Published: 03 July 2012
Braywick Heath Nurseries
Braywick Heath Nurseries in Maidenhead, England has had good reason to put out the flags and celebrate. They were not only celebrating HM The Queens Diamond Jubilee but also the anniversary of a royal visit by HRH The Prince of Wales when he officially opened the nursery in 1997. Another royal visit will take place soon when HRH Prince Edward makes a return visit to see how work is progressing.

The well stocked herb bench.
They were not only celebrating HM The Queens Diamond Jubilee but also the anniversary of a royal visit by HRH The Prince of Wales when he officially opened the nursery in 1997. Another royal visit will take place soon when HRH Prince Edward makes a return visit to see how work is progressing.

Braywick Heath Nurseries is run as a social enterprise business with a clear objective. It works to improve the life chances of people with disabilities and those needing support by providing horticultural employment.   Since opening many hundreds of people have benefited from spending time working on the nursery.


The main activities include growing quality plants that are available to sell to customers visiting the site. All stages of production are carried out by the different teams including propagation, potting up and growing-on to a saleable size and quality. The range of plants includes seasonal bedding, herbaceous perennials, shrubs, climbing plants and roses. There is also a good display of edible herbs.

Braywick Heath has developed a very popular service to gardeners, businesses and local authorities for replanting their hanging baskets each year using home grown seasonal plant material.
 

New skills and confidence building

A very important aspect of the nursery is getting people actively involved in all the different stages of growing and production. In doing so new skills can be tried and developed.

 

Plenty to entice the customers.

In the shop this is evident not only when displaying plants and products but also meeting customers and handling money in sales transactions.  

There is also a small team that visit other sites to carry out grounds and garden maintenance services for private and corporate customers including a few housing association properties. Being involved in all these activities increases skills and knowledge and also builds a person’s confidence through seeing and achieving positive results.   

 

 

 

 

 

On site developments

The nursery site consists of modern glasshouses and polytunnels with plenty of outdoor sales areas that are attractively laid out for customers to view the extensive range of saleable plants. The indoor shop is the main focal point when entering the nursery.

Close links have been formed with many outside groups and organisations who use the site as a venue for meetings, training sessions and educational lessons. A local school for pupils with autism is creating a fantastic grow your own vegetable and herb garden as an ongoing project.

There are exciting plans to design and build a new sensory garden beside the car park that will not only provide an attractive entrance for customers but also a place for the many visiting groups to use as a meeting place and perhaps to enjoy a barbeque.  There are events held throughout the year which are open to the public. For further information about this great project visit their website www.braywickheath.co.uk

 

Reported by Chris Allen  
   
 

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