Willow supplier from the Welsh College of Horticulture secures new contracts

A retired social worker who harvests willow at the Welsh College of Horticulture is aiming to compete with Dutch importers by expanding her supply to florists in the North West after securing local contracts in north-east Wales.

Sylvia Briercliffe has successfully secured two supply contracts, including the flower shop at the Northop Garden Centre.

She plans to grow a bigger crop for next year so that she can market the locally grown Welsh willow to floral shops and designers across the North West.

Sylvia Briercliffe has been growing willow at the Welsh College of Horticulture in Northop since 2002 along with Margaret Norwood, John Scrivener, Sally Ward, and Catherine Lynch.  

They are part of the volunteer group of past Welsh College of Horticulture students, named the Friends of Celyn, which designed the Willow Park in the college grounds.

During her HNC studies at the college Briercliffe looked into the value of willow in the floristry industry.  She approached the head florist at Northop Garden Centre, who informed her that willow used in many floral designs often came from Dutch importers.  

She took samples of her willow to the floristry shop, which agreed to test the samples out within some of its work. The shop later ordered stock to cover the Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Easter periods, and inspired another shop to ask for supplies of the Welsh willow.

Sylvia Briercliffe said: "We are proud to supply a sustainable product, which has not travelled hundreds of miles.  We can supply different varieties with attractive catkins and coloured stems. The customer can choose exactly what  they need to suit their requirements."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next



Masses of colourful tubular flowers can give these plants a substantial presence in the border, says Miranda Kimberley.

Tomorrow's tractors

Tomorrow's tractors

These machines have advanced rapidly over recent years but what does the future hold? Sally Drury looks ahead.

Climbing roses

Climbing roses

Walls, trellises, pergolas and even trees can all be brightened up by these beautiful blooms, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Accurate figures are notoriously difficult to get at, but without doubt the UK imports a great deal of its ornamental plant requirement.

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Welcome to this bumper 72-page July edition of Horticulture Week magazine, packed with exclusive analysis, insight and expert advice on the biggest issues impacting all sectors of the UK horticulture industry right now.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles