Ornamentals Grower of the Year - Winner Neame Lea Nursery

One of the largest ornamental plant producers in the UK across a range of crops including bedding, perennials, shrubs, herbs and vegetables, Lincolnshire's Neame Lea has 17ha of glasshouse production and it employs more than 500 people at peak times.

Ornamentals Grower of the Year - Winner Neame Lea Nursery
Ornamentals Grower of the Year - Winner Neame Lea Nursery

The nursery was founded in 1975 by Malcolm Barney who, along with his wife Jane and two daughters Julie and Sally, developed the nursery as a respected supplier of bedding plants and potted bulbs for retailers and garden centres through local wholesalers.

Malcolm sadly passed away in January 2010 while working on the nursery, doing what he loved. Jane then saw Bridge Farm Nursery as best placed to maintain and grow the business while maintaining Malcolm's principles.

So it was that Bridge Farm's David Ball took over as managing director of Neame Lea in late 2012 - a challenging time of rising costs, a consolidating market and an inefficient supply chain. David's vision was to establish the lowest cost of production in the UK, while streamlining the supply chain and developing sustainable routes to market. With considerable hard work and investment, including more than £10m for a new head office and state-of-the-art production site, this was achieved over the following years.

This has brought Neame Lea to the forefront of UK ornamental plant production while establishing key partnerships with its suppliers and customers, including the conclusion last August of a partnership with retail plant marketer Zyon UK, which relocated its office and packing facilities to Neame Lea's site on Horseshoe Road in Spalding, bringing the two together and creating what is thought to be the largest grower-packer operation in the UK.

Its appetite for expansion remains undimmed. Within the last month Neame Lea has also taken on nearby VP Nursery to meet its bedding plant growing needs.


ICL's brands have been leading the way in horticulture for more than 50 years, from Levington Advance professional growing media to its patented controlled-release fertiliser Osmocote. Product users can be safe in the knowledge that their plants are getting what they need for maximum quality and return on investment.


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



The range of colours and flowering times makes for cheerful and economic displays, Miranda Kimberley reports.

Pitches - seeds and consumables

Pitches - seeds and consumables

The right seeding and inputs are essential for keeping grass in top condition and ensuring that pitches look and perform at their best, says Sally Drury.



Customers do not often know about the different leaf colours and shapes offered by hollies, Miranda Kimberley reports.

Opinion... Standardisation good for the trade

Opinion... Standardisation good for the trade

Horticulture could benefit from streamlining in the supply chain.

Opinion... Get rid of plastics in Horticulture

Opinion... Get rid of plastics in Horticulture

Blue Planet II eloquently showed the rich tapestry of life in the oceans. It also focused public awareness on plastic pollution damaging wildlife.

Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

British horticultural firms and organisations have not been the best at working together to promote our industry.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 60 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive ranking of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover. 

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production

Read Tim Edwards

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

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles