Information about the shop

RHS Endorsed

1-2 Day Delivery

Feefo Gold Trusted Service

How We Do It

Water Collection

Over the winter, when water is most plentiful, we fill our 12 million litre reservoir from local water sources so that we don’t need to use mains water for our irrigation. Our reservoir lasts us the entire growing season and gives us a guaranteed supply and maximum control over our watering regime.

It’s not just us that benefits either – our reservoir is so big that it has become a focal point for local wildlife, with plenty of fish, birds and deer roaming the area every day.

Preparing the Fields

Around late September, the fields start getting ploughed and the beds get prepared. Soil that has had people walking and vehicles driving over it gets compressed and the oxygen gets squeezed out – not great for growing plants!

To relieve compaction of the soil and to get more oxygen in there, we use a subsoiler that runs deep into the ground to get rid of any compression.

We work perpendicular to the bed line to reduce erosion, improve the drainage, and provide the best possible foundation to encourage growth.

Undercutting and Topcutting

For some plants where a thinner single stem is preferred, we undercut our roots. We pass a blade underneath the roots at a set depth to cut them while still in the ground. This sends the plant into shock, causing it to put all of its energy into trying to grow more roots rather than branches. This results in a thinner single stem, and stronger, more fibrous roots.

For plants where a bushier plant is preferred, we cut the tops. This promotes the stem to remove apical dominance and put more energy into growing more side shoots. Consequently, this results in more branching and denser plants.

Lifting

While a lot of our work is done by hand, we know that when it’s time to lift we can’t beat modern machinery; it gives us better results and gets our plants to you quicker and fresher. Our machine lifting method ensures that our roots are always cut to the same length and the same way. This means there is a lower chance of damaging the plant, and it also provides more consistent results.

Our lifter passes a blade underneath the plant to cut the roots and aligns it towards a conveyer. The conveyer gently lifts the plants out of the ground, and, as they pass through, they are shaken to remove any excess soil from the roots. Once shaken, plants are automatically bundled and tied ready to be sent for grading.

Grading

Some nurseries will opt to grade out in the fields as soon as plants are lifted, but this can be detrimental to the overall quality of the grade and the plants themselves. Once out of the ground, the weather can take hold and dry out the roots. Grading is also tiring work when you’re out in the fields, and when the workers get tired the lower quality and mismatched plants start passing through unnoticed. As for the fields themselves, having all those workers walking back and forth to collect and grade their plants doesn’t do the soil any favours.

To solve these problems, we have a purpose-built grading shed to make our grading quicker and more accurate, and in a controlled environment so that weather can’t affect our plants and our nurserymen stay vigilant.

We first check each plant to make sure they’re nothing short of exceptional. Every split stem is discarded and every broken top removed – all by hand. Once they’ve passed our quality inspection, they’re sent down a conveyer to be sized up. Everything is done to National Plant Specifications, a recognised standard that the most demanding nurseries follow. Nurseries that don’t grow as many plants as us will tend to be more lenient with their grading, either sending mismatched plants or cutting larger plants down to make do. When you buy from us, your plants arrive uniform and exactly the size that you ordered. We don’t just send you “close enough”.

As soon as our plants are graded and bundled, it’s off to the cold store to keep them fresh.

Cold Storage

To keep our plants dormant once they’ve been lifted, they’re treated to a short stay in our cold store. To keep the roots as fresh as possible, the store maintains a temperature of between 2°C and 5°C, and a humidity of around 85%-90%.

We built it using modern materials to keep efficiency as high as possible, and it’s super insulated to keep temperatures constant and minimise energy usage. It’s solar-powered, too, in order to make as little environmental impact as possible.

Nurseries that don’t use a cold store will typically “heel in” their plants and keep them for short periods of time plunged in fresh soil to try and keep them dormant. However, this obviously depends on the climate at the time and can get you mixed results. Our cold store ensures that our plants stay dormant and the roots stay fresh.

Fast and Fresh Delivery

With millions of plants grown every year, we’ve got pretty good at making sure they get to you fresh and intact. Our plants are lifted to order and dispatched from the fields, with over 98% of our orders picked and dispatched the same day. Unlike some nurseries, our plants don’t sit around in transportation for days or weeks at any point in their life. With us, you’ll receive your plants the very next day.

All of our plants are sent out with the roots wrapped in a black coextruded sack. It protects your plants during transport, keeps the box free of moisture, stops your roots drying out, and insulates the roots to maintain temperature.It’s a simple solution, but you’d be surprised how many nurseries will send their plants with exposed roots, for who-knows-how-many days in transport. Our bag also means that when our plants arrive at your door, you don’t have to get the trowel out straight away – our bag protects the roots for up to a week after delivery, and sometimes longer depending on the weather and storage you’ve got available. Once your plants are in the ground, you also end up with a sturdy refuse sack which is great for using around the garden.

We’re so confident that you’ll receive your plants in such a good and long-lasting condition that we guarantee all our plants for a full 12 months.

Our Mycorrhizal Dip

Mycorrhizas are fungi that exist in a symbiotic relationship with plants. They take sugar from the roots, in exchange for nutrients and moisture that they take from the soil. When mycorrhizal fungi are present, the plant’s root system essentially gains a much larger area for absorption and grows much stronger as a result.

If you want the best results, you’ll want your plant’s roots to have a mycorrhizal dip before planting.

Unlike other nurseries who will sell you a sachet of fungi that you’ve got to prepare and apply yourself, we do the dipping for you - before dispatch. Your plants arrive ready to go in the ground, with a healthy root system bursting with beneficial mycorrhizal fungi. You don’t have to spend valuable time mixing up a sachet of powder in a bucket of water, dipping your plants, letting the gel absorb, disposing of the leftovers, and then having to worry about whether or not you did it right. We do it all for you!


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