Livelihood that depends on plant survival and inclement weather

Michael Fairbairn ready for business at Alnwick Market.
Michael Fairbairn ready for business at Alnwick Market.

You have to admire professionals who put heart and soul into raising seasonal plants for sale.

They have to deal with inclement weather conditions too and their livelihood depends on plant survival. I’m a regular visitor to the Heighley Gate and Stanton plant centres whose produce is always sound. The same applies to Hobberlaw Plants, Loaning Head, just a five minute drive from the centre of Alnwick. Go past the castle, down over the Lion Bridge and up to the roundabout. Take the first left onto the old A1 and Hobberlaw Plants is 300 yards on the left.

Planted hanging baskets.

Planted hanging baskets.

Over the past five years, Michael and Carolyn Fairbairn have developed a super customer base of circa 30 local hotels, care homes and pubs, several of whom have gained gold awards for their displays. They also have a regular stand at the Alnwick Market, and welcome the public to their nursery. There they have thousands of bedding and potted plants displayed in four large poly-tunnels, and outdoors there are hardy plants; shrubs, trees, herbaceous perennials, heathers, etc. for sale.

Here you will find hanging baskets ready planted, the bacopa, nepeta, surfinia or lobelias you need for trailing, and fuchsias, geraniums, begonia et al required for massed displays.

Michael and Carolyn smile when I ask about opening times because they work from dawn until dusk and often greet customers during their post-5pm watering routine.

Visit them at Alnwick Market or online at www.hobberlawplants-alnwick.co.uk better still at their Loaning Head base.

A polytunnel full of plants.

A polytunnel full of plants.

Then backtrack 300 yards to the roundabout and the Stable Café which I can also fully recommend!