Former colleague Mike Holmes said: "In the 1970s Bendt started changing the cropping from tomatoes to flowering pot plants. He was always looking for new crops and the latest production and marketing techniques. It was important that customers could recognise Nielsen Plants products and be able to buy with confidence. His name will always be associated with quality plants."
Peter Hill of Hill Brothers said: "I knew Bent quite well as a fellow flowering plant grower. He was a very nice chap and a very accomplished grower." Nielsen grew the first regal begonias in the UK, campanula, pot roses, mini Christmas trees, gerbera and poinsettia. His wife Pat worked on packing and presentation and Hill said their "attention to detail was incredibly good".
Hill added that Nielsen was one of the top growers in Europe in his heyday in the 1980s and was innovative in what he grew and how he grew it. "Bent was a very early pioneer of biological control. His Hellingly nursery was like a college for young growers who went into the wider industry."
Allensmore Nurseries' Brian Taylor said: "He was a great grower." Peter Seabrook added: "He was the most charming man and staged some excellent exhibits at the Chelsea Flower Show promoting UK-grown houseplants."