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Just sell to the public with trade prices
Not landscapers double charging clients by profiting from the trade prices they get

1. All businesses such as Landscapers and Designers should not be penalised for looking to make a profit with which to cover overheads etc.
2. Having been at the Seminar, being both a Garden Maintenance professional and a Designer I DID NOT FEEL PATRONISED.
3. when one realises the precarious nature of running a Nursery i have no problem over the retail / trade scenario, is it any different from the builders merchant et al.
4. Quite true, to know plants, growth habit etc you have to work with them and physically look at the specimen that you wish to purchase to put into a clients garden. They are paying for it and to select from a Google image is not good enough.

Sorry so out of touch Phil,

As you live in France, it is obvious that you are so out of touch with the Landscape & Horticultural industries within the UK, and that you have no idea what actually goes on, in real business in the UK.

This is unusual, since your analysis of UK horticulture is normally spot on.

Guess that this to provoke, and wind up Growers that work for a living in Horticulture. It appears from your post that LJN is NOT supporting UK horticulture, which is very sad.

Grumpy staff. Why slag off workers, and business owners like ourselves, who show their customers around their Nursery, so we all learn and share our skills? Your generalistion discredits all of UK Horticulture.

We invite our Landscape & Design clients to bring their customers around our Nursery. We not only welcome them but love to spend time with them.

Space is so precious that stock is crammed together?

What planet are you on?

When did you last visit a UK Grower like an LJN Member T&S Plants?

Are you trying to discredit UK Growers?

For this is not the case on our Nursery, where we actually grow plants, for a living.

For a more factual, more modern view of UK Growers and UK Horticulture please visit

Phil you were not there and if your views are based on the hort weeks highly accurate (not) reporting you are wrong. Most wholesale nurseries working with garden designers have to offer informed and professional advice to sell their plants and get customers returning. You may have experienced poor service - perhaps in France but we would not survive over here. The BALI event at WyevaleEast illustrated the benefits to designrs in knowing the plants they use. The designers and students left better equipped than they arrived.
Phil why do you have to be so un-constructive is life in France not the Joire de vive?
Have anothe show that was constructive. Nick Coslett Palmstead Nurseries

Hi Nick

Thanks for your response. I hoped you would.

No, not all UK wholesale nurseries were poorly run but I experienced my share of uninterested personnel who were clearly not interested.

Sorry you don't accept my account but I'm afraid it's true.

I don't think I'm being unconstructive but I do feel it's right to keep the argument balanced.

To the few people / members who may read LJN it is with great regret that such a negative and poorly constructed report on an event that was not attended by the author has to be read at all.

Commenting on behalf of Wyevale East Nurseries it is a great shame that this view is considered and promoted within the industry. There are many people, companies, organisations and charities promoting professional horticulture in the UK. The professional horticultural industry does not need this negative approach.

I would not normally have commented on this website, however I take great umbrage with your comment, ‘’ Grumpy untrained staff who are too busy or more often unwilling to help or pre-occupied talking about their weekend’’. This is a massive generalisation and a terrible cliché at best and is not acceptable.

The staff here at Wyevale East Nurseries were astonished to read such a comment when over ¾ of the staff have studied Horticulture and have made horticulture a career choice and take great pride in their work.

Uneducated hearsay and comments should not be put forward as a balanced point of view as the author did not attend the event.

If the only way to increase customer flow to LJN is to be negative and argumentative it is a sad state of affairs.

On behalf of Richard McKenna, Nursery Director of Wyevale East Nurseries

Having just joined the exchange we are busily reading the heated comments and are interested in everyone's constructive response. Indeed, we too encourage customers to receive pictures of plants via email and come along to spend time walking round our nursery which is always beneficial to them and the staff looking after them. We must not lose sight of the fact that we are all working to the same goal - making everyone's garden abundant whilst at the same time educating those less fortunates. Beaver Plants

Hi Liz

Sorry you were upset.

Perhaps it is Hort Week you should be upset with, and not me, for poorly reporting [re. Nick's comment] what was supposed to have been said at your meeting.

It is also sad that you feel only positive aspects of the landscape and horticulture industry should be reported.

This has been the problem for too long and the very reason Landscape Juice exists, partly to take the spin out of PR. It seems some businesses just wish to slap each other on the back and promote themselves as though they were flawless...not good in my opinion.

For your information, the monthly readership of Landscape Juice is more than double Hort Week, Pro Landscaper and the Landscaper combined.

I think you are doing a massive disservice to the good people of LJN who do great things helping their peers through the site.

