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to go to our Catalogue and Plant Information page.
More detail about who we are and what we do
We have been growing plants for a living since 1986 and bought the land here around 2010. It was a green field site when we bought it (part of a farm that was split into multiple lots to be sold) so the process of relocating the nursery took a number of years. Initially the only access was a field gate opening directly onto the road, so first we had to make the entrance safe to use. We had to install the infrastructure of access tracks, water and electricity supplies, we needed to build a barn to store equipment, put up polytunnels and build beds for growing the plants. Many of these steps required planning permission and we even had our mini-tractor stolen, so it was a bumpy ride on occasions! At the same time, we had to look after our existing nursery to continue to earn the money to pay for the new development and back then I was also caring for my my mother-in-law who was suffering from dementia. Oh and did I mention that we had to build a house here too? Looking back, I'm not sure how we did it all!
Early in this process, our son Torsten's physics teacher suggested that he should take the Oxbridge entrance exam. This made him stop and think about what he wanted to do with his life. I don't think it was quite what she had in mind when he decided to leave school early (already with a raft of top exam results) and join us on the nursery. Fast forward to the present day and he is now increasingly running things, as Nick and I start to think about sinking gently into retirement.
The purpose of the move was to allow us to do things a bit differently. Looking back I think we were ahead of our time, because we had come to the conclusion that the use of plastic pots and peat was not sustainable. We're fundamentally different to most places - the principle here is that everything we sell, we propagate and grow ourselves - we don't buy in. That much hasn't changed for a great many years. However, the important change was that here we can grow the majority of our plants in the open ground. This system has a number of practical advantages as well as environmental ones.
The plants grow more naturally, forming a lovely rootball in the soil, with no fear of root-spiralling or being pot-bound. The plant itself will be more compact and the wood firmer and riper, already acclimatised to the weather and needing minimal staking. Thus the whole plant is more robust than the equivalent one pushed on in a container under protection. This is becoming increasingly important as we experience periods of extreme weather conditions. They are root-balled and wrapped (not to be confused with "bare root" which is much less satisfactory) and we are having brilliant results in this manner. Our availability follows nature's cycle, typically being from December through to March.
Normally, we also offer a range of young plants in 3 litre pots. These will inevitably be smaller and lighter but provide a cheaper option if cost is a concern. In many cases, I personally prefer them to be a little more mature than this before they leave home.
So, this is our home as well as our work and
once more we have a vulnerable family member living here. The nursery has been closed to visitors for the duration of Covid
19 and that continues to be the case. It has been a challenging time in many ways and due to circumstances beyond our control, unfortunately we have a more limited range of varieties and sizes available than usual this season. Hence there are no smaller open ground plants and a very limited range available in pots (although we are delighted that the latter group does include some lovely winter flowering daphnes, available now in 3 litre pots.)
For many years we have been mail order specialists, but unfortunately we are not currently able to offer a delivery service. You are however, welcome to arrange collection by prior arrangement in a covid-safe manner. Please feel free to discuss with me if and as needed. Perhaps this will change in the future.