Bring the Med to your gar­den

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Etbusiness - By JOHN KRALEVICH

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,

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