HILLIER Nurseries, which was hoping for its 75th consecutive gold medal at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, has pulled out of the event.

The Romsey-headquartered business made the decision after organisers decided to postpone the event until September.

It said the timing left it with too small a plant range available to achieve its usual standard.

Hillier had been due to exhibit in the show in 2020, hoping to celebrate the company’s 155-year history with a another win with its exhibit in the Grand Pavilion.

Hillier Nurseries' history inspires display for Chelsea Flower Show

Chris Francis, wholesale and retail director at Hillier, said: “Chelsea has always been a significant event on the Hillier calendar, held at the perfect time for the business to show off all of the great plants grown on our nursery through the spring. The unprecedented events of 2020 have been followed by the later timing of the show in 2021, which leaves too small a plant range available on our nurseries to achieve the high standard of exhibit Hillier has become known for.

“With this in mind, it was the right time for the business to concentrate on other exciting ventures for spring 2021.”

Hillier Nurseries scoops gold at Chelsea Flower Show

The company is due to launch a transformed online shop this month after successive lockdowns fuelled a surge in demand for plants and garden items.

In April, it plans to open its 18th garden centre in Syon Park, West London. Company founder Edwwin Hillier worked on the Syon Park estate before setting up the business in 1864.

The business's run of gold medals at Chelsea – from 1939 to 2019 – makes it the current record holder.

Hillier Nurseries’ original plans for its 75th flower show involved an “immersive walkthrough” 85 per cent bigger than its 2019 exhibit.

Visitors were due to approach via a replica of the original Hillier shop in Winchester and be transported to the company’s beginnings as a single shop with a small patch of nursery land. They would then have walked through semi-mature trees, large shrubs and herbaceous planting schemes to a water feature.

Mr Francis said: “RHS Chelsea Flower Show will always be incredibly special for us. We wish everyone working hard to put together this year’s show the very best and look forward to being inspired by the exhibits later this year.”