How It All Began (1976)
It’s hard to believe that Trevena Cross nurseries began as a small field of cabbage plants. Who would have thought from such humble beginnings, Trevena Cross would later be one of the first in Britain to bring Proteas and Restios to the market and to prestigious flower shows such as Hampton Court. Breaking new nursery ground when only early adopters were brave enough to investigate what these wonderful plants could bring to the garden.
Initially selling cabbages and produce at Helston market the late Mr Jeffery was joined by his son Graham when the business was in the early stages of growth.
While Graham managed the produce sales at Helston market, Mr Jeffery his father created a shop at the site of his growing nursery – once the small cabbage field. Attending local agricultural shows, this three-pronged attack of the local market proved very successful. From a humble field of cabbages, the father-son duo created a sustainable business that is now over 40 years old.
Taking An Exotic Direction
A shared fascination with unusual, exotic plants gave the father and son team a business speciality which would naturally evolve over the years until the present day.
Trevena Cross takes pride in always being at the cutting edge of developments in the horticultural world – flying the flag for Cornwall as an innovator and leader. One of the very first to bring Proteas and Restios to Britain (now widely familiar) over the decades Trevena Cross has built its reputation as an innovator of new and unusual plant varieties.
While fluctuating weather conditions have forced certain more tender exotic varieties to be taken out of the mix, the hardier varieties are still available at the nursery. These plants have a much better chance of surviving cold British winters.
Making Business Sense
By risking his own money and investing heavily in the business during times of hardship and a number of previous recessions, Graham has ensured that the business has not only remained intact, but has been able to continue growing economically. He has also invested in land alongside the nursery to enable it to grow geographically and offer an even broader diversity of plants to customers.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing! The business and Graham have been challenged by a key, uncontrollable factor – the weather.
Huge storms, snow and big frosts along with frequent erratic weather bring risks and challenges to the business which can make the difference between an abundant stock of healthy plants and a sparse selection of plants that have seen better days.
Every year is different and so the business has to grow (with the plants) and adapt with the changing climate, planning and preparing as far as possible – for the unexpected.
It goes without saying that a business of 40+ years has experienced a great many changes over time, but also has the good fortune to have built a very loyal, long-standing workforce, gained a strong position as a ‘traditional nursery’ with an emphasis on friendly, helpful customer service and retained its love of horticulture at the heart of the business.
Looking forward, Graham hopes that with ambition and drive the business continues to grow and prosper in what remains a challenging environment while retaining its core values; caring for its staff, ‘you’ – its customers and of course, the love of plants.