjoy.

The Candide Festival of Flowers will allow online visitors to take a unique, sneak peek behind the scenes of Hardy’s festival garden, providing an insight into how a stunning, medal-winning display is created. Rosy Hardy is passionate about providing plants for UK pollinators and she will be providing a host of videos and live streams throughout the week from the nursery. She will also be joining Candide’s hive of activity on 20th May for World Bee Day when the buzz will be all about providing the perfect plants for pollinators – not only bees!

A chance to buy medal winning blooms!

A chance to buy medal winning blooms!

As with all Hardy’s displays, The Festival Flower Garden will be bursting with hundreds of perennial plants and shrubs which Hardy’s have grown and nurtured for RHS Chelsea Flower Show over the last two years. For those wishing to recreate some of Rosy Hardy’s stunning plant combinations in their own gardens, there will be a chance to buy the varieties of plants on display from the nursery shop or via Hardy’s website. For anyone who would like to see the beauty of the Hardy’s Festival Garden up close and personal, there will be an opportunity to book* a relaxed, socially distanced time slot, to visit the nursery from 18th May into June. Tickets are free, but any donations provided by visitors will be donated to Hardy’s local children’s charity Naomi House & Jacksplace. After June, Rosy and Rob Hardy will adapt the Garden to provide a permanent, wildflower, wellbeing garden, where visitors to the nursery will be able to sit and enjoy the garden for many years to come.

*Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, Priory Lane, Freefolk, Whitchurch, RG28 7FA *COVID allowing, tickets will be available with allocated time slots and to limited numbers

A Festival of Fun and Floral Positivity
Candide has an online community of over half a million people, who will be uniting for the month of the Candide Flower Festival in a bid to fill the ‘air’ with floral positivity. Everyone is invited to enjoy, learn and shop but most importantly share their own photos and videos of their favourite house and garden plants, trees and outdoor spaces using the hashtags
#ShowUsYourBlooms on all social media channels.

To find out more about the exciting schedule of online events planned for the Candide Festival of Flowers visit from mid-April and to get the latest announcements sign up for email notifications from Candide at the bottom of their homepage.


Countdown to Chelsea Feb 2

February 2021

Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants Announce Retirement from RHS Chelsea Flower Show

After almost three decades and an incredible 24 RHS Gold Medals, Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants has this week announced their retirement from exhibiting at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Hardy’s were due to present their finale exhibit at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2021 with their largest ever exhibit which was sponsored by Candide.  

Sadly, as RHS Chelsea has had to be postponed until September 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions, Hardy’s have taken the sad decision to forgo their chance of achieving a 25th Gold Medal and bow out from the world’s most prestigious horticultural stage.

Hardy’s final exhibit was scheduled to have been their largest ever at 160 sq. meters, which is ¾ the size of a Main Avenue Show Garden.  As with all Hardy’s exhibits, the display would have featured many hundreds of the nursery’s stunning species of spring and summer flowering herbaceous perennials and shrubs. All the plants have been nurtured and grown at Hardy’s Nursery in Hampshire over the last two years, in preparation for the Show in May.



Countdown to Chelsea January 2021

January 2021

Since the 2020 Chelsea was postponed until 2021 we have asked many of the people who have worked for us, what they remember about Chelsea. In this series of small articles about the planning and physical preparations for setting up a display at CFS, we hope to give you an insight as to what has to go on in the background that is incredibly important, but not usually seen. 

What people remember are the floral displays and that moment in time that is captured in the exhibits on the day they visit the show. There is a lot of hard work, stress and maybe even a bit of sharp words mainly addressed at the plants which are not performing as they should. 

December 2020 Intro

December 2020


The thought processes that underpin the planning of a display?  I start to think about the next CFS as soon as we have been given an award for the present exhibit. This gives me the opportunity to decide on the size and shape of space within which I would like to create the next display. We have to apply for space in the August following a very busy summer, so being already prepared helps.

The display, is it a set idea or combination?  Once the size and shape of the display has been agreed then I can decide on the feel for the upcoming display.  As the pathways and any water features are very important, we need to know the exact materials required. The pathways can be soft curves or hard sharp clean lines, which when planted up are transformed into beautiful gardens.