The Guernsey Clematis Nursery
The Guernsey Clematis Nursery Ltd is situated on the Island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands, off the South English coast and just off the French coast.
GCN was formed in 1984 and now produces more than three million young clematis plants annually for the world's markets, growing nearly 200 species and cultivars, exporting to 20 countries and capable of producing over 5 million young clematis a year. GCN now has 20% of the world's market of young plants and its major sales are to the USA, Canada, Europe and Great Britain.
The Guernsey Clematis Nursery Ltd., started by Raymond Evison with a one acre glasshouse site in the spring of 1985, now covers some 8,5 acres (3,5 hectares) of glasshouses on the Domarie, Avondale, Montrose and Braye vineries. The company employs up to 90 people at the height of its production, employing as many local people as possible. The company is accredited to ISO 9001: 2000. and is recognized as the leading clematis nursery in the world.
The old vineries have been up-dated and modernised during the last 10-15 years. The 5,000 square metre (1acre) propagation block of glass on the Braye Vinery is extremely modern with ebb and flow mobile tables on which the young cuttings are grown. Growing conditions for plants are entirely controlled by computer and the Nursery is totally committed to respect the environment: it uses an environmentally friendly integrated pest control system, recycles most of its water and uses night screens to avoid light pollution. It is wholly committed to keeping Guernsey 'green'.
From such production facilities come some of the best quality healthy young clematis plants. These are grown by leading growers in the USA, UK and the E.U, who then provide the Garden Centres with the best quality plants and the newest cultivars.
The company customer base includes nurserymen who grow the young plants on to saleable size for sales in Garden Centres around the world. It also supplies mail order companies and deals with growers who supply chain stores and supermarkets, both in Europe and North America.
Modern production process and despatch
At Guernsey Clematis Nursery, 3 million clematis are produced annually, i.e. 25% of the world market for young clematis plants. At the height of production, 30 to 45, 000 cuttings are made each day. They are produced in deep Allibert trays (for GCN's own potting or for bare rooted despatch as a rooted cutting) and in 3.5cm Ellegaard paper pots (for GCN's own potting or for the UK and European plug market).
Having overwintered in the glasshouses, the young clematis plants are brought into spacious working areas where skilled staff makes internodal cuttings from the fresh vines.
The cuttings are then inserted into a rooting medium in deep trays, so that roots can develop unhindered. Controlled watering conditions guarantee high rooting percentages.
The trays are placed in polythene tunnels that are sealed while rooting begins. Gradually the polythene is opened up to give the plants more oxygen and to reduce the humidity, until finally the plastic is removed, some 8 weeks after insertion. The rooted cuttings will remain in these trays for at least another 10 weeks before being potted on or defoliated for overseas export.
Machines mix compost and fill small pots with the correct amount ready for the insertion of the rooted cuttings. The pots are placed directly onto large mobile benches interconnecting 4 acres of glasshouses. These benches allow watering and feeding from below, so that the foliage is always kept dry and to reduce the risk of fungal disease. The tender new growth is kept free of pests thanks to a state of the art integrated biological pest control system.
In addition, many other environmentally friendly programmes have been implemented at The Guernsey Clematis Nursery for the conservation and recycling of energy, water, compost and other materials.
Plants are exported to 19 countries and at this stage quality control is essential.
Plants packed to be despatched to overseas countries are placed in cool insulated boxes and shipped by air or sea to specialist nurseries all over the world that will grow them on for local distribution under special licence agreements. Plants shipped outside Europe are completely defoliated and washed free of their compost to meet stringent plant health regulations of countries such as the USA, Canada and New Zealand.
The Guernsey Clematis Nursery Ltd. is a wholesale producer supplying young plants to customers for them to finish, package and distribute to retail outlets.
Technical help and Marketing Support
The company is at the forefront of breeding and development programmes for new varieties. Its approach is a model in how to market plants successfully. It does not only sell plants, but offers a whole package to growers that includes technical help for the growing and production of plants, help with marketing and PR activities, lectures at the sharp end, garden centres appearances and demonstrations in collaboration with growers and partners . It offers the latest and best cultivars at reasonable prices and certainly offers a wider selection of cultivars than available from other producers. Quality is the key word and every new cultivar is tested for about 10 years in the breeding and development section of the nursery before it comes out on the market, ensuring the superior quality of the Raymond Evison products.
For technical support, contact Chris Ozanne - email@example.com