Peter Beales Roses expanded garden centre blossoms into life
PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 May 2019
An internationally acclaimed rose centre in Attleborough is hoping for an even sweeter smell of success after opening its £750,000 expansion.
Peter Beales Roses, which celebrated its 50th anniversarty last year, is one of the UK's leading rose breeders and its blooming expertise draws plant lovers from across the country and overseas to its centre off the A11, as well as exporting to places as far afield as Japan and China.
A suitably flowery ribbon was cut on Saturday at the grand opening of a major redevelopment of the centre including a new restaurant and revamped and expanded plant centre.
The 'Rosarium' restaurant replaces the old tearoom and features a state of the art kitchen with a new menu featuring home cooked dishes featuring local produce.
The plant centre features all weather canopies and an expanded outdoor sales area allowing them to expand the range of plants, including a new partnership with Thorncroft Clematis.
Peter Beales Roses managing director Ken March said the developments were a major investment totalling more than £750,000, partly helped by a grant from EU Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
He said: “We have had this in mind since we took over the garden centre four or five years ago. We really wanted to expand and establish in this country a centre of excellence for roses and other plants.
“Most garden centres tend to be moving away from plants but that is our speciality and our passion. We breed and grow roses and we want to show more roses to people. And a lot of our visitors come a long way so we needed a nice restaurant for them as well.”
Peter Beales MBE opened his first nursery in Swardeston in 1968. The company moved to the 11-acre site on the outskirts of Attleborough in 1980. It is the site of the National Collection of Rosa Species, which Mr Beales was named holder of in the early 1990s.
Nursery manager Ian Limmer said: “Over the last couple of years I've been trying to revitalise some of the rose range that we do. We do over 1,100 different varieties.
“I've been aboard two or three times to see other rose breeders and we are introducing some of their best, roughly 20 to 30 new varieties, so we will have the best of the best, as well as other planst like clematis. We are a real plant centre, rather than a garden centre.”