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Behind the Plants: Hardy's Nursery


Hardy's nursery is an independent nursery, run by Rob and Rosy Hardy, based just outside Whitchurch in Hampshire, in the village of Freefolk. It is now recognised as one of the UK's leading independent nurseries for herbaceous perennials, having won many awards including 24 Gold Medals at Chelsea Flower Show.

Still very much a family run nursery, offering what we believe to be an unrivalled selection of 1200 varieties of herbaceous perennials, from proven garden favourites to the more unusual and noteworthy. The vast majority are propagated here on site and grown on outside in peat free compost on our 3 acre nursery.

There are many different planting styles that can be created with herbaceous perennials. Classics selected for timeless cottage garden style planting, such as Peonies, Irises, Geraniums, Phlox and Campanula, are always extremely popular, deservedly so. If you prefer a more tropical feel or a hot colour border, how about a selection of Crocosmia, Dahlia, Geum, Salvia or Kniphofia. In dappled shade, we find a firm favourite is planting that evokes a woodland feel. For this situation Brunnera, Bergenia, Geranium (phaeum and nodosum types), Hellebore and Lampracapnos work fabulously. Whereas, for a hot, dry, gravel garden silver leaved Mediterranean style plants cope particularly well. Great plants to try in this situation are Santolina, Nepeta, Verbena and Gaura. Last but not least, why not try combining grasses for a perennial meadow feel, incorporating Stipa tennuisima, Stipa gigantea, Calamagrostis, Molinia or Pennisetum with Helenium, Rudbeckia, Veronicastrum and Hylotelephium.

Gardens can also offer so much; a place for relaxation, a sensory space, an opportunity for gentle exercise, for children to play and discover or a haven for wildlife. This can be just outside your back door and can give some if not all of these benefits, which we are sure you will agree we could all do with just now.

Over the years Hardy's have made our name by exhibiting and attaining gold medals at various RHS and other horticultural shows around the country, building and maintaining a high standard. This has included 24 prestigious RHS Chelsea Gold Medals of which we are immensely proud. 2020 and now looking at 2021, we will be doing less of this style of show, concentrating instead on fully outdoor events.

We have also put measures in place to continue safely supplying our customers from the nursery. We are open to local customers for click and collect through our website for plants and our range of Melcourt peat-free compost. Deliveries of compost can be made to our very local customers within a 4 mile radius. However, if you prefer or if you are further afield you can order plants on a mail order basis. As you may imagine, our mail order service came into its own last spring, and our customers were delighted to receive plants in the post, carefully prepared and packaged by our specialist mail order team.

Our website is updated daily and gives full descriptions of our plants including where they like to grow, their flowering time and their size at maturity. Ideas for suitable companion plants are recommended which may give some new ideas to try? You can also use our plant finder facility on the website to help you find the perfect plant for your garden by selecting the required height, the situation, colour, soil type and season of interest. For the latest news and information from the nursery, such as upcoming events, tips on gardening, soil improvement and the like, you may wish to sign up for our newsletter.

As well as supplying plants to the public, we also work with many professional gardeners, garden designers and landscape contractors and warmly welcome trade enquiries. We pride ourselves on offering a friendly service, working to get to know you, understanding your needs and how we can help.

To find out more, visit Hardy's Plants

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This story was published on: 05/02/2021

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