The business started, growing lettuces from a small rented field in Burwash, East Sussex. David would cut the lettuces from 5am and then deliver them the same day to local greengrocers and farm shops in East Sussex. They must have been the freshest lettuces money could buy!
The business diversified quickly into producing outdoor chrysanthemums and other cut flowers such as scented stocks for sale to local florists while continuing to grow lettuces and other salad crops in Burwash.
The business moved to the present location in Cade Street, near Heathfield and took on the current business name ‘Cade Street Nursery’. New greenhouses were erected and a new potting shed built. The business dropped the lettuce to concentrate on flowers and bedding plants.
The great storm caused extensive damage to the nursery, taking over a year to repair in full. The storm smashed hundreds of panes of glass and bent the steel structures meaning they all had to be replaced. About this time the business stopped growing flowers to focus entirely on garden plants, particularly bedding plants.
This was a significant year, as the business attended its first farmers’ market. This was the first time the business had supplied its plants directly to gardeners. Today the nursery attends approximately 50 markets a year and it proves to be a valuable chance to meet with customers, get their feedback and give out free advice!
Following a major redevelopment of the nursery site, a new entrance was added along with a car park and a retail plant display polytunnel. From this site on the nursery, the business started selling directly to gardeners through the retail plant centre, as well as enabling wholesale customers to come and view our ranges in a dedicated sales area. Today, we sell the full range of over 800 plants produced on the nursery as well as plants from other specialist nurseries, alongside lots of garden pots, compost and other garden sundries.
As gardening trends changed so did the nurseries product range, starting with 'grow your own' and then with an extensive range of perennials supplied from February to October. Today, the nurseries range includes perennials, annual bedding plants, herbs and vegetable plants.
David’s son Rob joined the business part-time having spent 11 years working for a national retailer sourcing their plant and flower range.
The first phase of the plant centre re-development was completed with the removal of the front hedge, new signs, new paths and additional ranges added to provide customers with a wider range of plants and sundries for the garden.
A new multifunctional building is added to the nursery site housing a new retail area, potting shed to house potting machinery, office and staff room. At the same time the nursery rebrands and starts rolling out bespoke label designs across its ranges.
Cade Street Nursery sells its first products via its own webshop online. For the first time our retail customers can buy from our market stall in East Dulwich, from our plant centre at the nursery or via our website. Our trade business goes from strength to strength with new ranges, bespoke labels and product ranges for every week of the year.
The nursery launches a new premium brand of perennials, extra special plants that perform spectacularly in the garden, Connoisseur Collection is born.
There are many more plans for the nursery to ensure we continue to provide our customers with top quality garden plants sold with excellent service.