The 1960s

John Ravenscroft founds a small rose nursery with three employees, which goes on to become the UK’s largest garden outlet – the Bridgemere Garden Centre. By 1990, the centre employs 140 people and includes 25 acres of plant displays, as well as the largest collection of house plants in Europe.

Harvey Frost, with his sons Brian and Adrian, opens Frosts garden centre at Woburn Sands – one of the first garden centres in the UK.

Squire’s opens its first garden centre in Twickehnam in response to growing interest among householders to garden for themselves, rather then employ a gardener.

Karl Dahlman develops the hover mower – a lightweight easy to move lawn mower that cuts the grass right up to the garden’s edge, gliding on a cushion of air.

All Britain Flower Seed Trials are launched, enabling the trade to gather feedback from the public on new bedding plants.

Hillier Nurseries’ first garden centre in Winchester begins trading from the mid-1960s.

The Garden Centres Group is formed within the Horticultural Trades Association. The group sets up an inspection scheme for members, who are entitled to "Approved Centre" status.

A new, more virulent strain of Dutch Elm Disease arrives in Britain on a shipment of Ulmus thomasii or rock elm from North America, which proves both highly contagious and lethal to European elms; more than 25 million trees will die in the UK alone, while France will lose 90% of her elms.

Gardeners’ Chronicle is acquired by Haymarket, now the Haymarket Media Group.

The grounds of Capel Manor are leased to the Capel Manor Institute of Horticulture, and the first groups of students came to the estate one day a week to gain a City & Guilds.

Barry Machin of Frampton’s reports in The Gardeners’ Chronicle on his role in developing the year-round chrysanthemum crop specifically for UK growers.

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