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History of Hopleys Nursery

The nursery was established in 1968 to help pay for a gardener and as a means of selling surplus plants grown for the garden.

The first commercial act was to purchase 1000 cuttings of Cupressocyparis leylandii (then an exciting new conifer) and 1010 rooted! This inspired a large collection of over 350 varieties of conifer to be grown in the open ground for sale as specimens and hedging.

A short dabble in heathers and roses was quickly replaced by flowering shrubs. Seedlings from the garden were often potted up and grown on, and one such resulted in a most fortunate colour break - the first red flowered shrubby Potentilla 'Red Ace' was born. The huge success of this plant worldwide inspired us to introduce many other new plants both raised at Hopleys and introduced from overseas. (see Hopleys introductions for further details).

When Aubrey joined full time in 1982 the business expanded in several ways: more perennials were added to the list, a mail order service was started, garden design and planting was offered and exhibits were staged at shows throughout the country.

Collections of long flowering perennials such as Penstemon, Salvia, Diascia and Osteospermum were built up as well as a wide range of half-hardy perennials following plant collecting trips to New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada and USA.

David & Barbara retired to half an acre of good growing land in Dorset in 1990 and continued to grow many plants for the nursery from seed and cuttings.

Revised 03/03/16

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