Henleaze Garden Shop History
Click the picture to enlarge it.
The document below is produced courtesy of Andy
Harrison, editor of the Henleaze Society Newsletter.
John Stenner was
demobbed in 1947 having served in North Africa as a despatch rider.
Before joining the Army, he had worked for a seed merchants and he
decided to open his own garden shop and rented 146 Henleaze Road. In
those early days he also supplied nurseries in the Bristol area with
materials such as peat.
Quite soon John decided
to concentrate solely on the retail side and plant growing. A coal-fired
greenhouse was built on the garage side and the base of this can still
be seen where the perennials are laid out. He majored on Cacti and this
reflected their popularity in the 1950�s and 1960�s. The business
prospered and the shop was doubled in size by taking on number 148.
Further greenhouses were erected to the rear and used for producing cut
In 1950 John had married Vera and she has been
involved in the business ever since. Both their children, Jane and
Robert, also joined the business more than 20 years ago, although first
Robert got a degree in business studies. For the past year Robert has
been running the show but mum, dad and Jane are still playing a part. A
true family business!
It is not just the family who are fixtures. Many
readers will know Mike Baker and have benefited from his friendly
helpfulness with their gardening problems. Mike has been in the shop
for 42 years and seen enormous changes. The availability of plants in
pots and imports from all over world have been the two biggest
influences for change. Before this plants were in seed boxes and roses,
fruit bushes and shrubs had to be ordered.
Mike said that the year used to be a mixture of
seasonal flurries of activity punctuated by quiet periods. Spring was
all about bedding and vegetable plants, summer was quiet, the bulbs
arrived in early autumn and then there was another pause until the
Christmas trade got going.
Today, the business is continuing to evolve. It
has diversified into pet foods and some hardware is now stocked. Recent
new ventures are quality garden furniture and the production of their
own potted displays. These innovations are in response to changing
customer needs. The willingness to move with market trends coupled with
the emphasis on personal customer service means that the Garden Shop
should continue to be popular with the gardeners of Henleaze.
PREVIOUS PAGE ON
HENLEAZE GARDEN SHOP
BRISTOL GARDEN CENTRE INDEX PAGE