Garden centre celebrates half century

ONE of the first garden centres in Britain has celebrated 50 years in business. To mark the occasion, Charles Notcutt cut a celebratory cake and raised a glass of champagne to toast customers and staff, past and present, at the Notcutts garden centre in Ipswich Road, Woodbridge.

ONE of the first garden centres in Britain has celebrated 50 years in business.

To mark the occasion, Charles Notcutt cut a celebratory cake and raised a glass of champagne to toast customers and staff, past and present, at the Notcutts garden centre in Ipswich Road, Woodbridge.

Special guests at the ceremony were a dozen former members of staff, including Mrs Isobel Wilton and Mrs Sally Pearson who were both managers - one after the other - of the then floristry department within the garden centre in the 1960s.

“Back in 1958, the year I joined the company full time, we relocated our seed and florist shop business from the town to Notcutts in Ipswich Road, Woodbridge, one of the first purpose-built garden centres in the country. This expanded the whole gardening range available to the public,” said Mr Notcutt, whose

grandfather established the family nursery business back in 1897.

The company now has 13 garden centres throughout the south, east and the Midlands, making it one of the largest privately owned garden centre chains in the country.

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“We soon added bare root plants laid in soil beds that people could take home creating the term planteria, the first in the country, which many people have copied since,” added Mr Notcutt. “Developments over the years, such as containerised plants in the 1960s, meant people could buy plants over a much longer season and then expanding the retail operation through the seasons and Christmas with other product ranges enabled us to give customers wider choice throughout the year.”