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John Cottrell

John runs Winterbrook Garden Services full time & works on the nursery during weekends.

John started Winterbrook Garden Nurseries originally in Wallingford over 30 years ago. When he moved with his young family to Brightwell he fell in love with the former fruit growing area & decided to open his nursery on the land he bought with the house. Working all week & weekends took its toll & couldn't be done with a young family so he took the decision to rent it out, which he did for many years. When the last tenant left, he decided to take it back & start again with less pressure & help from Hanna.

He is the brains behind a lot of the up-cycling, garden antique collecting & plant knowledge!

John is a very hard worker! He has worked hours, days, weeks & months clearing the site & starting it again from scratch.

Neither of us are horticulturally trained but we have design backgrounds, so we choose plants based on colour, form, texture which is a very different approach than your regular garden centre.

 

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Hanna Armitage

I'm John's daughter & I used to be an art teacher but made a change back in 2015 when I moved my young family back to Wallingford.

I create the artwork, buy the gifts, sow the seeds & grow the plants...everything basically!

All the artwork is created by me. I have always loved birds so I have a range of limited edition prints & handmade lampshades in my fabrics which cannot be bought anywhere else. My influences are nature & the balance we need. The themes I use are bees, birds, dragonflies & plants.

 

I have always had a love for the quirky & unusual so the different plants I grow & the antiques my dad collects make the nursery a perfect balance. I LOVE our nursery. 

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A New Approach

We have created the nursery to be a destination that is a little different from the other nurseries & garden centres you might find around us.

We are aiming to make the business as sustainable as possible. From plastic free pots to peat free compost we are trying our best to minimise our impact on the environment around us. Growing as much as we can on site means we are also trying to minimise the pests & disease which can be flown in from around the World.

We try to grow unusual & different perennials & some annuals for flower cutting, plants you wouldn't usually find in the mainstream centres.

Almost every plant in our nursery has been lovingly grown from seed or a cuttings. If the weather plays havoc with the plants we will sometimes use the brilliant, Babylon Plants in Watlington to keep our stocks filled but we try to avoid this.

Some people might feel our plants are expensive (usually £9 for a 2 litre plants grown from seed!) but I can assure you that every single plant is individually looked after, kept pest free without pesticides, grown in organic, peat free compost, watered with harvested rainwater & no longer has to leave the nursery in a plastic pot! This is expensive but we have tried really hard to keep our plants as reasonably prices as we can to offer value for money & a lovely healthy plant!

An image of Hanna's 'Fifty Bees' printed illustration
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A plant in a PosiPot which is cardboard alternative to a standard plastic plant pot
Our small feature in Reclaim magazine where we voted one of the top five independent garden centres
A photo of an old bike being used an advertising prop surrounded by plants in the nursery
Photo of a clay bust of a young man surrounded by yellow Rudbeckia in the nursery

About us...

Winterbrook Garden Nurseries has been owned by my dad, John Cottrell for over 30 years, although the site has been rented to different tenants over the years. However, back in 2018 he decided to take the nursery back over after it fell into disrepair and between us we have built the business back up and now run the nursery together under the new name Winterbrook Garden Nurseries.

My dad is still works as a full time landscaper but helps out at weekends with a wealth of knowledge and advice!

The nursery is a traditional plant nursery, only selling herbaceous perennials, some shrubs and peat free annuals. In addition to the plants we also source and sell an eclectic range of quirky garden antiques & my prints, alongside quirky homeware gifts.​

The ethos of the nursery is to be as sustainable as possible & we are proud to be one of the first nurseries in the UK to use Posipots which are a cardboard alternative to traditional plastic plant pots and only use and sell peat free compost. We water our plants using harvested rainwater and we do not heat our greenhouses in the winter months. We do not sell bedding plants or vegetables as we are located between two other garden centres which already sell these things.

As a tiny, independent, seasonal business run by father and daughter, we do everything ourselves.

We can offer advice, we will carry purchases to your car and help in any way we can.

We can take cash or debit/credit cards (including American Express)

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