Whartons are a third-generation family run business growing over 1.5 million roses for the UK garden centre market, with nurseries in Norfolk’s Waveney Valley, close to the Suffolk border. Their mission is to supply the very best roses to plant retailers throughout the UK. They do this by combining industry leading production methods with the rigorous trialling of new varieties from leading rose breeders around the world.
Founded in 1947 by John Wharton the nursery is now run by his son Robert and grandson Paul. John started his working life with Morse Roses near Norwich before striking out on his own, renting greenhouses and a corner shop in Harleston selling fruit and vegetables and growing tomatoes, flowers and roses on the nursery. The second world war halted production of his early rose crops as food took priority, but John was allowed to grow a few roses to keep propagating material going for future use.
Fast-forward to the present day and Whartons are the UK’s largest grower of garden roses, propagating over 1.5million roses a year and employing 50 full-time staff, many of whom have highly specialist skills. Field production now covers over hectares of land at any one time, with three production sites taking the field grown roses through grading, potting and despatch.
The range grown is available as bare root plants or in pots and covers 337 varieties of bush, patio, shrub, climbers, ramblers and standards. Branded roses include Home Florist Roses™, Flower Carpet®, Precious® Roses and Peter Beales® – World Leaders in Classic Roses.
At a glance production
• 1.5 million rose budded each year, with 3 million in field production at any one time – roses are a two-year crop.
• 60 hectares are in field production with 12 hectares down to pot production. Over 2,000 sqm of processing buildings and cold stores on 3 sites.
• 50 regular staff, increasing to over 80 in times of peak production.
• 70% of sales are potted roses with 30% bare root.
• 15 members of staff have over 20 years’ experience with the company, 3 have over 40 years.
• Top selling rose - Rose Flower Carpet pink
Top selling bush rose – Arthur bell
Top selling patio – Carefree Days
Top selling climber – Compassion
For more information and images contact Jo Davey, firstname.lastname@example.org whartons.co.uk
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