Bring the Med to your garden
WHEN Tim and Jackie Thackeray opened their specialist garden nursery business two weekends ago, it was an auspicious beginning.
A blazing sun under cloudless skies, provided typically Mediterranean weather for their Mediterranean-style venture.
Olive Grove Nurseries majors in olive trees, about 1,200 of them to be exact, and palms, plus an array of other southern European plants such as yuccas, japonicas, agapanthus, jasmine, and much more besides.
Modelled on a high-end Spanish or Italian-style nursery, the centre has a very relaxed feel – where you could indulge in a glass of wine and discuss your gardening needs with Tim and Jackie. The couple are keen to help gardening enthusiasts design high-impact gardens that evoke the Mediterranean lifestyle and memories of holidays in warmer climes.
Olive Grove Nurseries aims to become the UK’s largest supplier of high quality Mediterranean plants, stocking a vast number of olive trees from one year to 400 years old, hardy palms up to 4m tall and a range of less hardy plants for the conservatory, summer house or home office. With plants ranging from £13.50 for a two-year-old plant with olive oil to £2,500, for a 450-yearold tree, which would make a centrepiece, say on a patio, there is something for everyone.
Tim and Jackie decided to set up the specialist plant business after finding it difficult to source good quality Mediterranean plants for their own garden.
As well as wanting to provide an excellent specialist resource for gardeners, they wanted to dispel the myth that Mediterranean plants are not hardy enough for the British climate, sourcing some plants that survive at 14C below freezing in their native Italy.
Every plant has been personally selected by the couple at Spanish and Italian nurseries which they vetted over several weeks,
Jackie said: “We want the nursery to be a place where gardeners come for a font of ideas, the very best quality plants and striking garden features. On arrival, every customer gets a nursery brochure signalling them to the relevant bay for viewing stock,