GroSouth - Show Preview

Roundstone Nurseries is gearing up to promote GroSouth as growers' key southern show

Roundstone managing director Peter Cook is committed to continuing the south of England GroSouth Show which has been rebranded - image: HW
Roundstone managing director Peter Cook is committed to continuing the south of England GroSouth Show which has been rebranded - image: HW

With all stands booked on extended floorspace, the GroSouth show aims to fill void left by the closure of GAN and Woking.

The demise of the Woking and GAN trade shows this year, means the relaunched and revamped GroSouth - formerly Southern Growers Exhibition - has a more important place than ever in the commercial grower's calendar.

Roundstone Nurseries in Lagness, near Chichester, West Sussex is hosting the show for the third year on 9 November, but this year is the first time the nursery has organised it too.

The move followed former organiser Monro South going out of business this February putting the show under threat. But Roundstone managing director Peter Cook immediately committed to continue for the 18th running of the event.

Show organiser Sarah-Jane Milbourn, daughter of former Roundstone managing director Fred Milbourn, said all 126 stands are booked and the event is well-placed to help fill the void left by the closure of GAN and Woking.

"The show is looking fantastic. We have extended the floorplan to accommodate more exhibitors. We have the ability to host the show because of our facilities with dispatch and production empty at that time of year."

She added: "We hosted for two years but did not organise the show. With the demise of the Southern Growers Exhibition and the news that GAN will no longer continue, we decided after repeated requests for a truly comprehensive horticultural show in the south, to create the GroSouth Exhibition.

"This show will cater for all aspects of the horticultural industry and is already creating quite a buzz.

"We decided the show should go on because we needed something in the industry and the area. Nothing major has changed apart from the rebrand and it being our baby.

"It's not about making money, it's about putting something back into the industry, being part of the industry and bringing the industry together.

Following a survey of exhibitors at GAN and Southern Growers, the vast majority wanted Southern Growers to continue. Bearing this out, exhibitors booked three-quarters of stands in the first three weeks after the 2011 event launched.

The organiser expressed hopes of 700-plus visitors with sponsors providing client lists to help. There is also new carpark space available on recently bought land that is earmarked for future development as glasshouses.

Show Details

When: Wednesday 9 November.

Where Roundstone Nurseries, Pagham Road, Lagness, Chichester, West Sussex PO20 1LL.

Admission: Free on registration at

Contact: Sarah-Jane Milbourn on 01243 755949.


Number of exhibitors GroSouth has attracted - 126

Nursery tours and seminars add to day's attractions

- Tours will take place at 8.30am of Roundstone's and New Place Nurseries' sites at Batchmere, where 18,000sq m of bedding and pot plants were produced this year. There are also tours planned of Hill Brothers and the propagation unit at Roundstone during the day, where 200,000 poinsettia are being grown.

- A Horticultural Development Company (HDC)/British Protected Ornamentals Association meeting will be held relating to trials of hellebore and poinsettia at Roundstone.

- An HDC seminar at 11am and 2pm will focus on correct recognition of seasonal pests and diseases, featuring the use of fresh sample material and aids to crop monitoring.

The event will cover guidance on how to monitor crops, cultural control measures and nursery hygiene, the use of biological control agents and integrated pest management and guidance on best practice in the use and application of pesticides.

Exhibitors endorse event ambitions

Exhibitors have issued their support for the show.

Mechanical Botanical managing director Mike Berry said: "There is a need for a premiere show for horticulture in the South. We have Four Oaks in the North and, in my opinion, GroSouth could become the South's main horticultural exhibition.

"But for this to happen it will need the support of the growers to keep the visitor numbers up. We will be supporting GroSouth as usual, with our main stand and machines in the demonstration area.

Farplants' sales and marketing director Nick Richards said: "Local shows are an excellent opportunity for nursery businesses to get in front of their suppliers and look for new ones without having to take the time to travel to national venues.

"GroSouth at Roundstone will also be a great chance for networking. There will certainly be a strong attendance from the Farplants Group."

Pots and trays supplier Soparco area sales manager Murielle Jayer said: "Because Soparco launches its new catalogue at the beginning of July, it allows the company to show its new products and test their popularity."

New Place Nurseries director Mike Norris said: "As a customer, the facilities are excellent with ease of access and exit. We can see many suppliers at once, saving a great deal of time. It is important to my business.

"As an exhibitor, it is important to see local growers and especially due to the demise of the GAN Show. It is essential that a strong local show is established in the South."

Lowater Nursery production director Charles Carr said: "We have visited the show since it moved to its new location and have found it a very useful way to catch up with our local suppliers and new developments in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

"Holding GroSouth in November is good and we are certainly looking forward to this year's show"

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