Form Plants and Torc Pots are both quite new to the market. Originally, both had planned to launch at FutureScape in 2020, until COVID-19 cancelled the event and it was moved online. Nonetheless, FutureScape provided a platform for Form Plants and Torc Pots to discover each other. Jamie Butterworth, Form Plants’ managing director, said: “Torc Pots saw we were planning to exhibit at FutureScape, and they emailed us asking if they could use our some of our plants. I took a look at their website, discovered their awesome pots, and I jumped on a plane the next day to fly out and meet them.”
The duo is planning to do something different and interactive at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Designing to challenge the rules of what is achievable in a small space, Jamie Butterworth explains: “We’re going to be the new kids on the block, and we want to rip up the rule book a little bit. We’re really excited about creating something cool, fun and exciting in the floral marquee.”
After only ever doing external gardens, this will be both Torc Pots and Form Plants first time in the floral marquee at Chelsea and is their first opportunity to do something together since meeting last year. “This collaboration means you can see some of the most beautiful topiary pieces, in huge hand-thrown bespoke pots.”
Hylton Hugo, Torc Pots’ managing director, said: “I’m really excited about the collab. I’ve wanted to do something at Chelsea for a long time now and am excited at the prospect of being able to showcase what we can do.”
The walk-through garden will be a green and earthy coloured haven, allowing visitors to touch and feel if they want to, and the bespoke pots will be planted with big swathes of grass. Sitting on a large 10m x 12m plot, the display is designed to showcase size and scale. The biggest pot will be 2.5m wide and the largest topiary piece will be 5m tall, towering over visitors as they move through the exhibit on a woven reclaimed wood path.
Up to 30 topiary pieces of varying shape, size and species, and eight specimen and multi-stem trees will feature, under-planted with over 1000 grasses and perennials.
“Torc are based in Jersey, and they’re working on the pots for the show now,” says Jamie. “They’re only around 18 months old, and are the creators of the most durable, strong and heavy-duty pots. We’re sorting through and picking our best specimens that we’ve got for the pots to go in the show garden, and we’re having a lot of fun working together.”
Hylton adds: “The pots I am making for the show are some of my biggest yet. I’ve had to change the wheel and make a bigger one to ensure I can make the pots robust.
“We will be displaying new textures at the show – a more organic range, where the pots are slightly misshapen, and textures are being explored…Being offered a place at Chelsea is a huge honour and being able to work alongside Jamie is fantastic.”
Jamie explains: “Our main job is to help and supply gardeners. We want to help them realise their vision through trees we supply and grow.”
As visitors come in through the Bull Ring Gate entrance, the show garden will be located on the right-hand side of the marquee, not far off the centre, right by the monument.
You will also be able to find Form Plants and Torc pots products dotted around the Chelsea in other show gardens. “There will be quite a big presence for both of us at the show, and this is partly why we’re doing the garden in the marquee,” says Jamie. “It will be amazing for us to have a centre point, and it will be a great way for us to meet lovely people and show what we have and what we can do.”