Peter Beales Roses, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, has opened its £750,000 extension.
The ‘Rosarium’ restaurant replaces the old tearoom. It features a state of the art kitchen with a new menu featuring home cooked dishes.
The plant centre features all weather canopies. An expanded outdoor sales area allows them to expand the range of plants.
Managing director Ken March said the developments were a major investment. It totalled over £750,000, helped by a grant from EU Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
He said: “We have had this in mind since we took over the garden centre five years ago. We wanted to expand and establish in this country a centre of excellence for roses and other plants.
“Most garden centres tend to be moving away from plants but that is our speciality and our passion. We breed and grow roses and we want to show more roses to people. And a lot of our visitors come a long way so we needed a nice restaurant for them as well.”
Peter Beales MBE opened his first nursery in Swardeston in 1968. The company moved to the 11-acre site on the outskirts of Attleborough in 1980. It is the site of the National Collection of Rosa Species, which Mr Beales was named holder of in the early 1990s.
Nursery manager Ian Limmer said: “Over the last couple of years I’ve been trying to revitalise some of the rose range that we do. We do over 1,100 different varieties.
“I’ve been aboard two or three times to see other rose breeders. We are introducing some of their best. So we will have the best of the best, as well as other plants like clematis. We are a real plant centre, rather than a garden centre.”
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