Bridgemere celebrated its 50th anniversary last week at a Garden Centre Group garden party, which made founders John and Elizabeth Ravenscroft life presidents.
The 56ha site is probably the largest garden centre in the world. For the 50th anniversary, Bridgemere's show gardens have been replanted, using many of the plant varieties grown in the nursery on site. The 2.4ha gardens include 20 styles and new sensory and grow-your-own gardens.??John Ravenscroft holds the RHS Veitch Memorial Medal and was awarded the RHS Victoria Medal of Honour in 2008. He also won a lifetime achievement award from Garden Retail in 2007 and was High Sheriff of Shropshire in 2001. In 2006, Bridgemere Garden World was bought by Wyevale.
Adjoining Bridgemere is the Ravencroft’s latest venture, Cherry Tree Arboretum, which is 20ha, with 2,000 varieties of trees and shrubs, nearly all of which are stocked seasonally by Bridgemere. The nursery specialises in uncommon trees and shrubs especially American foliage Oaks for flower arrangers, 50 varieties of Magnolia, and Snake Bark Maples.
The Bridgemere nursery grows nearly a million plants annually and its garden centre sells more plants in more varieties than anywhere else in Britain, says GCG. Approximately 65% of the plants sold at Bridgemere grown by the nursery with 350,000 bedding plants, 15,000 cyclamen and 500,000 potted plants produced every year.