Hosta and hemerocallis grower Paul Harris BSc hons (Horticultural Botany) is proof that success happens when you decide to “go for it” and follow your dreams. Like many people who work in horticulture, his love of plants started when he worked with his grandfather on his allotment.
These happy memories stayed with him and so, in 2008, Paul decided to give up his former career inspecting flowers for supermarkets and pursue the lifestyle he craved. He set up
Kent-based Brookfield Plants and started off by growing just a couple of different varieties.
Seven years later, his day lily nursery is now home to a myriad of different hostas and hemerocallis.
Last year was his most successful season yet as Brookfield Plants exhibited at 12 shows, including the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and RHS Hampton Court Palace Show — and was awarded 10 gold medals.
While exhibiting at Chelsea, Paul launched on behalf of the British Hosta & Hemerocallis Society (BHHS) a hosta named after Scottish tennis champion Andy Murray. The launch enjoyed strong media coverage as the plant was presented to Murray’s fiancée to be Kim Sears. The plant was an ideal choice because its blue and white leaves are the colour of the Scottish saltire.
Paul, a BHHS committee member, enjoys trialing, collecting and introducing new varieties to the UK market — so much so that he has been accepted as holder of 2 National Collections for Hostas and Hemerocallis; varieties with the RHS award of Garden Merit (AGM) . This year, a range of new hostas and hemerocallis will be available in small numbers from his nursery, including Church Mouse — a small, hardy plant with blue leaves and mauve flowers — and Emerald Charger, which has large, shiny, yellow-centred leaves and white, scented flowers.