In the spirit of Great Dixter: Hooton’s Walled Nursery

Run by Great Dixter Trainee, Dean and his father Glenn Charlton, the new Hooton’s Walled Nursery promises to inspire gardeners and work to the traditional, generous ethos of Great Dixter.

credit: Garry Morrisonroe

The new Hooton’s Walled Nursery opened its doors in late March, offering a wide range of peat-free, hardy, garden worthy perennials grown using traditional propagation methods. The fulfilment of a long dream, Glenn Charlton, Dean (son) who trained at Great Dixter and Lauren (daughter) – the Charltons are working hard to build Hooton’s into the horticultural hub of the village of Hooton Roberts in Rotherham.

The nursery plot, consists of a four acre walled garden which dates back to the 1700s, located in the heart of the village. Plants are at the forefront here as this place is strictly “No shop, no tearoom, just plants”.

With a background in fine art, Dean Charlton started his career as a student at Great Dixter, where he was employed for three years working under Head Gardener, Fergus Garrett. He then worked for a further three years in the Great Dixter Nursery working with nursery manager, Michael Morphy – the ideal preparation for their new venture.

“Many gardens and nurseries have inspired me over the years. Gardens such as Le Jardin de plume in Normandy, Keith Wileys Wildside garden in Devon and Charlotte and Donald Molesworths garden in Beneden. Nurseries include Marchants Hardy Plants and De Hessenhof Nursery in the Netherlands. With the skills and knowledge I’ve learnt from an incredible team at Dixter, I want to bring them back to Rotherham” explains, Dean Charlton.

Working to the generous spririt instilled by Great Dixter’s Fergus Garrett who said “Be generous in the way that you garden, and the way you share it with others”, it’s wonderful to see its students mature and prosper, armed with the unique knowledge, Great Dixter instills.

Regarding the unfortunately frequent closures of nurseries throughout the country, Dean explains that supermarkets offer plants at much cheaper rates, putting independents out of business and with that, vital horticultural skills are being lost. In a recent article, he said “By keeping the site as a growing nursery, as it has been for the last 30 years, a legacy can be continued growing garden worthy plants propagated on site. With so many plant nurseries closing throughout the country, it’s vital we keep these skills and knowledge alive. People are ‘hungry for locally grown plants’ and like many other home products, questioning the origin of where they come from”.