This month we've chosen Calluna vulgaris.See More
Stephen & Lesley Abbit founded the business which consisted of just a small field and a humble polytunnel.
“Stephen and Lesley started off in a field with a humble polytunnel, a stand pipe and a portaloo". Stephen still remembers their first day, "We had a few customers, locked up and left the money in a bag on the wall! Luckily a local person found it and returned it to us when we opened the following day!"
In 1986 the first covered retail area was built: a glasshouse that housed plants.
In 1989 an additional small outdoor covered area was built: several polytunnels housed compost and gardening materials.
Plants have always been at the very forefront of the business and to this day, this hasn't changed. However, in 2001 the need for diversification was recognised. In order to keep up with visitor demand and to compete with similar businesses in the area, the Beetham Tea Room was built. This consisted of a small building which, at full capacity, seated approximately 40 people.
In 2002, we were delighted to be awarded a Silver-Gilt medal at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show.
In 2003, we were delighted to be awarded a gold medal at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show.
Following the success of the previous year, in 2004, we were awarded a gold medal at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show for our exhibit, 'A Garden For Otium'. This beautiful garden was constructed from Lakeland slate by Andrew Loudon
and planted by us. It included a large slate sphere as a centre piece and a beautiful water feature.
In 2005, in place of the polytunnels that housed compost and gardening materials, the Gift Shop was built. This added an additional dimension to the business, which provided visiting customers with a more fulfilling experience.
At the same time, new office space, a kitchen and a new staff area was built to accommodate the needs of the growing number of staff.
In 2008, we were awarded a Gold Medal at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show for 'The Lake District Poet's Garden'.
The garden was designed by Beetham Nurseries in conjunction with Andrew Loudon and sponsored by: The Coppermines and Lake Cottages; Beetham Nurseries; Honister Slate Mine; Windermere Attractions; The Lake District Historic Houses Association; Cumbria Tourism; and the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show.
In 2010, to cope with the overwhelming demand placed on the Beetham Tearoom, The Garden Café was built. A bright, airy space featuring full length sliding glass doors that bring the outside in on those warm sunny days, the fully licensed venue soon became very popular with 'ladies who lunch' and also doubled up as an evening venue for popular events. Many of our events are now held here, from flamboyant floral demonstrations to talks on vegetables, bees and bonsai.
The old Beetham Tearoom was converted into the Garden Food Shop; now known locally as a 'hidden gem', it's filled with a mouth watering array of delicious flavours sourced locally, nationally and internationally from artisan suppliers. Today, the shop is stocked with a wonderful range of products including luxury foods, deli essentials, fresh pies, cakes and cheeses, an outstanding selection of the world's finest wines and more - not to mention fantastic homemade Beetham pies and pastries.
In 2013, the Garden Club was launched in order to give something back to the number of loyal customers who frequently visited. Members are rewarded for their loyalty with points that can be redeemed against future purchases; exclusive monthly Garden Club offers; and a newsletter providing useful information including seasonal gardening tips, company news, future events and competitions.
In 2014, to mark our 30th anniversary year, The Growing Nursery was built.
The Growing Nursery provides access to our specialist growing area. It's a traditional retail plant nursery where you will find an ever-changing selection of plants that are all grown at Beetham Nurseries; they are always interesting, unusual or specialist and offer the highest quality at exceptionally good value for money.
The Glasshouse was built: originally intended as a space to provide workshops, it soon became an area to feature the Conservatory Collection - our newest collection of unusual, rare and interesting plants that are perfect for the greenhouse or conservatory.
The Garden Club has been a great success and has provided an excellent platform for communication between the company and its loyal customers. It now has over 4000 members.
Due to demand, land was converted into a new car parking area to accommodate an additional 170 cars.
The Garden Club now has over 10,000 members!
A new outdoor canopy was constructed to increase undercover retail space.
Drainage was also added for phase one of our proposed new retail development.
Plans are in place to expand and to construct a new retail building that will offer more shopping space, further developing and improving the experience for visitors.
“From initial staff levels of 5 people, Beetham Nurseries now employs over 60 people from the local and surrounding areas.“
Drainage infrastructure for our new development was put into place.