The Royal Horticultural Society is celebrating the opening of its fifth Garden – RHS Garden Bridgewater – with the launch of two new collections of limited edition art pottery from its licensing partner and renowned producer of heritage art pottery, Moorcroft.
One collection is inspired by the new garden itself, while the second collection – the RHS Fiori Bottan Collection – is inspired by 45 extraordinary 17th century Italian watercolours that are part of the 25,000 superb images in the RHS Lindley Collections of botanical art.
Two vases have been made to mark the opening of RHS Garden Bridgewater. The first, called Bridgewater’s Bounty, celebrates the strong link that the newest RHS garden has with the former residence on the site, Worsley New Hall, which had a rich history of growing fruit – in particular pears – and a wide variety of flowers.
The vase fittingly depicts pears in varying shades of green and yellow, ripe for the picking, surrounded by delicate white pear blossom, with soft golden centres.
The rich brilliance of a joyous flower coming from the warmth of Southern Africa, ranging in colour from pure white to purple, is the inspiration for the name and design of the second vase, called Nerines. This is marked as another appropriate design for RHS Garden Bridgewater where the RHS holds a national collection of nerines within its Walled Garden.
Both vases were designed by Emma Bossons, a member of the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts, who has been responsible for many successful Moorcroft limited editions over the years.
The RHS Fiori Bottan Collection is based on 17th century watercolours depicting cultivated plants including daffodils, anemones, irises, tulips and lilies. Preserved in the RHS Lindley Collections of botanical art, the watercolours have inspired three vases (called Forsaken Love, Potter’s Garden and Italian Iris), a jug (Spring Squill), a plaque (Turk’s Cap Lily) and a coaster (Blue Mist).
These artworks, all based on the extraordinary work of an anonymous watercolourist, are by designer Nicola Slaney, whose creations range from affordable pieces to highly priced, rare collectable limited editions.
Both collections are available to order at the Moorcroft Heritage Visitor Centre, online at www.moorcroft.com and also at the RHS shows that Moorcroft will be attending, including RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival (5–11 July), RHS Flower Show Tatton Park (21-25 July), RHS Chelsea Flower Show (21-26 September) and Malvern Autumn Show (24 – 26 September).
Moorcroft and the RHS have collaborated a number of times in recent years, notably through the RHS Rose Bouquet Collection, the RHS Beatrix Stanley Collection, Chelsea’s Choice, (a vase celebrating the extraordinary snow-white hydrangea that was awarded RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2018) and the 2019 RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year collection of four vases, a jug, a plaque, a coaster and a limited edition ginger jar that encompassed many of the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year flowers all in one piece.
Situated near Salford, RHS Garden Bridgewater is the fifth RHS garden and the largest gardening project undertaken in Europe in recent years. The transformation of this 154-acre green space has already begun to enhance the lives of local communities and their environment for the future.
Moorcroft managing director, Elise Adams, said: “Moorcroft’s RHS collaborations are always special but helping the RHS to celebrate the opening of its wonderful new garden has been a real honour. The RHS can always offer strong artistic inspiration and RHS Garden Bridgewater and the treasures of the RHS Lindley Collections have certainly inspired two truly memorable collections.
“At a time when so many of us have been affected by the global pandemic, to enjoy nature in all its forms, whether by gardening or with art pottery in our homes, is more important than ever before.”
Cathy Snow, licensing manager, RHS, said: “These collections again highlight the skill of the Moorcroft design team through a synthesis of nature and craft in perfect harmony. We are delighted to be continuing this association with Moorcroft, which continues to surprise and delight.”