Spalding, Whaplode and Surfleet growers help M&S bloom at Chelsea

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Three local growers helped Marks & Spencer bloom at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.

When creating its Blooms of the British Isles exhibit, which celebrates the best of the nation’s flowers and plants, M&S approached three established South Holland businesses.

L&D Flowers, Westside Nursery (part of the Butters Group) and M & G Congreve have been suppling M&S with quality flowers and plants to sell in store for years, and working together on the flower show exhibit was an extension of the relationship.

Surfleet-based L&D Flowers supplied Sweet Williams which, thanks to this year’s warmer weather, were cropped earlier than usual.

Lauren Senior helps to run L&D Flowers, which her partner James Lacey started in 2006. She said: “We’re really excited that our flowers featured in the M&S garden at Chelsea. It’s also lovely that M&S chose to use Sweet William. It’s quite a traditional flower, which has been overlooked in recent years, so we’re glad to see them getting the attention they deserve.”

Pete Hicks, of Westside Nursery in Spalding, has been in the horticultural business since the age of 18. Four years ago he was invited to join Butters Group, where he helped to set up its growing operation, Westside Nursery. Thanks to his expertise, management and dedicated tea, the growing operation has flourished, growing from an initial four acres to 12 within four years. He supplied herbs for the M&S garden.

Lance Whittington, of M & G Congreve of Whaplode, supplied Purple Sensation Alliums from the family farm.

Lance has been supplying these flowers to M&S for seven years, and was one of the first farms in the UK to start growing the variety. As well as Alliums, M & G Congreve supply Alchemilla to M&S.