Pictured: Rory Paton of Pinetops Nurseries, examines the latest stock of Orange Joy.
Pinetops Nurseries in Lymington, Hants is a family business established in 1959 by the Paton family. The nurseries weekly crop consists of 6,000 oriental lillies and 2,000 hydrangeas, which twins Stuart and Ian nurture and tend to whilst Rory and his mum Jean sell the plants.
The coronavirus pandemic has stalled sales at the nursery, as the nationwide lockdown has forced the closures of all garden centres. However the nursery has found that the business sales to supermarkets are up on last year.
Mr Paton said “With the hydrangeas we've been managing pretty well thanks to the supermarkets we already supply to, but the lillies sales are horrendous - about 90% down.”
In order to keep the business afloat during the crisis, Rory has had to resort to using the flowers grown at the nursery as compost as they are unable to source the the supplies themselves.
“We end up composting the lillies. If we can't sell it, we've got to bin it, and when they are beautiful and perfect, that's really awful“. A family friend has also created a new web shop, www.solentgrowers.co.uk for Pinetops and two other nurseries in the area to help boost sales.