By Nerys Arch Propagation Manager
International plant propagators society held their annual conference this year at Shifnal. The conference and society is open to all in plant production with a main focus on hardy nursery stock and perennials. This year’s conference named ‘From Start to Finish’, consisted of a visit to Boningale and Worfield Plants, growers that fitted this remit perfectly.
Boningale are still a proud producer of their own plug stock and the propagation department, managed by Nerys Arch, produce 1.3 million plugs per year to supply their liner and final pot production and the Greensky division. Propagation technics depend on varieties required – 750,000 plugs through cuttings, 500,000 plugs through seed propagation and 50,000 plugs from splitting mother stock.
Boningale welcomed more than forty delegates who had an in-depth tour of the nursery.
After a tour of our propagation facilities Container Manager Paul Heywood led the tour around the final production area and the potting on process. Delegates showed interest in the bark topping process, ‘a system we’ve been using fully this growing season with some great results showing a reduction of pesticide usage and a cleaner plant for our customers’. Delegates were finally given a tour of the Despatch and Sales departments by Sales Manager Ian Wright, explaining the one stop shop for all customer plant requirements from plugs to very large trees.
It was a great opportunity to show off the nursery to some big names in the trade and it was fantastic to entertain the youth of our industry and to inspire them to stay and choose horticulture as their career.
The delegates then took the small journey to Worfield plants, where they were given a guided tour of the nursery by Sales Manager Mark Leavers and Nursery Manager Julian Shaw. The nursery grows a very different range to the main Boningale site, alpines and perennials, and so growing technics are different. The delegates were shown through the propagation, liner units and final pot production. They were impressed by the mobile potting unit, with its conveyor carrying the potted plant to the standing down area. Plants are stood down with immaculate precision using a pot spacer; this evidently produces very even uniformed growth for customers.
Boningale’s Greensky Manager Maggie Fennell was invited to present at the conference. ‘Are green roofs the future for all buildings?’ Maggie explained the importance that green roofs play in the urban environment, bringing biodiversity, drainage solutions and a feel good factor to working and leisure areas. Maggie explained that getting the correct advice is the key to success.
Boningale Limited’s one stop shop approach relies on its wide ranging expertise across many areas; we hope we have inspired the next generation, to keep growing their careers in horticulture.