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About us

Celebrating 110 years of business, Allwoods has a big collection and a lot of history

 

It was a chance conversation in 1994 that lead to the current owned David James taking over the nursery and rescuing the unique plant collection that otherwise would have been lost.  David grew up in horticulture on his parents nursery, the famous Vernon Geranium Nursery and was possibly the only 14 year old who instead of playing football spent his time on the allotment he rented when the space he was using to grow vegetables was needed for another greenhouse to house his parents expanding Geranium (Pelargonium) collection. Vernon Geraniums was started by his parents using the plants that they had inherited from David’s Grandfather.  Over the years it expanded and grew until it was the biggest mail order supplier of Pelargoniums in Europe.  When it became time for David’s parents to retire he took over the plant collection and added it to the plants that Allwoods grew, as a passionate grower David has also added other plants to the collection and it now includes Fuchsias and many succulents as well.

 

The plants on our website are propagated and grown on our nursery in Sussex so you can be sure that by ordering from us you are dealing directly with the nursery that grows them. 

Our Vision

To keep history alive.

We grow an extensive range of plants, many of which are no longer commercially grown anywhere in the world - if we stopped growing them then a huge chunk of history would be gone!

How it all began

Allwoods was started in 1910 by three brothers, Montaqu, Edward & George Allwood and soon became the worlds leading Dianthus specialist, their breeding breakthrough in the early 1900s revolutionised plant breed with many techniques still used around the world.  Many of our early varieties are still as popular as ever - such as the famous garden pink 'Doris'.

Although Allwoods has changed a bit since those early days  we are still proud to hold a unique and impressive plant collection like no-other in the world, the Dianthus range alone (some 400+ different varieties) culminates the whole species all under one roof, from tiny alpine pinks flowering at just 2" to Greenhouse Carnations that can reach upto 6ft.  There is something for everyone, every garden and every colour - some varieties even date back to the Tudor dynasty!

The original Allwood brothers

It is this passion of growing that has kept Allwoods the leading growers and suppliers of Dianthus for over 110 years - but the range doesn't stop at Dianthus, they also have a very interesting (rare some would say) collection of Pelargoniums (Geraniums to you and me) some 600+ varieties (read our blog on the story behind our Pelargoniums!), and we now have an ever expanding Succulent collection full of interesting, choice varieties alongside common favourites as well as many other garden plants and the collection literally keeps on growing.

A Bounty of Awards
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Throughout the last 110 years we have amassed a HUGE collection of awards and trophies for our displays and range of plants at the various flower shows and gardening events that we have exhibited at throughout the country, such as Chelsea Flower Show, Hampton Court, BBC Gardeners World, Harrogate, Southport and Sandringham Flower Show.

 

We have featured in many gardening publications like Gardeners World, Garden News, Amateur Gardening, The Garden with our range of plants alongside newspapers such as The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Sun Gardening, Women's Weekly and local publications such as Mid Sussex Times and The Argus.

Our nursery has featured on BBC Gardeners World and on the BBC's Great British Garden Revival programme.  We have taken part in various radio interviews, both local and regional.

We are able to supply plants for gardening shows or produce articles for publication if you have a magazine that needs content, please contact David via email with your requirements.

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