HAMPSHIRE horticultural business Hillier Nurseries is to bid for its 75th consecutive gold medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with a celebration of its 155-year history.

This year’s Stihl Hillier Garden will be an “immersive walkthrough” 85 per cent bigger than its 2019 exhibit.

Romsey-headquartered Hillier holds the record for the most consecutive gold medals at the nation’s top horticultural show.

Visitors to the exhibit will approach via a replica of the original Hillier shop in Winchester, which was bought in 1864.

They will be transported back to the company’s beginnings as a single florist’s shop and a small patch of nursery land.

Beyond the shop, visitors will discover a large warden with a stone-walled walkway, taking them on a journey through semi-mature trees, large shrubs and colourful herbaceous planting schemes. The walkway will end at a water feature.

Lilly Gomm will join the team as designer for the second year running. She made her Chelsea debut with Hillier in 2019, winning gold.

She said: “It is an absolute honour to be working with Hillier again, particularly this year as the company celebrates its history with its exhibit. The design this year is intended to capture the essence of Hillier, stand out and be memorable, at the same time as featuring the detailed stunning planting and variety that Hillier is known for.”

The garden will feature 21 mature trees as well as Many of the plants grown on the Hampshire nursery and available in its 17 Hillier Garden Centres, which include branches at Winchester and Three Legged Cross.

Chris Francis, director of retail and wholesale, said: “This garden recognises and celebrates something incredibly special so it’s only fitting that we have our greatest exhibit ever.

“We are thrilled to be working with Lilly again. She is immensely talented and created a stunning garden for us last year. This year’s design is incredible; the idea of recreating the original shopfront is certainly going to be remarkable and I know real attention is being paid to historic detail. We can’t wait to see it all come to life.”

The Hillier exhibition is sponsored by power tool manufacturer, Stihl.

Simon Hewitt, Head of Marketing for Stihl GB, said: “The Hillier designs wow us every year, yet each time they seem to create something even more spectacular and breathtaking. With the huge space and shopfront recreation, not to mention the planting and horticultural expertise, we have no doubts that this year’s garden will be the best ever. We are thrilled to sponsor it and to be working with Hillier to once again create one of the biggest talking points of the show.”