Cofton nursery set to reopen to supply Midland councils

Birmingham City Council is to reopen its nursery at Cofton by the end of the year, with plans to supply as many local authorities across the Midlands as possible.

The council won the Wigan Cup for best local authority RHS exhibit last week. RHS president Sir Nicholas Bacon said: "In these days of cuts in the public sector the fact that they can keep on putting money into horticulture is a fantastic achievement."

Birmingham will exhibit World War One-themed bedding displays at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Gardeners' World Live, Tatton Park and Shrewsbury this year. Cofton, which opened in 1970, is being rebuilt from July.

Nursery manager Chris Jones said the rebuild will give an extra one-third growing area. The council already supplies Wyre Forest District Council and Walsall Council with bedding and Jones said: "We're looking to expand in 2015 and aggressively go for external contracts to fill the extra area."

Suppliers include Syngenta, Ball Colegrave, Young Plants, Pentland, Petersfield and Botany Bay.

Among other winners at the RHS annual awards were Fir Tree Pelargoniums, which is closing the business after this season, Dave Parkinson Plants, RA Scamp and Hooksgreen Herbs. Chris Sanders was honoured with a Victoria Medal of Honour.

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