THE RHS Master Grower scheme has shone its spotlight this year on Knutsford-based Chrysanthemums Direct at RHS Tatton.

At each of its major shows the RHS tells the story of one of this year’s Master Growers, with the scheme allowing nurseries to produce a stunning display offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse at nursery life.

Chrysanthemums Direct manager Martyn Flint said: “You are invited to be a Master Grower at one of the shows, and it’s quite an honour.

“The public look for the Master Grower, and we have the scope this year to do a different exhibit because we are not judged.

"Normally we do a traditional chrysanthemum display, but this year there are two parts; the first tells the story of how we grow chrysanthemums commercially for the cut-flower market.

“The second element is a display of chrysanthemums in a naturalistic garden setting. As a Master Grower, we can be more creative without the judges looking over your shoulder."

The specialist supplier offers more than 470 cultivars of young chrysanthemums for garden or exhibition growing, propagated at its nursery in Knutsford.

The multi award-winning nursery has received 59 RHS Gold medals over the past decade.

RH Lawrence and Sons, its parent company, was founded in 1958, and spans 35 acres, with six acres of glasshouses, producing 1.25 million cut flowers a year.

In 2008 the firm identified an opportunity to sell young chrysanthemum plants to the public, and Chrysanthemums Direct was born.

Martyn added: "Working on the flower show circuit for 30 years, I saw exhibits of chrysanthemums at which visitors were asking for plants, but no-one was selling.

"Capitalising on this gap in the market led us to become the largest supplier of young chrysanthemum plants to the public in the UK.

"We sold a total of 120,000 in 2018."

The Master Grower scheme acknowledges and awards recognition to specialist nurseries which use sound, skilful production methods to cultivate plants for their display and sale.