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Sustainable Ornamentals Production Focus at Howard Nurseries


Howard Nurseries held a trade open day with Melcourt Industries and Fargro Ltd. on Wednesday 7th August for 100+ guests. Visitors ranged from garden centres, garden designers and nurseries; some travelling from as far away as Hampshire and Lancashire to attend the event.

Neville Stein

The day was chaired by Neville Stein, a respected consultant in the horticultural industry and the principle and founder of Ovation Business Consultants.

Neville has established a reputation as one of the foremost management experts in horticulture, providing consultancy services to SMEs across a wide and varied geographical area, including Scotland, Ireland, Poland, New Zealand and most recently China.

The focus of the day was on sustainability, so the audience of growers, landscapers, designers and professional gardeners were fascinated by Fergus Garrett, head gardener at Great Dixter in East Sussex. Great Dixter is a garden made internationally famous by Fergus and the garden's founder Christopher Lloyd. Fergus also lectures, writes and serves on RHS committees.

Charged with the responsibility of conserving such an historic place, Fergus’s main message was that it was entirely possible to do so whilst also engaging with new ideas about sustainability. He cited, as examples, his garden’s use of solar energy and their desire to eliminate the use of peat from their growing medium.

Fergus Garrett

Catherine Dawson

Catherine Dawson is Technical Director of Melcourt Industries where she has overseen the development and commercialisation of the very successful Sylvamix sustainable growing media range. She is a former chair of the Growing Media Association and a member of Defra's Sustainable Growing Media Task Force.

Catherine brought delegates up to date on the issue of sustainable growing media and the success of the Sylvamix range. Sylvamix is not only sustainable and peat-free but now also used routinely by a growing number of respected nurseries, producing everything from liners to mature trees. Wisely, non-chemical solutions could go a long way to ensuring a healthy profitable crop for most growers.

Neil Helyer is an Integrated Pest Management specialist with Fargro Ltd. and is wll known throughout the UK ornamentals industry for delivering sound, technically-based advice on the use of chemical and non-chemical pest and disease controls.

Neil gave a lively talk on current best practice in the use of bio-pesticides which covered a variety of threats to a wide number of crop types. His message was clear: used wisely, non-chemical solutions could go a long way to ensuring a healthy profitable crop for most growers.

Neil Helyer

The formal presentations were followed by tours of the nursery where the reasons for the success which Howard’s enjoy were plain to see: excellent horticultural practice, a passion of quality, attention to detail and a highly motivated and skilled team.

Open Day Image
"I would like to say we had a very
enjoyable time at your trade open
day last week and found it very
informative. I hope the day was a
great success for your team."
Open Day Image
"Thank you for a great day
yesterday, the nursery was
looking fantastic well
done to you and all your staff."
Open Day Image Open Day Image
Open Day Image Open Day Image
"Hopefully you will be getting
loads of positive feedback so
you will feel like repeating
the event next year!"
Open Day Image
"Congratulations on a really
interesting and inspirational
open day yesterday.
You and all of your staff did an
amazing job, especially on the
nursery tours. Thank you."
Open Day Image
"I would just like to say
thank-you for an interesting,
enjoyable and informative day.
I particularly like the talk by
Fergus Garrett and the tour of your
excellent Nursery - thanks again."
Open Day Image
"Thank you to Howards for
hosting such an enjoyable
open day last week."
Open Day Image
"Just wanted to drop a quick line
to thank you and your father for
an enjoyable and informative open
day last Wednesday. Particularly enjoyed the talk by Fergus Garrett
and the tour of the nursery."
Open Day Image

Melcourt Industries Ltd.

Melcourt Industries is well known to professional growers, specialising in the provision of unique bark-based growing medium ingredients and the market leading peat-free growing media range Sylvamix.

A leader in innovation and high quality for 30 years, Melcourt has developed a range of products that is second to none, with unparalleled technical backup, prompt and efficianet delivery, outstanding levels of customer care and all-importantly, excellent environmental sustainability.


Fargro Ltd.

Fargro is a leading supplier of exclusive horticultural products including agrochemicals, substrates, growing media systems and general Horticultural Requisites which are supplied directly to growers in the South East and East Anglia.

Having worked with growers on their new biopesticide introductions, Met52, T34 and AQ10, Fargro's technical team have been busy advising customers on how these products can be integrated into their pest and disease programmes.

Well known for sourcing new value added goods for their ornamental customers, Fargro's efforts have intensified to source a wide range of new planters, baskets and containers that they can now offer in 2013.

Fargro have always been keen to work with growers incorporating their ideas with their own on design and quality in order to meet the needs of a changing marketplace. However their traditional requisites business of supplying a comprehensive range of mainstream products to their customers remains a key element of their business.

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