Trevena Cross Story
Chapter One – How It All Began
A small field of cabbage plants marked the beginning of Trevena Cross Nurseries.
Storming Helston market with a growing quantity of produce taken from his field, the late Mr Jeffery was joined by son Graham to tackle the market from two locations.
While Graham followed in his father’s footsteps selling produce at Helston market, Mr Jeffery set up shop at the site of his growing nursery – once the small cabbage field – giving them a two pronged attack of the local market, and one which turned out to be very successful.
Alongside very local agricultural shows, they had created a sustainable business, from just a field.
Chapter Two – Taking An Exotic Direction
A sparked interest in unusual exotic plants early on gave the father and son team a business speciality, which would naturally evolve over the years, and in fact remain – in one form or another – with the business until the present day.
Considered one of the very first to bring Proteas and Restios to Britain, (now widely familiar across Britain) and still keen to uphold the reputation as innovator of new and unusual plant varieties, Trevena Cross Nurseries takes pride in always being at the cutting edge of developments in the horticultural world – flying the flag for Cornwall as a leader not a follower.
Over time climatic weather changes and fluctuating weather conditions have forced certain more tender exotic varieties to be taken out of the mix, whilst the hardier remain available at the nurseries – those with a better chance of surviving cold British winters, in the long term.
Chapter Three – 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 both in economic and geographical terms – as bit by bit he has acquired land that has come up for sale, which unbelievably, has been land that adjoins his existing site!
One of Graham’s most recent purchases was the piece of land on which the Trevena Cross overflow car park sits. A huge area of land that has expanded the nursery’s growing area, and provided a dedicated ‘mail order’ preparation space, but that was purchased with the sole purpose of being able to invite more customers to the garden centre at peak times, when the main car park becomes overcrowded.
Chapter Four – Challenging Times
It has not all been plain sailing however, the business and its owner has been challenged by a key, uncontrollable factor for the industry – the weather.
Huge storms, big frosts, snow aplenty and frequent erratic weather all bring risks and challenges to the business, and 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 therefore the business really does have to grow and adapt in line with a changing climate – carefully planning and carefully preparing, for what is often, ’the unknown’.
Chapter Five – Looking Forward
It goes without saying that a business of 35 years has experienced a great many changes over the years, but it has also had the good fortune of a great many consistencies, with its very loyal, long standing workforce, its position as a ‘traditional nursery’, its emphasis on friendly, helpful customer service, and of course its business ethic and love of horticulture.
Looking forward, Graham hopes that with ambition and drive the business continues to grow and prosper, in what remains a challenging environment; without losing touch with what’s important to it – its staff, its customers and its love of plants.
FACT: when Trevena Cross Nurseries brought Proteas and Restios to the market and prestigious flower shows such as Hampton Court, they were in fact ‘too early’ for many growers and plant enthusiasts, with only the really early adopters brave enough to investigate what these wonderful plants could bring to the garden.
Now commonly seen in displays at the biggest of horticultural shows including RHS Chelsea, Trevena Cross clearly were just a bit ahead of their time!