The nursery produces and sells over 250,000 individual plants a year across 800 varieties and colours. When our plants are ready for sale, the process of producing them has typically started over a year or more before.
We start with selecting the right plant varieties that perform well in the garden. We do this by visiting plant trials throughout the year in the UK and Europe and then trial them on our nursery and in our show garden prior to producing them in commercial volumes. Our show garden gives us the chance to assess every new variety thoroughly before we start growing commercial volumes to be absolutely sure the varieties we grow will perform well for our customers.
Once the best varieties have been chosen and trialled, they arrive on our nursery. Most plants arrive as seedlings or rooted cuttings. Many cuttings are produced in Africa where high light levels and warm temperatures produce excellent cuttings which are then rooted when they arrive in Europe. The remainder arrive on our nursery as seed, where we germinate them in our propagation area.
After standing on the nursery for a week to acclimatise, the young plants head to our potting shed where they are potted using our potting machine. Our potting team can pot up to 6000 pots a day in our busy period. For packs of bedding plants we have invested in a new machine that automatically transplants these small plug plants from the seed trays into the finished packs dramatically speeding up a manual task.
From the potting shed, they head to our greenhouses where they are set out and receive their first watering. From here they are monitored daily where they are watered, fed, spaced and pinched as required to produce the finished product. Here is our Christmas crop of Cyclamen, potted in July and ready for Christmas!
Finally, they are loaded onto trolleys as orders are received and sent out from the nursery, where they are merchandised and presented for sale.
The final stage is when our plants find their way to our final customers' gardens and then blossom, causing much delight, joy and enables relaxation. It makes the hard work worth it!