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RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016

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RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016

Millais Nurseries win their fifth consecutive RHS Gold Medal! We exhibit at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show every few years when we have a good story to tell. In 2016 we celebrated the Centenary of The Rhododendron Society which was founded by David's great uncle J G Millais. The first day of the Show was 100 years to the day since the Society held it's first AGM at Chelsea Flower Show! Since then, the Society has merged to become the RHS Rhododendron Camellia and Magnolia Group, with 700 members worldwide. David Millais is its Chairman.

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Crosswater Gardens

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Crosswater Gardens

The woodland garden at Crosswater Farm was developed by Ted and Romy Millais soon after they bought the derelict farm in 1946. Now the 4 acre woodland garden contains a collection of more than 1000 different rhododendrons, including rare species collected by Ted and Romy in the Himalayas. The woodland garden is only open in May during the flowering season. Please refer to National Gardens Scheme (NGS) website to see when we open our gardens for charity. This year the woodland garden is closed for redevelopment, but since 1991 we have raised more than £20,000 for charities including Macmillan Cancer Support.

Our trials garden next to the Plant Centre is open throughout the year, and contains hundreds of new and rare varieties that we grow up to about 1 metre high before selling as specimen sized plants. All plants are labelled so you can note which ones you like. Some will be available from our plant centre, some will be available in a year or so, and some will go on the next bonfire. (well it is a trials garden!)

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Propagation

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Propagation

Each year Millais Nurseries grows more than 35,000 rhododendrons, and we raise these mainly by cuttings, but also by grafting, seed and a few we buy in as tiny micropropagated plants. We start cuttings in June, taking soft wood cuttings, and then semi-ripe cuttings through till November. We use a young fibrous spongey compost, with automatic mist, ventilation and temperature set at 18C under low polythene 'tents' to maintain high humidity. Grafting onto R. Cunningham's White understocks is done mainly in the autumn, and we sow seeds in early January so that they have the full season to grow.

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Plant Centre

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Plant Centre

Please visit our Plant Centre to select your rhododendrons, camellias, magnolias, acers and other choice plants. Our Plant Centre contains most of our popular varieties, and is laid out by colour so that you can select what you want more easily. It holds the biggest selection of rhododendrons in the country, but we can't display everything, so you may like to 'Click and Collect' online to reserve rare plants that may take us time to locate in our 5 acre nursery. Through the plant centre is our specimen growing area where you can find the biggest selection of large plants in hte country. We grow beautiful plants up to about 140cm in size. Sorry, no tea room, but we are always happy to put the kettle on for you!

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Deliveries

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Deliveries

We aim to despatch all orders within a few days. Most orders go out in boxes by 24 hour courier (remote areas, Highlands and Europe take longer), with large orders and specimen plants going out on pallets which take a little longer. We have developed a range of strong boxes to ensure that your plants arrive in excellent condition. Complaints are rare but will be dealt with promptly and courteously. Parcel deliveries are by APC and can be left in a secure location, with a neighbour, or at a place of work.

Pallet deliveries are by Palletways network, and will arrive on a large lorry with a tail-lift. The pallet can be moved with a pump truck on smooth surfaces such as tarmac, or block paving, but will need unloading on gravel drives. Good access is required for an 18 tonne lorry, and someone will normally be required to be present to accept delivery. We will phone you to discuss arrangements and agree a delivery day.

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Nursery production

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Nursery production

We aim to grow a healthy plant that is sure to perform in your garden. We believe that a clean nursery is essential for plant health, and many people comment on how clean our nursery is. The nursery is inspected by DEFRA Plant Health about 4 times per year to ensure that all our plants are healthy and free from notifiable diseases. Wherever possible we use organic practices and have reduced our chemical usage to just a few sprays per year. We use fresh brewed compost tea, plant tonics, organic fertilizers, peat reduced composts, garlic, seaweed and soapy sprays to grow healthy plants that will perform in your garden. Our potting programme is for more than 100,000 pots per year, so we are highly mechanised with automatic irrigation, mixing machines, potting machines and electric buggies to move plants around. There are usually about 4 staff on the nursery, with more in summer. 

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