It’s 30 years since we started here Blenheim. Some of you may well remember those early days when we sold a few home-grown plants from a field at the front of the nursery all those years ago. John started back in 1989 when he purchased a two acre field, and was mainly growing plants for the trade, serving local garden centres and further afield. One of our best customers in the early days was Jack, a market trader at Crisp Street Market in Poplar, East London. In the busy season plants had to be delivered by 6am, meaning loading up and ready to leave by 4:30am, then get back in time to open the nursery at 9am.
Early on John had a great amount of help and support from his dear old mum Peggy. She served in the shop and did lots of the day to day nursery work. She use to love doing all of the pricking out, potting up and having a good old chat with the customers, sadly Peggy passed away in early 2018. We are very lucky to have such a wonderful team of staff, who now seem more like family, working here at Blenheim. They are really passionate about the business, adore plants and love seeing the garden centre evolve. Ellen (second from left) has been here since day one and is still working with us today, she loves potting up and serving the customers. Ellen has been so helpful and reliable over the years, we can not thank her enough. In 2006 Trevor started his work experience here at Blenheim and absolutely loved it. After that he started as our Saturday boy and in 2008 he started his apprenticeship in Horticulture with Otley college, in Suffolk. When Trevor completed his apprenticeship, he then started here full time and has been here ever since. He loves serving and advising customers, creating all of the displays and the day to day help with the running of the garden centre.
The garden centre has gradually evolved to what it is today. As well as plants, early on we decided to introduce other products such as tools, pots and wild bird food which helped to bring in more customers during the quitter months. In July 2015, work started on our brand new gift area, which was and has been very well received. It has been a big learning curve for us, but we are so pleased that we did it, and wished we had done it a lot sooner. We hope that the next chapter will involve a coffee shop, so watch this space! Lastly we would like to thank all of our customers (new and old) for their continued support and custom over the last 30 years.