R. F. Lawrence and Sons, our parent company, was established in 1958. The family partnership includes Reg and Joyce Lawrence and their sons Trevor and Nigel. They are the only large-scale producer of Chrysanthemum blooms in the UK. In 2008 Trevor Lawrence, along with Don Wright and Martyn Flint, set up Chrysanthemums Direct to sell young plants direct to you.
Since the beginning there has been a vast transformation of the business, from a County Council smallholding, with approximately two acres of bare land, to now being privately owned by the Lawrence family. The land area now totals approximately 35 acres, of which the glasshouse coverage is currently 6 acres.
In the early years, sales were mainly to small, local retailers and to New Smithfield Market in Manchester. Currently, supply is to most major wholesale markets in the North, North West, Midlands and North East. Since 2008 we have been supplying our Chrysanthemum blooms to Marks and Spencer and other major retailers.
Many different varieties of flowers have been grown over the years by the Lawrence family, including Stocks, Iris and Sweet Williams. However, the main core of the business has always remained with the production of many varieties of Chrysanthemum. This has enabled them to become specialists in all stages of production, from propagation, using their own virus-free stock, to the finished product. They are now one of the few remaining bloom Chrysanthemum producers in the country, cutting annually some
1.25 million blooms.
Chrysanthemums Direct (R. F. Lawrence and Sons) have won the award for Cut Flower Grower of the Year in 2010, 2011 and 2015.
The Grower of the Year Awards are organised by Horticulture Week and Grower in association with Asda, the Horticultural Trades Association and the National Farmers' Union. The Awards celebrate the very best in UK production horticulture.
Reg Lawrence passed away in March 2020. Many customers will remember meeting Reg at shows or the Open Weekends here on the nursery. He was always ready to talk about his love for Chrysanthemums, or many other subjects.
Reg was born in 1931 in East Ham, London. He was evacuated to Bakewell in Derbyshire during WW2 and after the War decided to stay in the area. He met Joyce, who was from Allostock, Cheshire and after their marriage took on a council smallholding in Over Peover. They built this site, which now covers 35 acres, up to the standard that it is now with almost no outside help. They went on to have 5 sons, two of whom joined the business, which has been run as a partnership for many years. Reg and Joyce have 12 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
From early beginnings, growing many different types of vegetables and flowers, they have concentrated on bloom Chrysanthemums since the late 1970s. They are now the only large-scale producer of Chrysanthemums, for the cut flower trade, in the UK.
Reg spent 12 years on the Horticultural Development Council (now the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board) helping with research into the growing of Chrysanthemums commercially in the north of England.
Since the formation of Chrysanthemums Direct in 2008, Reg has been closely interested in our achievements. He was especially proud of our record of awards won at the many shows we have attended over the years. He was awarded the National Chrysanthemum Society's Silver Medal in 2012 for his contribution to the Chrysanthemum.