Horticulture family crowned Master Growers at RHS Malvern Spring show - The Malvern Observer

Horticulture family crowned Master Growers at RHS Malvern Spring show

Malvern Editorial 14th May, 2024   0

A WORCESTER plant nursery has became the first in the county to be been granted a coveted and prestigious award.

Grafton Nursery was awarded the title of Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Master Grower at the society’s Malvern Spring Festival. The festival took place from May 9-12.

The Master Grower award recognises those that have gone above and beyond in the world of horticulture and is only given to one nursery per RHS show per year.

The online mail-order nursery (not open to visits from the public) is based near Grafton Flyford, Worcester, and is owned by husband-and-wife team, Hilary and Steve Collins.

Experts in their industry; they both hold degrees in Horticulture from the University of Bath. They were both Junior Scientific Officers at government research stations before setting up their own retail plant nursery in 1984. They relocated to Grafton Nursery in 2008.

Grafton Nursery’s award-winning exhibit focusses solely on Eucalyptus trees as they are the largest producer of Eucalyptus in Europe, growing over 70 different species and varieties. The team think that this is the first time Eucalyptus, also known as Gum Trees, have been a flower show centrepiece in the UK, if not the whole world.

Their daughter, Charlie Hartigan, is a Landscape Architect and leads the design arm of Envisage Gardens. She designed the layout of the Master Grower exhibit, titled “A Eucalyptus Odessey”, to be a walk-though experience celebrating the history of Eucalyptus and its journey from Australia to the UK.

A striking boat positioned on the corner of the display drew visitors to the start of the exhibit.

The well-established nursery already has a plethora of medals and awards under their belt including an RHS Chelsea Flower Show ‘Gold Medal’, two BBC Gardeners World Live ‘Platinum Medals’ and the BBC Gardeners World Live ‘Best

For their first ever exhibit, which was at the 2012 RHS Malvern Spring Show, they were awarded the Most Creative Exhibit trophy.

Hilary was presented with a Tristan May engraved metal bowl and the Master Grower plaque by Clare Matterson CBE, Director General of the RHS, in an award ceremony at the Show. The trophy now takes pride of place amongst the Eucalyptus trees.

Hilary Collins, owner of Hardy Eucalyptus at Grafton Nursery, said: “We are so honoured to been given this award. It is a huge achievement for the team.

“It’s an acknowledgement of all our hard work; a culmination of 12 years of dedication to this amazing species.”

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