Meet one of our local suppliers
We strive to work with local suppliers where possible, here we meet Jeff Soulsby whose family business supply our plant shop.
Many of the plants sold at Hidcote are grown specially for us by Jeff Soulsby Garden Flowers, based in nearby Harvington in the Vale of Evesham.
Jeff's first deliveries arrive ready for when we open in March and continue right through until the end of the season in October. At peak time in the summer he can be delivering as many as 500 plants a week for us.
Jeff set up his nursery in 2008 when he heard that Hidcote were looking for local suppliers. Having managed Hillers Garden near Alcester for 12 years, he was excited by the opportunity to work with such a presitigious garden and its plant centre. Although his business has grown to supple other National Trust properties such as Snowshill Manor and Dyrham Park near Bath, he has no plans to expand. He'd be the first to admit he's a plantsman at heart, not a businessman!
It is a small family business. Jeff's mother takes care of the accounts and Jeff's wife, Wendy, helps with orders whilst looking after their two young children.
Jeff grows all kinds of herbaceous plants and a lot of ferns. He uses peat free compost and recycles the plastic flower pots as much as possible, sterilising them so they can be reused. He avoids using slug pellets and has planted fruit trees and wild flowers around the nursery to attract bees and butterflies.
At Hidcote, we work closely with Jeff so that we can offer many of the popular plants you may see on your visit, as well as those which have a strong connection with the garden. More recently Jeff has helped us to meet the demand for more unusual plants cultivated here, such as Dierama pulcherrimum and Dianthus carthusianorum. He collects seeds and has even propagated hydrangeas taken from cuttings at Hidcote.
Just some of the popular plants you might be able to take home with you from the plant centre are:
- Lathyrus vernus
- Astrantia 'Shaggy'
- Hydrangea villosa
- Hypericum 'Hidcote'