Why we decided to grow our own
The decision to grow our own products was not taken lightly, but the benefits we gain from doing so are incredibly important to us.
With the impact we have on our environment at the forefront of our minds, growing our own products allows us to ensure our plants are secure. This means that we know what goes into every product at our nursery, from azaleas to zinnias! This also gives us control over the soil in which we grow, a huge benefit that has meant we can proudly say the vast majority of our products are grown peat-free.
So, whether you’re looking to fill your beds & borders with colour or treat yourself to one of our RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year winners, you’ll receive superior quality and environmentally conscious products.
Our plants & growing media
As many gardeners will tell you, continuity is the key for any successful garden – and that goes for nurseries too! Whether you prefer to grow from seed or start with larger plants, our system allows for gardeners to maintain their gardens all year-round.
We grow a wide selection of bedding, perennials, roses, shrubs, fruit & veg, and offer plant sizes from small plugs to large, attention-grabbing showstoppers. All products are grown in our own specially formulated compost, which is much better for the environment than many commercial alternatives. Many of our small plugs will be sold as such, but we also grow many on to be larger plants for our customers who prefer instant impact in their gardens, and enabling gardeners to grow their favourite varieties later into the season.
What do we trial at our nursery?
At Suttons, it’s our mission to find new and exciting additions to our ranges, but these varieties need to be viable to grow in UK climates. Our new varieties come from all over the world and are grown at our Devon trials site, where they can be evaluated by our experts, led by Toby Connabeer. If they are judged as suitable and up to standard, they will appear in our flower seed and vegetable seed range in subsequent seasons.
With over 200 years of experience in horticulture, we believe that the highest quality is essential to our success and reputation and that makes the trial grounds one of the most important elements of our company.
We are committed to conducting our business in an ethical, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable manner, and our nursery is no different. There are a number of ways we reduce our impact on our environment.
All our plants are grown using organic principles. Pest control in the greenhouse is achieved by the release of indigenous predatory insects, including wasps, lacewing larvae and mites, reducing the need for any chemical sprays. We use a long-term, slow release feed, which keeps your plant healthy and fed even after it’s planted out in your own garden. We also collect rainwater to be used on the nursery, reducing the need for outside resources. In 2019, we made a pledge to move over to recyclable pots for all our packing and growing needs.
For more information, please visit our Sustainability page.
Who works at the Suttons Trial Grounds?
Led by Toby Connabeer a small team of enthusiastic staff help to keep the site in tip top condition, sowing thousands of seeds and transplanting a myriad of small plants from the greenhouse into the trial field. In addition, at peak periods, dozens of staff are selecting customer orders and then carefully packing the plants ready for Royal Mail collection later in the day.
Each year Suttons have a presence at most of the major garden shows and all the plants for our stands are grown at the trial grounds. As only the best material can be shown, Toby and his dedicated team invest a lot of time in nurturing the plants to be ready at just the right time – and this is no easy task. It takes a good deal of experience and good judgement to achieve perfection. Gold at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show doesn't just happen, but Toby and his team manage to get it just right!