We talk with one of the country's longest standing growers of Cacti and Succulents to find out more about their history in the industry.
To be acknowledged as possibly the longest standing grower and exhibitor of cacti and succulents in the UK is quite an achievement.
This accolade is attributed to Tim Wilson, the Proprietor of The Plant Lovers nursery at Spilsby in Lincolnshire.
A vast amount of knowledge and expertise is required in order to successfully propagate, grow and sell an enormous range of these hugely varied plants.
A major part of this wealth of information he has learned over many years are the wonderfully long and seemingly complicated botanical names that go with the many species and varieties he now grows.
The Production Nursery
The nursery is also considered to be the longest established cactus nursery in the country. It was started by the late Mr R.H Slater who purchased the old Rectory in 1947, he continued to develop the business with his son-in-law into the late 1960’s. Further developments started in 1969 when the move to the present nursery site began, this expansion also saw new glasshouses built, these being virtually completed by 1989.
The nursery now comprises of a range of large commercial glasshouses where tens of thousands of cacti and succulent plants are grown every year using traditional propagation methods of seed and offsets.
It was in the early 1990s that their first plant displays were being exhibited at shows around the country and nowadays over thirty shows are attended each year and form an integral part of the business.
Tim Wilson, and occasionally his son, travel between Scotland and the south coast setting up their displays and sales benches at show and regularly win Large Gold and Gold awards for their stunning specimen cacti and succulent plants.
Tim recalled his past visits to Shrewsbury Flower Shows when each year Percy Thrower would come into the floral marquee to inspect the exhibits and make comments about the construction of the plant display he had just built. Tim’s exhibits have also attracted the top awards and medals from RHS Chelsea, Hampton Court Palace and Gardeners World Live shows.
For anyone with an interest in cacti and succulents, or thinking of starting a collection it would be worth arranging a visit to The Plant Lovers nursery, or seeing them on their stand at a show.
Tim Wilson has a vast amount of knowledge and enthusiasm for his subject and is to keen to share it with everyone, whatever their interest level, or spending power.
Nursery Contact Details: The Plant Lovers, Candlesby House, Candlesby, Spilsby, Lincs. PE23 5RU.
Tel. 01754 890 256