I am an advocate for buying British grown plants, which have been raised and grown in our great British weather! I enjoy purchasing plants from independent, specialist nurseries, where I appreciate finding exquisite plants, which are perfectly adapted to our climate.
Daisy Roots Nursery has been created and nurtured over the past fifteen years, by Hertfordshire Nurserywoman, Annie Godfrey. I was thrilled to meet up with Annie Godfrey at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where I congratulated Annie on her Gold Medal, which was presented to her by the RHS judges, for a magnificent display of drought tolerant perennials and grasses, which were all grown by Annie Godfrey, at Daisy Roots Nursery in Hertfordshire.
Pumpkin Beth: Annie your stand looks fantastic! Congratulations on your top award – the Gold Medal presented by the RHS judges at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show! Congratulations! It’s well-deserved.
Annie Godfrey: Thank you Beth, I can’t quite believe I have a Gold Medal with our name on it at last. This is our fifth time exhibiting at Chelsea, but our first Gold Medal anywhere, so it means a great deal.
PB: I always look forward to seeing your plants – they are so beautiful, and so healthy! Tell us more about your Nursery Daisy Roots.
AG: We are a small independent nursery, that grows our plants hardy with a capital H! The only thing we have on site is water – we don’t have electricity. We have one relatively small poly-tunnel – so as far as climate control when I am growing plants for a show like this, the plants are either in the tunnel, or they are out of the tunnel, that’s it! I don’t have cold storage to hold plants back, I don’t have heat or lighting to bring plants on, I just have to trust to the gods that they’re going to be kind to me, and allow me to exhibit here with plants in flower!
PB: So basically, your customers, when they purchase plants from you, they don’t need to go through the rigmarole of hardening their plants off – they can just purchase plants grown at Daisy Roots Nursery, and plant out straight into their gardens?
AG: Yes, 95% of the plants I grow at Daisy Roots are grown outside all winter in Hertfordshire.
PB: That’s fantastic! Have you grown all your plants yourself from seed?
AG: I have grown them from seed, from cuttings, or divisions, with the exception of any PBR (Plant Breeders’ Rights) plants which I buy in as plugs, and then grow on. But yes, all of the others I propagate myself.
PB: That’s wonderful! How many people work with you?
AG: Well, there’s myself and Steve, my other half, and we also have the lovely Linda, who volunteers one day a week. Steve and I do garden maintenance over three mornings each week, and I have a steady trickle of Garden Design projects that keep me busy too. I’m quite involved in our local Hardy Plant Society, when I do shows like Chelsea and Hampton Court, the members queue to sign up and work a couple of hours on the stand in return for a ticket for the day. So as far as Team Daisy Roots goes for a show like this, it’s mainly me and the Hertfordshire Hardy Plant Society covering the stand.
AG: We grow a wide range of perennials and grasses, but at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, we specialise in bringing drought-tolerant perennials. We’re sort of on the edges of East Anglia, so it’s the driest half of the country really – the East. Although Hertfordshire has different soil types – it’s famous for having pretty much every soil type going! I happen to garden on a well-drained soil. I have a sunny garden, I grow and sell the plants that I have tried and tested at home.
PB: So as your plants are hardy and drought tolerant, your customers won’t have to harden the plants off or water them excessively?
AG: No, once the plants are established, they’ll look after themselves.
PB: Fantastic! Do you have a favourite plant on the stand?
AG: It’s a tricky one, actually. I rather like Iris ‘Kent Pride’, the Iris there, and that with the pale yellow under it is going to work well together once a few more flowers open.
PB: I love the Anthemis underneath!
AG: The Anthemis is our signature plant for Daisy Roots – it’s the yellow daisy that we’ve got on our logo.
PB: Where can the public buy your plants? Can they visit your nursery?
AG: The nursery is open to visitors every Friday and Saturday, from 10am to 4pm from March until October, or you can visit our website at any time: www.daisyroots.com to find out where we will be selling plants at various plant fairs and shows around the country. New for this year, we are also offering a mail order service – visit the website for details.
PB: What about Flower Shows? What Flower Shows will you be at in 2017?
AG: After Chelsea we start to think about Gardeners World Live at the NEC in mid June, then Hampton Court, RHS Hyde Hall, and in September, the RHS Wisley Flower Show.
PB: Are you from a gardening family? Have you now realised your gardening dreams, now that you’ve won a Gold Medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show?
AG: I am a hybrid between my Mum, who is a very keen gardener, and my handyman Dad, who fifteen years ago helped me fence off a corner of a client’s field and build Daisy Roots from the ground up. Fate has continually laid opportunities at my feet, which have allowed me to exceed my wildest dreams; from the first time I exhibited at Hampton Court in 2007, to winning Gold Medal at Chelsea in 2017.
PB: What’s next for you and for Daisy Roots Nursery?
AG: What’s next? Watch this space!
Other articles that may interest you………
To read about the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year 2017, please click here.
To read about the new rose introductions from David Austin for 2017 – 2018, please click here.