Specialist nurseries bring Plant Fairs Roadshow to Hatfield House for Late Spring Fair this May

Colin Moat

Colin Moat, of Pineview Plants in Kent, is currently chair and event coordinator of the Plant Fairs Roadshow, an association of specialist nurseries who hold plant fairs in South East England. - Credit: Vikki Rimmer

Green-fingered visitors to Hatfield House will be greeted by a plant hunters' paradise at a gardening roadshow coming to town next month.

The Hertfordshire stately home is known for its glorious gardens, which have been seen on the big screen in countless movies, from The Favourite to Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and on TV in everything from The Great to Netflix's Regency-era romp Bridgerton. 

Hatfield House will host a friendly plant collective on Sunday, May 1, giving gardeners the chance to discover the specialist nurseries' shade-loving plants, herbaceous perennials, alpines, trees and shrubs, succulents and many more. 

Plant Fairs Roadshow is coming to the grounds of Hatfield House.

Plant Fairs Roadshow is coming to the grounds of Hatfield House. - Credit: Vikki Rimmer

The Plant Fairs Roadshow will roll into some of the most prestigious and floriferous estates in Kent, London, Hertfordshire, East Sussex and West Sussex this year, carrying an amazing array of unusual, interesting and rarely offered plants, and showcasing great British plant-growing talent.

Blooming May is a busy month for the organisation's expert growers, with a first-time appearance at Hatfield House on May 1, as well as a visit to Myddelton House, the home of famous botanist EA Bowles in Enfield, on May 22.

The Plant Fairs Roadshow's Late Spring Plant Fair will take place in Hatfield Park from 11am to 3pm.

Visitors with a keen appetite for quality plants grown and nurtured in the south of England will be treated to stalls carrying hundreds of different plants from large exotics, stunning early summer perennials, Japanese maples, epimediums, late spring flowering plants, and an abundance of unusual species.

Pineview Plants sanguisorba

Pineview Plants' Sanguisorba - Credit: Vikki Rimmer

Organised by a committee of horticultural talent who have amassed countless RHS Gold medals, the Plant Fairs Roadshow is coordinated by Colin Moat, of Pineview Plants in Wrotham Heath, Kent.

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Colin said: “It’s wonderful to get the chance to work alongside some of the very best growers and nursery people in the UK; to pool our resources, collaborate and take our plants on the road so that members of the public can learn more about what we grow here in the UK and also get the chance to take specialist plants home with them!”

The Plant Fairs Roadshow is coming to the grounds of Hatfield House on Sunday, May 1.

The Plant Fairs Roadshow is coming to the grounds of Hatfield House on Sunday, May 1. - Credit: Vikki Rimmer

The event will feature headline multi-award winning ‘acts’ such as independent family-run nursery Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, Hertford's Daisy Roots, Edulis, exotic specialist Plantbase, Pelham Plants, Blueleaf Plants, Pineview Plants, Charleshurst Farm Nursery, Miles Japanese Maples, Riverside Bulbs, Southon Plants, Swallowfields Nursery, Rose Cottage Plants, Madrona, Phoenix Perennials, Forget Me Not Plants and many more.

Rachael Castle from Swallowfields Nursery

Swallowfields Nursery is among the exhibitors at the Plant Fairs Roadshow. - Credit: Vikki Rimmer

Swallowfields Nursery stand

A previous Swallowfields Nursery stand - Credit: Vikki Rimmer

Red Hot Chilli Peppers to add heat to Hatfield Plant Fair this spring

Clare's Chillies will also be in attendance at the Hatfield House event.

Clare Kennett, of Clare’s Chillies, in Cowfold, Sussex, is hot stuff in the plant world.

Clare's Chillies

Clare's Chillies - Credit: Clare's Chillies

With an encyclopaedic knowledge of the chilli plant, plus 30 years of growing chillies at home and commercially, Clare loves to share her peppers and advice at the Plant Fairs Roadshow events.

Clare will be exhibiting at Hatfield's spring plant fair on May 1. 

Clare first starting growing chillies under the Queensland sun in Australia in the 80s.

Following a move to West Sussex, her joy at growing chillies burns as bright today as it did Down Under.

Clare worked in IT for 30 years but a change in direction happened when she says “Covid came along in my 60th birthday year and everything dried up". 

Refocusing her energies on her burgeoning home chilli business, Clare decided to make her chilli sauce and chilli plant business her main concern by joining the Plant Fairs Roadshow collective.  

She says: “I'd grown chilli plants and made chilli jams and sauces to sell for years and now is the right time for me now to make something more of the chilli business.” 

Clare adds: "I love exploring, experimenting and sharing the chilli vibe.  

"Every nook and cranny of my home garden is filled with everything chilli and I'm gradually expanding with the hope that someday soon the nursery will be open to the public."

But for now, chilli fans and people who want to learn more about these hot plants can find Clare at the Plant Fairs Roadshow.

Visit www.plant-fairs.co.uk for more on the plant collective, and www.hatfield-house.co.uk for tickets.

Plant sellers doing a brisk trade a previous fair.

Plant sellers doing a brisk trade a previous fair. - Credit: Vikki Rimmer