Nursery to sell 'mums to public

Cheshire-based grower RF Lawrence & Sons is embarking on a new venture to supply young Chrysanthemum plants direct to the public.

The plants will all be produced and grown at the firm's nursery in Knutsford. A catalogue and website will be finalised this spring, through which young Chrysanthemum plants will be able to be bought, with cut flowers made available at a later date.

Young plants will be sold as cut flowers alongside rooted cuttings at flower shows throughout the country under the Chrysanthemums Direct banner.

The venture is a combined project by the Lawrence family and the Wright family, which own D&A Wright, a retail grower of chrysanthemums, patio plants and hanging baskets.

Last year, Don Wright, of D&A Wright, tested the market by exhibiting chrysanthemums at three shows, winning an RHS gold medal at Tatton Park and Best in Show at both the Shrewsbury and Southport flower shows.

Wright said: "The public showed great interest in these exhibits, and sales of young plants, which are not readily available, proved very popular. The decision was then made to set up Chrysanthemums Direct."

The types of Chrysanthemum available will include 45 varieties of spray chrysanthemums, hardy garden varieties, pot 'mums and large-flowered, incurved varieties, including the new introductions of Chrysanthemum Misty in cream, golden and lemon.

Martyn Flint, who has spent the past 22 years as manager of alpine nursery WE Th Ingwersen, which was recently closed down, has been appointed as sales manager at Chrysanthemums Direct.

- The Chrysanthemum industry in the UK has declined in the past few decades. In 2007, UK production was 30 million, with 500 million chrysanthemums imported into Britain from the Netherlands. RF Lawrence & Sons is one of the few remaining bloom-chrysanthemum producers in England, annually cutting some 1.1 million blooms. for more plant news.

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