Greenlines Nursery is situated on the South Coast of the UK near Chichester, and has been trading for 30 years. It was initially set up as a cut flower and foliage nursery growing a range of crops outdoors and under polythene tunnels. Over the years the number of lines has steadily reduced and recently the nursery has concentrated on just one line only – Sweet Peas which are now all grown under glass.
Although a relatively small nursery, Greenlines Nursery is by far the largest grower of Sweet Peas in the UK, now producing just under a million stems each season from approximately 1.5 acres of glasshouses. The Sweet Peas are sold either through the nursery’s website or via its long established wholesale trade. Greenlines is also the sole supplier of Sweet Peas to Waitrose.
Sweet Peas are a very unusual and challenging crop to grow. The flowers need a lengthy growing season to achieve a high quality product and because they need to be grown as a cordon crop, similar to tomatoes, it is difficult to mix them with any other bed-grown flower crop in the annual growing season. The crop is very weather dependent; a period of warm sunny weather can result in cropping volumes doubling in just a few days; conversely cold dull weather can cause the crop to almost stop flowering and sulk!
The nursery maintains its own stocks of seed bred from parent lines over many years. The seeds are regularly reselected to ensure the quality, scent, colour and appearance of the flowers is maintained. Notable successes have been achieved in recent years and the nursery also conducts small commercial trials for seed firms and breeders.
Greenlines Nursery permanently strives to lower its environmental footprint, whilst increasing productivity. Major changes to growing methods mean that energy used to grow the crop has decreased by 60% in the last five years. There is a heavy emphasis on recycling on the nursery site
and we are constantly trialling ways of reducing it further, both with our growing mediums and the materials used in our packaging. The nursery is LEAF accredited.