Back in 1931, Bertram Thomas Smith, started Smith’s Nurseries in Oxford Road, by growing in two small greenhouses, with an old coal boiler to keep the plants warm at night and ten acres of land, laid out to wallflowers and roses.
The Smith’s family grew the finest quality plants, working tirelessly, living in the house on site and went on to endure the Second World War.
Time moved on and Smith’s Nurseries continued to flourish building on their reputation for growing fabulous plants, delivering locally and listening to their customers.
Norman Smith had always been involved in the family business from the day he could hold a small trowel, but it wasn’t until the late 1970’s, that he thought about taking the helm.
Gradually Norman took on more responsibility for the day-to-day running of the Nurseries but it wasn’t until the mid 1980’s before he finally took over from his Grandfather.
Keen to move with the times, Norman’s first major update was the building of a new fantastic large Greenhouse. This served Smith’s well until the mid 1990’s when they decided to stop growing and became an official ‘Garden Centre’ offering more than just plants, trees and shrubs.
With the majestic Greenhouse still in place, a renovation started, aimed at making Smith’s more environmentally friendly and included a new solid roof, which then became the existing main shop. Changes to the layout of Smith’s over the years have also seen the transformation of an old garage, to the Smith’s office (a bit chilly in the winter!) and the provision of 2 toilet blocks and baby changing area.
Fast forward to 2007 and ‘Bertram’s Café’ was born. With more building work and a re-design it was added to the main shop and named in memory of it’s founder.
We are always doing something at Smith’s be it changing the layout with the seasons or updating and renovating. We’re very proud of our rich heritage and how we have evolved from a humble, hard working Nursery into a destination for all things plant, garden and home as well as a fabulous Café.