A unique combination of mail order of rare plants, introduction of new species to the UK and research for new varieties and propagation techniques.
It gives us great pleasure in presenting to you a wide range of the most exciting and exotic plants, hand-grown and nurtured on our Nursery in North Wales.
We are a specialist nursery with mail order and research business, established 10 years ago in the Vale of Clwyd with the main aim of introducing less known and rare, edible and ornamental species to grow in the UK and the EU, and selecting new varieties from seedlings, preserving the gene pool of rare species. They also provide plants for sustainable agriculture projects, like edible forest gardens and even for space experiments.
We don't just grow plants, but do a lot of research/experiments and selection of interesting seedlings, like a variegated Persimmon, a compact Chilean Myrtle or an almost Black fruited pomegranate.
Our passion for plants started at a young age, collecting seeds, sowing them and taking delight in watching them grow into an array of wondrous colours, shapes and sizes.
We have always been fascinated by the magnificent specimens of Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo biloba), Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria araucana) and Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides). We first started to grow these living fossil trees and found them surprisingly versatile as they can be planted in the garden but they also work as patio plant, bonsai or even as a hedge! There are very old Ginkgo trees living in Hiroshima, which even survived the atomic blast. These images show the process of growing plants on our nursery. We love them so much, we even named our nursery after the Jurassic era, when these guys already been around and fed dinosaurs.
Both of us come from a scientific background, we have learnt how to select the best plants from seed to help maintain nature’s genetic diversity. We specialise in unusual and rarely available woody edibles, rare fruits, but also dendrologically interesting ornamental woody trees, shrub species and Mediterranean patio and conservatory plants which are not often seen for sale. We even introduced new species to the UK.
We are based in North Wales in the lower part of the Vale of Clwyd, about 6miles from the Irish Sea, at an altitude of 60m.
The climate around our nursery is much drier than the surrounding Cambrian Hills and Snowdonia. In the east, on the Clwydian Range, the annual rainfall reaches 1200mm while in the West, the Cambrian Mountains and Snowdonia sucks a lot of rain out of the clouds which puts our valley in a „rain shade”, so total rainfall rarely exceeds 700mm/year.
The nursery is situated on a hilltop in quite a windy position but we use windbreaks – However this is an advantage by making our plants sturdier and more resistable to windier conditions.
As the sea is relatively close, we have more sunshine hours than the average for North-Wales.
Light frosts are frequent in Winter (and sometimes in early Spring) but are less severe than further up in the valley; on many occasions, snow falls on the hills around us but – thanks to the sea – if snow falls, it usually melts on the same day. We usually have the lowest Winter minima around -7C and the Summer maxima around +26C.
We use unheated "growing pods" and raised beds outdoors to grow our plants, usually at least a hundred of each species, so we can monitor them and select the best ones. The outdoor area is slightly shaded because the sunshine can be strong in the summer and can dry the small pots out very quickly.
We only grow the largest plants on ground level so no waterlogging can occur and we can reduce slug damage (this is impossible to avoid fully though, as we use as little chemicals as possible). Field mice are a big enemy of young plants, but we do not have any problem with them: we have recruited 3 cats who live on the nursery and keep our little seed-loving mammals away. We also have Marleigh, our beloved Labrador with us and she makes sure the cats behave well...
We propagate and grow all of our stock on site from seeds or cuttings, this way we can take care of the plants from their very first day of life.
Propagating from seed is a great way to maintain nature’s diversity and gene pool. Although cultivars may be identical when propagated by cutting, we would have very few varieties of ornamental plants without selecting them from seedlings first!
Our busiest season on the nursery is from February to April, when we pot up our stock and seedlings from last year. Of course this is the time for sowing too; some seeds require dry storage, some of them have to be sown straight after seed collection, but most of them will germinate in March, April and May. Some Acer species and some perennials are usually the first to emerge, with the most difficult-ones requiring more patience: Hamamelis seeds for instance need a full year (with 2 winters) to germinate while Davidia, Acer opalus may stay dormant for 2 years!
Late spring, early summer is the time for pricking out the seedlings and this is the ideal time to make softwood cuttings (almost every plant can be propagated by this method).
We also participate in 30+ flower shows where you can meet us in person (a full list is available here).
And just when we think a quieter time is coming, usually around late September, we realise that we have to plan our next seed collecting expedition. We love it.
After harvesting the seeds, sowing starts in October. Seed cleaning is a delicate and long process, and often requires a special set of skills, especially the very small ones. We usually finish cleaning our seeds around Christmas – just to have enough time to enjoy the festive season.
We sincerely hope that you will like our plants as much as we love to work with them!