An industry group is fundraising to secure the future of Floral Fantasia at RHS Hyde Hall, developed, funded and cared for by the late Peter Seabrook.
Peter, who passed away on 14 January 2022, poured much time and energy into helping grow ‘Floral Fantasia’ over the past three years into what is a spectacular showcase of seasonal UK bedding at the Chelmsford garden, and features colourful and diverse planting including Rudbeckia, Calendula and Sweet Pea, a favourite of Peter’s.
Floral Fantasia is the only remaining opportunity in Britain for the trade growers and retail buyers, to compare introductions from nurseries and plant breeders and see them growing to maturity, explained Peter to Gardenforum in October.
The RHS has confirmed its commitment to the project at Hyde Hall for the next three years when funding has been secured.
Its plans for 2022 include a spring viola trial and an extensive trial of poppies as part of the ‘Year of the Poppy’ celebration, along with the usual planting of sweet peas and new variety demonstrations.
A working group has been formed to approach businesses and individuals for donations to support the long-term development of the 2000 m2 Floral Fantasia as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for seasonal plants and the use of colour in the landscape. The group includes,
- Michael Smith [W. D. Smith & Son] (Chair)
- Paul Hansord (Deputy Chair)
- Ian Le Gros [RHS] (Deputy Chair)
- Robert Brett [RHS]
- Tim Kerley [Kerley&Co]
- Stuart Lowen [Ball Colegrave]
- Molly Christman [RHS Floral Fantasia Apprentice]
- Ian Bull [RHS]
- Christine Woodhouse [RHS]
As of 24 January 2022, a total of £19,000 per year has been pledged for the next three years, but significantly more is needed to secure Floral Fantasia for that period.
Any business or individual interested in making a donation can contact the ‘Floral Fantasia Working Group’ at: email@example.com.