Get to know RHS Hampton Court’s 2022 Master Grower – a specialist nursery producing exceptional plants
Each year, extraordinary nurseries are selected as Master Growers, and feature at an RHS Show where they tell the story behind the nursery and the plants it focuses on. For the 2022 RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, Todd’s Botanics was selected as our Master Grower, with a display in the Floral Marquee.
The display by Mark and Emma MacDonald, who started Todd’s Botanics, cleverly married a mixture of dahlias, agapanthus and cannas to create a colourful, bold and dramatic feel.
At the peak of their perfection some of the standout plants included Dahlia ‘American Sunset’ with its rich, two-toned orange flowers and D. ‘Totally Tangerine’ – a single bloom with soft pink outer florets surrounding a double rust-orange centre. Mixed with the foliage of the cannas, the overall effect exuded a tropical feel.
A family affair
Situated in the north Essex countryside, Todd’s Botanics is very much a family affair with Emma’s father and the couple’s three children helping out with work on the nursery. Team members include Julie, who joined in 2007; Karen who joined in 2012 and provides support at RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival; Mary who deals with mail order and customer enquiries; and Rob who maintains planting schemes in London and helps with shows prep and plant deliveries.
The best of new and old
Started by Mark and Emma in 2004, the nursery specialises in drought-tolerant plants and trees and stocks many statement plants and trees, grown on site or hand selected from Europe’s specialist suppliers.
Tree and shrub specialities include tree ferns sourced under licence from sustainable sources in Victoria, Australia; hardy palms; cold-tolerant bay trees grown by Europe’s leading grower in Belgium; citrus trees; and hollies.
They also sell a large selection of ferns, grasses, succulents and select perennials including an expanding collection of bearded iris.
Canna, dahlia and other hardy exotic plants feature strongly within the nursery’s ever-growing range. The cannas are all grown from their own stock and tested annually to ensure healthy, virus-free plants. Their large range of dahlias are potted up in February from fresh tubers, chosen for their quality and size, to give plants the best growing start to the year.
Todd’s Botanics has received a string of Gold and Silver Gilt medals for its exhibits at Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival and Chelsea Flower Show since 2011. Its top-quality trees and plants are sold at horticultural shows and through the website.
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