We moved here over 35 years ago when it was a derelict cottage and swampy marsh and woodland area. Over the years our family gradually converted the house and gardens and set up a plant nursery in the field. Over time bridges were built over the lake and beautiful wooded islands were reclaimed until the gardens were opened up to hold NGS open day events. As the years passed our family decided to expand the business to help support the plant nursery and opened the gardens up to the public to attract more visitors. They also opened up a small tea room where visitors could enjoy lunches & home baked cakes. The kitchen had just been converted over Winter 2019 in readiness for 2020 to enable them to welcome more customers.

Over the last 10 years, Stonyford Cottage Gardens has also been holding Outdoor Theatre events, Plant Fairs, and guided tours for many groups & visitors and has also started hosting weddings. The garden is now an RHS Partner Garden and was one of Cheshire’s gardens of distinction and was also one of the Daily Telegraphs top ten spring gardens.

Unfortunately since the start of Covid 19 and the closures of all gardens & tea rooms, the family business has fallen back to relying completely on the plant nursery and has tried to build this up by offering an online plant shop giving customers the option of ‘Click & Collect & Home deliveries’, this has worked well and they have since extended to mail order to all of UK Mainland.

Mail Order was quite a dilemma at first - as to how plants are packaged safely and a quick timescale. This is now running well and the Overland family are relying on this completely now to get them through this year so that they can continue to run as a business for next year.

The website was created by themselves including the new online shop and therefore isn’t as streamlined as many of the other commercial plant centres, although the plants the family offer are of a fantastic quality and are grown onsite.

The head of the family ‘Tony Overland’ is the owner of Stonyford Cottage Gardens & Nursery. He was trained at Kew Gardens and has been the chairman of the Kew Guild a couple of years ago and is still an active trust member of this charity. Tony’s family have all become involved with the business and have various qualifications in Horticulture & Administration.

This type of industry is extremely difficult to succeed in, without a lot of hard work and devotion - which is something the Overland family have had. It is completely dependent on weather conditions and the main season runs from March to October.

This particular year has been very hard as all of the season’s events have had to be cancelled. But the glimmer of hope is being able to market the online shop and hopefully extend the season over the winter to counteract this one.

We hope that by detailing the history of Stonyford and how the family is coping during these unprecedented times that there maybe some way of supporting our online shop for this season.

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