The Sun Flower Square is being championed by The Sun’s Gardening Editor Peter Seabrook in association with the HTA and GCA and their members, schools and horticultural colleges and has received "fantastic" support from the industry so far.
The floral exhibit in the Grand Pavilion which feature four model garden displays, each 4m x 4m square, the same size as the average front garden in Britain. Each garden will have its own theme.
One is based on the Love the Plot You’ve Got gardening campaign and designed by Lovania, industry members of the Horticultural Trades Association will demonstrate how a hard landscaped front garden can be greened and decorated with woody plants and hardy perennials to form an inspiring outdoor space. The gardens will include trees, shrubs, conifers, herbaceous plants, roses and alpines. The choice of plants will give a year round effect and a colourful display of flowers and foliage in May.
Members of the Garden Centre Association, who are celebrating their Golden Jubilee this year, will present a hanging garden with a massed display of hanging baskets (ideally 14 inch diameter) hanging from pergolas above ground filling patio pots holding some of the baskets. The effect will be to fill the cube of space with colour, achieved by featuring popular summer bedding flowers and foliage available to home owners in May.
Garden centres that are contributing include Squire’s, Coolings, Perrywood, Cowell’s, Van Hage, Gordale, Old Railway Line, Sunshine, Ruxley Manor, Millbrook, Brookhouse (Barton Grange), Alton, Thurrock, Wembley and Meadow Croft. Pots are kindly being provided by Apta.
Major seed brands come together to present a living catalogue of the flowers, fruits and vegetables they offer as both seeds and young plants. All the plant material will be container grown and mature so it can be uplifted after the show for display in a public garden. Brands that have signed up to display include Suttons, Dobies, Marshalls, Unwins, Robinsons, Mr Fothergill’s, E. W, King, DT Brown, Woolmans, Thompson & Morgan, Van Meuwen and Johnsons.
A number of 2016 Novelties are being grown including the FleuroSelect Gold Medal winners for this year.
Supported by Westland Horticulture and their Rising Stars scheme, home grown is the theme of this garden. Assisted by schools and colleges, this garden will demonstrate the wide range of crops which can be produced where there is no available soil. Plants will be grown on the backing wall in hanging baskets, satchels and patio pots.
Kernock Plants will also be supplying an InstaPlant Living Wall to commemorate the Queen’s 90th Birthday. Writtle College is growing their new Osteospermum ‘Little Writtle’ and plan to stage plants in a school desk. Thompson & Morgan are delivering plantlets of Gerbera Sweet Series (from Florist) and Tree lily bulbs for schools to grow.
Pinetops Nurseries are working with school children to grow their new face up, bicolored Asiatic lily and Hills Nurseries are doing the same with Chrysanthemum Princess Charlotte.
Speaking about the initiative, Peter Seabrook said: "We are delighted by the industry support we have received so far. All of the plants will be grown in pots, hanging baskets and raised beds to demonstrate how easy it is to transform an outdoor space.
"We will have wide range of ornamental trees, conifers, shrubs, herbaceous, bedding and alpine plants, and of course pots, paving, hanging baskets, furniture – everything you would expect to find in a front garden. We will even have some novelties on display - it is an exhibit that you will not want to miss."
It is not too late to contribute to The Sun Flower Square gardens. If you would like to register your interest, please contact Cassie King at the HTA, who is coordinating the project on behalf of Peter Seabrook at email@example.com