I love to visit the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, for me this is the most prestigious and exciting event of the horticultural calendar! I enjoy seeing Chelsea’s show gardens of every size and style, I am always interested to discover the latest gardening products, and I really look forward to finding new favourite plants, whilst being reminded of old favourites. I so enjoy visiting Chelsea’s Grand Pavilion, which is filled with over one hundred exhibits created by expert growers, from nurseries that seem to specialise in growing almost every kind of plant.
W & S Lockyer are a family run, independent, specialist nursery that was started in Surrey, in the late 1980s by Bill Lockyer and his then 13-year-old son, Simon Lockyer. Bill, his wife Joan, and their son Simon shared a love of gardening, together they grew many plants, including double flowered Auriculas, known as Florist’s Auriculas. As the Lockyers’ passion for Auriculas grew, they began exhibiting their plants at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where they first showed their Auriculas alongside those of the legendary Auricula specialist Brenda Hyatt, before moving on to host their own exhibits. Bill and Simon exhibited their Auriculas at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for over 20 years, they achieved their first Gold Medal together in 2012, repeating their success with consecutive Gold Medals in 2013, 2014, and 2015. As the Lockyers’ Auricula collection grew they established a Plant Heritage National Collection of Florists Auriculas (the double flowered form).
Sadly, and unexpectedly, Bill Lockyer passed away after a short illness in January 2016. Since his father’s passing, Simon has focussed even more of his energy on running W & S Lockyer with his partner Louise Batchelor, who’s also from a horticultural family – her father, Martin Batchelor established Eleplants Nursery. W & S Lockyer continued their success at many of the RHS shows around the country, where they won awards and even Gold Medals for their plants, but with the Auriculas having such a special connection to his father, Simon understandably decided to take a break from exhibiting Auriculas at the Chelsea Flower Show – so W & S Lockyer did not exhibit at Chelsea for the following two years. But this year, Simon and Louise returned with their Auriculas, creating an exhibit in memory of Bill Lockyer, for which the RHS judges awarded them another a Gold Medal!
Bill Lockyer was a true gentleman, a family man, and a great friend, I know that he would be so proud of Simon and Louise winning another Gold Medal with their Auriculas!
W & S Lockyer are a traditional, family run nursery based in Surrey, specialising in growing Auriculas, snowdrops, bulbs, and perennials, for more information, email Simon Lockyer: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit W&S Lockyer’s website.
This article was first published in the July 2018 edition of Vantage Point Magazine.
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