Horticulture Week Business Award - Nursery Stock Grower of the Year

Winner - New Leaf Plants

New Leaf Plants is a leading producer of clematis and climbing plants, supplying retailers across the country and exporting to northern Europe. In 2015, the business was bought by David and Nicole Higginson, who have since packed in "10 years of development in the last four", investing £2.25m in state-of-the-art production facilities with the aim of increasing plant production from 750,000 to 1.5 million per annum within the next five years.

That investment includes more than £1m on New Leaf Plants’ new propagation unit — a modern glasshouse facility with variable temperature zones enabling maintenance of optimum conditions for the many varieties the business produces.

The result has been an uplift of more than 40% in successful rooting, helping to significantly increase production. New machinery, including an Ellepot machine to produce the nursery’s own plugs and kit to increase the speed at which plugs can be linerised, has also boosted production efficiency. The nursery’s goal is to become 100% self-sufficient, allowing it to have total control of its plants from a biosecurity perspective.

The business has also invested in a variety of growing structures including glasshouses, Keder multi-span tunnels and single-span polytunnels, allowing the team to grow on each species in an environment that suits its specific needs.

The sales and marketing team has worked with Floramedia to develop themed point-of-sale (POS) material, which has seen sales rise at customer sites. For example, Highfield Garden Centre has seen a 35% increase in climbing plant sales by using New Leaf Plants’ latest themed POS boards. A new web shop has simplified the ordering process for customers and improved visibility of stock availability.

Product development has seen the introduction of new varieties including the multiple-award-winning Clematis ‘Beautiful Bride’ in 2014. In 2019, the grower debuted the highly scented Clematis ‘Sugar Sweet’ at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The business works with breeders from all over the globe but is also developing its own breeding programme.

The new owners are ensuring that the nursery minimises its environment footprint with measures that include harvesting rainwater run-off, using organic-based stimulants rather than traditional chemicals, an integrated pest management programme, peat reduction and fully recyclable pots.

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Chapel Cottage Plants

CATEGORY SPONSOR: ICL

SEE ALL BUSINESS AWARDS 2019 WINNERS


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Acer

Acer

These trees and shrubs grow to a range of different heights and produce distinctive foliage in many colours, Sally Drury finds.

Rose rosette virus: a dangerous virus that could be a huge problem for roses

Rose rosette virus: a dangerous virus that could be a huge problem for roses

Rubus idaeus

Rubus idaeus

The health benefits of raspberries make these very popular plants an ideal choice for retailers, according to Sally Drury.


Tax relief is a huge help for growers

Tax relief is a huge help for growers

The recent British Protected Ornamentals Association discussion regarding post-Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) arrangements featured no recognition that the industry has voted against any form of statutory levy, and for good reason.

Dreaming of a green Christmas

Dreaming of a green Christmas

The Victorian version of Father Christmas typically wore green.

Redford Flowers' Simon Redden on why there should be no new levy

Redford Flowers' Simon Redden on why there should be no new levy

A recent BPOA north west meeting heard delegates call for a new levy to succeed AHDB Horticulture, which growers voted to end paying into in February.


Partner Content

How indoor growers can successfully finance greenhouse innovations

How indoor growers can successfully finance greenhouse innovations

Presented by GE Current, a Daintree company
How to spot and control caterpillar infestation – and save your crop

How to spot and control caterpillar infestation – and save your crop

Presented by Fargro
Follow us on:

Horticulture Week Top 100 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive RANKING  of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover  plus the  FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS

HW Podcast

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

 

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

Click here to view a sortable table of the latest Brexit-related policy, legislation & guidance published by the UK Government, devolved administrations & European Commission. Compiled by HW.

For more see the BREXIT page

PLANT SUPPLIERS GUIDE

Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers
 

Download your copy

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards