Dorset Botanic Business Knoll Gardens Marks 30 Years

Knoll Gardens, a renowned ornamental grass specialist based in Wimborne, Dorset, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Founded in the 1970s as Wimborne Botanic Garden, the business has evolved significantly under the leadership of Neil Lucas and his team. Over the past three decades, Knoll Gardens has become a leading name in the horticultural industry, known for its commitment to naturalistic gardening and sustainable practices. This milestone marks a significant achievement for the business, reflecting its growth and success in the competitive botanical market.

Knoll Gardens’ journey began in the 1970s when John and Enid May transformed a former carrot field into a thriving garden. Initially known as Wimborne Botanic Garden, the business focused on traditional gardening and nursery practices. However, in 1994, under the new ownership of Neil Lucas and his family, the garden shifted its focus to ornamental grasses. This strategic move allowed Knoll Gardens to carve out a niche in the market and attract a dedicated customer base.

The transition to ornamental grasses was driven by Neil Lucas’s passion and expertise in the field. His vision for a naturalistic garden that harmonizes with the environment resonated with gardening enthusiasts. Over the years, Knoll Gardens has expanded its offerings, introducing new plant varieties and innovative gardening techniques. The business’s commitment to quality and sustainability has earned it numerous accolades, including ten gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Knoll Gardens’ success is also attributed to its dedicated team. Many staff members have been with the business for over 20 years, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience. This continuity has fostered a strong sense of community and collaboration, which is integral to the business’s ethos. The team’s expertise and passion for horticulture have been instrumental in driving Knoll Gardens’ growth and reputation.

Embracing Innovation and Sustainability

Innovation and sustainability are at the core of Knoll Gardens’ operations. The business has embraced modern technologies and practices to enhance its offerings and reduce its environmental impact. One of the key innovations was the shift to mail order and delivery services in collaboration with the APC network and Chase Freight. This move allowed Knoll Gardens to reach a broader customer base and provide high-quality plants to gardening enthusiasts across the UK.

Knoll Gardens’ commitment to sustainability is evident in its gardening practices. The business follows the principles of naturalistic gardening, creating habitats that support biodiversity and wildlife. The gardens are managed in harmony with nature, providing a sanctuary for various species. This approach not only enhances the beauty of the gardens but also promotes ecological balance and conservation.

The Knoll Gardens Foundation, a charitable organization established by the business, plays a crucial role in promoting sustainable gardening. The foundation offers courses, masterclasses, and educational events to help gardeners adopt eco-friendly practices. It also conducts research and shares data with local and national organizations to inform conservation efforts. Through these initiatives, Knoll Gardens is making a positive impact on the environment and the gardening community.

Celebrating a Milestone

To mark its 30th anniversary, Knoll Gardens has planned a series of celebrations and initiatives. The business has replanted the Dragon Garden, creating a vibrant and dynamic space for visitors to enjoy. New interpretation boards have been installed throughout the gardens, telling the story of Knoll Gardens’ evolution and achievements. These additions enhance the visitor experience and provide insights into the business’s history and philosophy.

Knoll Gardens is also launching a new website to coincide with the anniversary celebrations. The website will feature detailed information about the gardens, plant varieties, and upcoming events. It will serve as a valuable resource for gardening enthusiasts and provide a platform for the business to engage with its customers. The website’s launch is part of Knoll Gardens’ broader strategy to enhance its digital presence and reach a wider audience.

The 30th anniversary celebrations also include a range of workshops and activities. Visitors can participate in yoga sessions, painting classes, and photography workshops, all set against the backdrop of the beautiful gardens. These activities are designed to promote well-being and creativity, reflecting Knoll Gardens’ commitment to providing a holistic and enriching experience for its visitors.

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