Friday 24th March saw a visit from a group of RHS diploma students as part of a wider tour of West Sussex commercial horticulture businesses.
The day started at Walberton Nursery where the Level 3 and 4 students were shown the Propagation Department, and what it takes to produce our own plants – from stock plant management, propagation, environment management and selection of rooting modules. The Walberton Trials and NPD team then discussed the importance of Walberton’s in-house breeding program bringing to market key plants such as Spiraea Walberton’s® Magic Carpet and Helleborus Walberton’s® Rosemary. Alongside this they highlighted the importance of working directly with Plant Breeders and Agents to search out the best new plants in the market, and ensuring a robust trials and recording process is undertaken before final release into commercial production.
At Binsted Nursery the focus was on finished production and various key features associated with building a site from scratch, including Binsted’s site wide water management system and 20,000m3 clay lined reservoir.
Finally a visit to the 8000m2 Farplants Finishing Centre where products get their final preparation and order collation before delivery to Farplants customers across the UK.
Marc Jones, Managing Director of Tristram Plants, said “It was fantastic to have such an engaged group keenly asking questions. It would be great if a few would consider our sector of commercial production as a career path, but at the very least it will give them a greater appreciation of what it takes to produce a plant for the garden centre market.”