​Agriculture

The grass is greener for Dorset botanic business owner celebrating 30 years of success

Neil Lucas (L) Joint Owner and Director of Knoll Gardens, with Glenn Edwards, General Manager of Chase Freight

By Sam Pither [email protected]

Published: June 25, 2024 | Updated: 26th June 2024

Knoll Gardens, the Wimborne-based leading ornamental grass specialist in the UK, is celebrating three decades of success since shifting its focus to mail order and delivery in collaboration with The APC Network and Chase Freight.

The business was founded in the 1970s as Wimborne Botanic Garden under the leadership of John and Enid May, who transformed a former carrot field into a thriving garden alongside their existing market garden and nursery.

Two ownership and one name change later, in 1994 Knoll Gardens, led by Neil Lucas along with John and Janet Flude, started to grow into the ornamental grass business it is today.

They shifted the focus towards mail order, capitalising on the growing interest in plants and expanding their reach nationwide.

This transition allowed Knoll Gardens to serve a broader customer base beyond the local visitors in Bournemouth.

The business now has customers across the country and ships approximately 5,000 parcels, with ornamental grasses and flowering perennials, a year through its partnership with local delivery partner, Chase Freight – part of The APC network.

Talking about what contributes to the business’ success, Neil praised his team saying: “The foundation of our business is based on the power of knowledge, making experienced staff crucial to our success.

“Some of our team have been with the business for over 20 years, and are deeply engaged with horticulture and have built fulfilling careers.

“Our small firm ethos ensures close connections foster a sense of community and involvement and this close-knit, specialised approach is a defining characteristic of our business.”

As Knoll Gardens focused on expanding its presence and reaching gardening enthusiasts across the UK, the business knew it needed a delivery partner which would deliver its plants with the same care and attention in which they are grown.

So, in 2007 Knoll Gardens teamed up with Chase Freight – an independent delivery firm based in Dorset and part of The APC network.

Neil Lucas, Joint Owner and Director of Knoll Gardens, said: “The importance of choosing a parcel carrier became extremely clear early on – the delivery partner we choose is just as crucial to our customers as growing the plants themselves. That’s why we partnered with Chase Freight.

“We made the decision to partner with Chase Freight due to their reliability and exceptional customer service. For us, having local contacts who understand our business and the needs of our customers, who are willing to go the extra mile is really important for our business.”

Glenn Edwards, General Manager at Chase Freight said: “We feel extremely proud to be able to partner with Knoll Gardens and support local SME businesses.”

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