Friday, 29 June 2012

Fuchsia hatschbachii

Fuchsia hatschbachii
Fuchsia hatschbachiiFuchsia hatschbachii
Closely related to F.magellanica but, to my mind at least, a much nicer plant with good quality narrow foliage, a graceful willowy habit and slender red flowers, giving a completely different effect. Reputedly about as hardy as magellanica – these came through the winter in their pots in the tunnel totally unscathed.
Update: hardy outside here, though not evergreen
2L pots ~ £8

Monday, 25 June 2012

Brighton Plants ~ the story so far

back garden aerial view
Our patio - 21st June 2011
It seems a very long time ago I put an ad in the local free mag, for anyone who might have a plot of land to rent somewhere in the Henfield area that might be suitable for setting up a new nursery. Some customers may remember our suburban back garden, full of baby plants. It was time to get serious.

Beginning to look like a nursery
Lovely weather - 17th June 2011
Actually it's less than 18 months ago, and it was only a year ago I began paying rent on part of the old Downsview Nursery site in New Hall Lane, Small Dole. With a bit of financial help from Mum and a small inheritance from Grandma, in mid June 2011 I got BB Muzeen of Henfield to turn a muddy weed patch into a more or less flat space on which to grow and sell plants.

2nd August 2011
The first thing I did was rabbit-proof it, then cover the ground with Mypex and build the packing and potting shed. You can see the tunnel frame there against the wall on the right.
Many thanks to Miss Green for her help with the financing.

the new tunnel
24th August 2011
Building the tunnel. That's all the plants that were in our back garden there to the right. Thanks to my brother Ian, Emma, Malcolm, and Emma's brother Steve for their untiring efforts.

19th September 2011
The tunnel complete - just in time for winter.
All safely gathered in, as they say.

Buzzard spotting at lunch time
13th April 2012

Spring time, and alongside the potting on and the pricking out there's the next phase of construction to do. Thanks to Ian, Iain Smith, and Olly for all their hard work.

xeric bed
19th June 2012
And more or less how it looks now - with the shade area there on the right and the xeric bed for chalk and drought-loving plants in the foreground (thanks again to Olly for his help with the shade). There's also a pond for marginals and an alpine bed.
I'm incredibly chuffed with it all.

Downsview Nursery entrance
The entrance
All it needs now is a sign on the gate to tell people they've arrived!

Directions can be found here

Monday, 18 June 2012

Visiting the nursery

The nursery is only open by appointment because my hours there are somewhat unpredictable. Please phone or text ahead on 07955744802 or email


The nursery is at:
Downsview Nursery
New Hall Lane
Small Dole

(Postal address available on request)


New Hall Lane
Brighton Plants

    Brighton Plants
  • New Hall Lane is a turning just north of the village of Small Dole on the A2037. 
  • It is well signposted: on the right two miles south of Henfield if you are coming from the north; or on the left, three miles north of Upper Beeding (not Lower Beeding, which is up near Leonardslee) if you are coming from the south. 
  • Downsview Nursery is about 200 yards down on the left (not to be confused with Highdown Nursery, which is 100 yards down on the right. They specialise in grasses and herbs and are also worth a visit.) 
  • The entrance is a rough track with a high wooden fence on either side. A bungalow called Downsview is immediately before it, then there is a small field, then our entrance. New Hall itself is immediately after, and is a large house set in a wooded garden. The end of the lane is just ahead and it's easy to turn around there.
  • nb. If you are coming from the north and using a Satnav it may well take you down another road - West Mill Lane. This links to the far end of New Hall Lane via a short but very rough track (see the map above).
Refreshments: If you've come a long way or just fancy a bite to eat I can strongly recommend The White Hart in Henfield or The Fox in Small Dole, or if it's just a coffee and a cake you want, then the Taste Deli or the Post Office in Henfield are both good places to try.

Access: The nursery surface is somewhat uneven but there are no steps. 
There is no toilet on the nursery.