Wenhaston: Woottens garden nursery founder Michael Loftus’ legacy lives on in event this weekend

Pictured left to right are eight of the twelve strong nursery team: Sandra Sutton (auricula expert),

Pictured left to right are eight of the twelve strong nursery team: Sandra Sutton (auricula expert), Rosalyn Boyce (nursery worker), Jo Kerridge (mail order manager), Viv Kemp (border designer), Stuart Kellett (assistant manager), Lizzy Loftus (nursery owner), Gillian Morris (field manager) and Luci Skinner (assistant manager), Woottons of Wenhaston. - Credit: Archant

The team charged with taking forward the legacy of a garden nursery’s charismatic owner is holding its first garden fair this Sunday (May 5) at Wenhaston near Halesworth.

Michael Loftus, the owner of specialist plant nursery Woottens of Wenhaston, died last year, and his widow, Elizabeth, and a dedicated team of 12 staff now run the nursery.

The business is known for its unique collections of historic irises, pelargoniums and auriculas as well as an extensive and diverse range of hardy perennials.

“This is an event Michael would have approved of. We are involving other local and like minded nurseries who grow complimentary plants, shrubs and trees and who are also specialists in their field,” said assistant nursery manager Luci Skinner.

“We have also invited local crafts people, artists and garden designers to take part in recognition that our gardens are now about so much more than just plants. It’s about creating a vital and personal out door living space.”

A leading nursery from Woodbridge in Suffolk and a specialist rose grower from Metfield, will be at the fair. One of the best culinary herb and edible plant nurseries in East Anglia, from Saxmundham in Suffolk, is also attending.

Norwich based Peter Dibble, a willow worker from Suffolk who harvests and uses willow from a bed planted by his father-in-law, and Halesworth potter Mark Titchner, whose work can be found in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, will be demonstrating their crafts.

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There will also be a propagation demonstration taking place in the nursery’s display garden. “Woottens has always been a teaching nursery, Michael was keen to share his knowledge and passion with staff and customers and we will continue to do so,” said Luci.

The event takes place from 10am to 4pm. Entry is free and parking is plentiful. Tea and cakes will be served in the courtyard.