Alan and Olive moved from London to Sussex in the early 1940s and purchased the land at Lime Cross Nursery. They attempted to make a living from exploits such as pig rearing and tobacco farming.
However they settled on the production of cut flowers. This was successful throughout the 1940s, 50s and up to the 60s. In the 1970’s Alan & Olives son Jonathan joined the business, after working in various nurseries and travelling around Europe with his friends. Jonathan slowly began to transform and expand the nursery. He had an absolute natural ability for business and quickly took the helm, steering the nursery towards increased production.
Alan and Olive both lived well into their eighties and had a blast throughout their retirement travelling as well as remaining actively involved in the community.
The plant lines changed to container grown conifers, trees and shrubs, which were sold to the UK retail and wholesale market as well as internationally.
Jonathan developed a passion for propagating and collecting conifers, he experimented with different grafting techniques and quickly became known as an expert. He was a co-founding member of The British Conifer Society and contributed to many publications. He discovered conifers here on the nursery and rescued others from the brink of extinction.
The Next Generation
In 2006 his eldest daughter Victoria joined the business, following a degree in Fine Art and an internship at The Auckland Botanical Gardens. Victoria and Jonathan broadened the spheres of the retail department, building a shop and café.
Sadly Jonathan became ill with cancer and after 7 years of treatment passed away in April 2014 aged 63. His life was cut short; however he achieved a lot and traveled the world. His spirit lives on in his daughters and the trees that he propagated.
In 2013 Helen, Victoria’s sister joined the business after studying Viticulture & Oenology at University and working in wine production and business.
Today the nursery’s constantly evolving with Helen introducing new events at the nursery such as wild swimming in the lake, yoga & pilates retreats and Wine & Spirit Education Trust courses. Vicky has had great success exhibiting at RHS shows, winning a gold at Hampton Court last year, she will exhibit at 2019 Chelsea Flower Show as well as Hampton Court & Wisley Plant Show.
The quest is to keep the nursery a dynamic and inspirational place to visit, whilst always maintaining excellent customer service and offering high quality products.
Everyone brings something different to the mix with varied skills personalities and outlooks. Fundamentally we each shares the same ideals and principles; hardworking, passionate, knowledgeable and dedicated. This makes Lime Cross Nursery a dynamic, fun and inspiring place to work.
Our customers are the most important thing to us, and we dedicate ourselves to ensuring that their experience is exemplary. We are always open to feedback and suggestions to help us to improve and grow.
Our key focus is sustainability in all sense of the word. We operate as sustainably as possible and offer a sustainable service to our customers. We want our customers to purchase the right product, a product which will thrive for years to come, bringing joy and enrichment. We are not in this for the hard sell. Jonathan coined an ethos years ago when he started out which has become integral within our approach; we would rather our customers walk away empty handed than walk away with a product that will not work for them. We thrive on integrity and honesty.