What is your background in gardening? After working in both production and retail horticulture and studying at Plumpton College I became manager at a nursery in Sussex growing hardy ornamentals for the wholesale and landscaping market. My partner Rachel Scanlan also qualified from Plumpton, going on to be a planteria manager with the Garden Centre Group at 19 before working with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, National Trust and as a sales manager in the wholesale market.
How did you get hold of the nursery? We set it up from scratch on farmland in West Sussex, investing our own savings. We are both passionate about offering quality to the industry as well as excellent customer service. Our horticultural and agricultural industries need support for future generations to reduce imports and other imposing factors, which is why we pride ourselves on using completely British-grown plugs and cuttings.
What are your plans for the business? We plan to increase our production area by 50 per cent this autumn. This will allow us to increase our range of one-litre herbaceous perennials and grasses as well as adding a two- to three-litre range. This will also free up covered space for the expansion of our seasonal hanging basket and container production, which has been extremely popular this year. We also hope to secure growing contracts with a big name in the retail or wholesale industry as well as continuing to build our base of landscape customers.
What opportunities do you see out there? With the trend in buying British showing no signs of fading out, we will begin to see opportunities for us and our products as we become more recognised within the industry. This has recently been highlighted by B&Q bringing its poinsettia back to the UK from the Netherlands.