You talk of generalisation but your statement "If the only way to increase customer flow to LJN is to be negative and argumentative it is a sad state of affairs." is surely generalist and does not accurately reflect the site or its members?

Why couldn't Richard comment himself?

Kind regards

Nick & Liz

I'm more than a little astounded how you've jumped in to criticise LJ (OK me) for daring to mention some of the negatives about my/our industry. If you feel LJ and others should exist just to maintain the [positive] status quo and only promote what you and others want to see promoted then I'm afraid you will be disappointed. I'll leave the sycophancy to others.

My recent article highlighting some of the poor service we received (note I didn't accuse Palmstead nor Wyevale of being the same ) has helped get the industry talking about such issues (tell me where else this can happen without it just being a back slapping exercise?).

It's sad to see Liz's comment about LJN only existing to be negative about the industry. A little bit of time (and your respective businesses are both members) reading through the vast store of info on LJN and LJ will quickly lead you to realise that the site has been a great deal of help and inspiration (and to some, literally, a life saver) to many people. In the last twelve months, one LJN member committed suicide. One other member, whom I spent much of my time talking to and generally listening to, was also contemplating suicide but has happily sought help.

These people are not society drop-outs, they are people who just need a little help. I don't publicise this side of LJN but I'm sure it's not a service provided by other industry sites or organisations.

My work (and LJNs) isn't about just helping companies who want to thrust money in my hand and tell me what to say. I've, partly, spent the last six months of my life trying to help members of the landscape and horticulture industry who have fallen on hard times. This culminated recently with the successful conclusion of my 1,250 Mowerthon.

Maybe Palmstead and Wyevale could have gotten publicly behind my and others' efforts to help Perennial tand help those in our respective industries?

Looking forward to further debate:)



Nursery staff amaze me, often it is low horticultural wages yet bright people with superb plant knowledge striving to provide good service. If you don't like the stock then that’s another matter but I'd much rather visit any plant nursery over Jewsons or alike. PV is clearly out of touch in this regard and should be more sympathetic to the tight margins nurseries compete at these days.

As for back slapping scenarios, I saw the contributions of both nurseries as educational and generous with knowledge of each other's techniques. It was purely for the benefit of those that visited and the students particularly benefitted. It is worth mentioning the nurseries gave their time for free, as did most the Bali representatives who helped promote and organise the event. Criticism is fine, but a more 'Dunkirk' spirit in tough times would be to balance the negative comments by highlighting the positives of the afternoon and showing some respect for those that got off their back sides and contributed .
This type of negative press will only encourage people of positive spirit to place their efforts elsewhere. The industry as a whole has a lot higher percentage of good quality people these days, remarkable when you think back 20 years. Positive approach is a must if we wish to keep the momentum going.

I worked at Pantiles Nursery in lucrative time in the nineties. Those days have long gone, I was staggered at the extra lengths the guys go to these days to compete, to produce what is often less than net 10% of turnover. Not a strong business model given the risk and outlay.

It is also worth mentioning the origins of this debate is two nurseries going the extra mile to embrace the industry including its newcomers. Great work guys and many thanks.

As a seasoned contractor it was healthy to be ticked off and encouraged to visit, it's too easy to fax a list.

Brian Herbert
Outdoor Options Ltd

Thanks for your comment Brian

If nurseries are really operating on a 10% margin then they really need to reassess their business plan otherwise it's commercial suicide.

"Criticism is fine, but a more 'Dunkirk' spirit in tough times would be to balance the negative comments by highlighting the positives of the afternoon and showing some respect for those that got off their back sides and contributed."

Nothing wrong with being positive but it's a recipe for disaster if all negative aspects are not considered. A blinkered approach will just delay the inevitable.


As an ex-Director of Pantiles Nurseries Ltd., I could only agree with every comment that Brian has made.

How many Hampton Court Golds and Tudor Roses was it Brian?

More than any other LJN Members combined, we think!!!
You did the Landscaping, we did the plants,simple:-)

Wish you well.

As gardeners / trainee designers who do a lot of planting who have visited many nurseries both retail & trade, generally we found an attitude of indifference.
In many cases, it is more, what staff?
Discount, oh no we don't do discounts.
Generally we get dismissed & ignored.

A prevailing attitude of we don't work with designers, we do designs ourselves, the design is based on what we sell, we do it in a couple of hours, it's not worth using a designer, are comments we got in a nearby leading tree nursery.

I'm sure that there are some excellent nurseries out there, somewhere, the nearest one we've found is Henley's near Market Weighton, just an hour away.

Most nurseries we visit, have too few staff to cater for the basics let alone helping & advising about plants.

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