Brookside Nurseries closes after 37 years in business

A family-run garden centre has closed its doors after nearly 40 of serving the public.

Brookside Nurseries in Anstey shut its gates on Friday August 5 after a three-week closing down sale.

Owner Steve Budding told how he and his wife Margaret started the business in August 1979 with a humble roadside stall in Cropston Road, Anstey.The 62-year-old said: “I was a freelance agricultural worker who always wanted to be a farmer but could not afford to set myself up.?I loved growing produce so we thought we would put our toe in the water and see if we could sell some plants.?I carried on sheep shearing and hedge laying and the like but ran the stall alongside it when in had the time.?The roadside stall was just 100 yards from the couple’s home which, as an old nursery, had three and half acres of land with it.”

Steve added “?It was not long before we had to set up on our own premises because of the demand. The business just naturally grew from there. It got bigger and bigger.?We did not buy the old nursery and land with a view to setting up our own garden centre but it turned out to be ideal.”

Steve and Margaret had to concentrate their efforts on the demands of the nursery.

Over the years their attention to detail, vast knowledge and family touch saw them cultivate an army of loyal and satisfied customers.

Two years ago, Mercury readers voted Brookside Nurseries as the best garden centre in the county.

Steve said: “We have been very lucky over the years to have some very lovely and loyal customers – and staff too.?This has always been a family business and I think people got the feel of that when they came here.”

Steve said he did not shed a tear when he closed the gates for the last time on Friday but others did.?He said: “We had member of staff who was with us for 34 years. She got very emotional.?We also had some customers who, when they found out about us closing down, shed a few tears.”

The couple, who have three children and four grandchilden, have sold their home and land to a building company who are planning to put up 36 houses on the land.

Steve said: “We are moving but want to stay within a radius of 15 miles of here, we love the area and want to be around to help out children with their businesses and lives.?It has been great and we will miss the nursery and the customers but it’s time for a change.?We want to work less and enjoy life a bit more but I will still be helping grow flowers for my daughter’s florists in Anstey.?I will cut the work down but I just can’t let go.”


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