Dianthus nursery Allwoods celebrates a century in business

Dianthus grower Allwoods is celebrating 100 years in business with a series of open days and a special commemorative booklet.

Founded in Sussex in 1910 by 3 Allwood brothers, the nursery has become a world famous breeder and grower of Carnations and Pinks.

Today it is owned and run by David and Emma James who bought the company in 1994.

Mrs James said:  "We have various things planned for the anniversary including the open days and the booklet.  We are thinking of turning the nursery into a museum to show off the history we didn't fit into the booklet."

The arrival of children in the family put flower show appearances on hold but Mrs James said they would make a special appearance at the Sandringham and Ayr flower shows this year.

"We have been invited to do the Sandringham Royal Marquee again which is exciting and means we will meet Prince Charles again.  And we decided to do Ayr because it holds special memories for us; it is one of the places we first met.  And it is the show's golden jubilee, so it is the perfect place to celebrate."

The business left the Allwood family in 1964, when it was sold by second generation owner Roger Allwood.

Mrs James said the anniversary year had started well, with strong sales in February thanks to a bright catalogue arriving in customers' homes during the height of the cold weather.

The company now grows around 250 varieties including hardy perennials and patio plants, selling through the retail nursery, mail order and online.

The commemorative booklet, featuring numerous photographs of the royal family in their encounters with the company, is available now priced £3.

Open days will be held on 26-26 May, 8,9 and 15 June with guided walks around the site offering an insight into how the plants are grown.

Each open day costs £5 per adult, under 16s go free.

For more information visit www.allwoods.net


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