The Simple Things

The natural look

ON A PLOT IN SOMERSET, THE HOLLEY FAMILY NURTURES ORNAMENTAL GRASSES AND HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS FOR NATURALIST­IC, SUSTAINABL­E, SIMPLE GARDENS

- Words: LAUREN HOLLEY Photograph­y: KATHARINE DAVIES

Lauren and Will Holley run Blooming Wild, a small, independen­t nursery in Somerset, alongside raising their daughters. Inspired by naturalist­ic planting styles, they are passionate about herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses, many of which are hard to source elsewhere. They take pride in growing sustainabl­y and the plot is a haven for wildlife. Follow them @bloomingwi­ldnursery or go to bloomingwi­ld.co.uk.

The story so far

Will and I met in 2008 when I was studying animal management and Will was studying horticultu­re. I started working at Longleat Safari Park as a giraffe keeper and later as a chimp carer at Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre, while Will began to develop a keen interest in naturalist planting.

In 2012, Will became ill and had to give up work for a while, and then our first daughter came along. Hours in the animal care industry are not family-friendly, so we made a bold move and rented a small plot in an existing nursery to grow our plants.

We started trading at specialist plant fairs in 2013 and the following year we opened to the public. After our second daughter was born in 2016, we found the ideal plot to base our growing business, in Horsington, South Somerset. It was a four-acre field with mains water connection and that was it, but it was the start of our journey towards building our own nursery.

Climate change is making many people think about making their gardens more sustainabl­e and lower maintenanc­e, and planting herbaceous perennials and grasses can combat the issue of constant watering in summer and the need to replace bedding plants each year. Once establishe­d, our plants need very little watering. We grow a wide range of varieties, many of which are hard to source elsewhere, so we attract keen gardeners and garden profession­als alike.

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 ??  ?? Blooming Wild is very much a family business, and daughters Amelie and Mia love to spend time on the plot with Lauren and Will. Above: The girls, clutching one of their favourite plants, Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’, behind a cloud of the whimsicall­y-named Echinacea pallida
‘Hula Dancer’.
Inset: Thalictrum delavayi ‘Splendide White’ is a longflower­ing perennial that works really well as a cut flower
Blooming Wild is very much a family business, and daughters Amelie and Mia love to spend time on the plot with Lauren and Will. Above: The girls, clutching one of their favourite plants, Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’, behind a cloud of the whimsicall­y-named Echinacea pallida ‘Hula Dancer’. Inset: Thalictrum delavayi ‘Splendide White’ is a longflower­ing perennial that works really well as a cut flower
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