Just a quick note to say how easy, informative and in general, a pleasure, your website was to use this morning. Also, it is so refreshing to read your comments about "Organic" produce. I was amazed to read something so sensible, in all honesty. Working in the farming industry, food labelling is one of my bugbears and your comments about so called Organic food coming to the UK from abroad hit the nail on the head!
Rebecca Mayhew, Bungay
Here at Victoriana we think we are uniquely different and some might even go as far as saying odd! Well odd but happy is fine by us!
Victoriana Nursery Gardens is the distillation of the Shirley family's many years experience of serving the gardeners of the United Kingdom - in fact the Shirley family tree reveals that way back in the early 1700's a branch of the family were seed merchants.
Moving on a little closer to present day, Jeremy and Joan Shirley started their first mail order nursery, in Surrey originally, in 1958 - but moved to Challock in 1963. Whilst they describe themselves as 'recycled teenagers', and one or two people affectionately call Jeremy 'the old codger', they still contribute much to the day to day work on this busy family nursery.
Their son Stephen joined the family business in 1985 on leaving school and now heads up the team with his wife, Serena, who joined in 2004. Stephen and Serena's children, Molly (11) and Milly (9), also now take a very active role and help out wherever and whenever they can.
But that is not the end of 'the family' as all who work on the nursery are part of the 'extended family' - together we make a close knit group. Growing plants and working at the nursery is a way of life, not just a job! Coffee break at 10.30am every day is a time when we all get together for a natter, with birthdays and such celebrated with cake, for some reason we have a lot of July birthdays - so there's lots of cake in July! All in all we're a friendly bunch, happy in what we do and with a genuine pride in what we produce.
Paul Peacock (author, broadcaster and the new 'face' of Mr Digwell for The Daily Mirror) summed us up pretty well when he wrote...
Some people have green fingers, fewer have green in their blood, fewer still have green genes! For two generations, Victoriana Nursery Gardens have been supplying superb plants to the Nation's gardeners, with that extra touch - passion.
The driving force behind the nursery is the Shirley family; two generations of them who, from children Molly and Milly (11 and 9 years) to Stephen and his wife Serena to father Jeremy and his wife Joan, are all passionate about gardens - and the very best plants to put in them.
What's different about Victoriana Nursery Gardens? Apart from superb and interesting plants such as Strawberry Popcorn or Victorian Colossal Climbing Peas (old fashioned peas that grow so tall you'd think they were magic) there is sheer enthusiasm.
It is no mistake that when you buy their plants they arrive packed so carefully that even if they have travelled hundreds of miles, they're still perfect on arrival. They just love what they are doing, and in the gardening world that means green fingers, toes and whatever else you care to mention.