Reg Taylor’s Garden Centre
As 1946 neared its end a deal was done and Reg Taylor’s Park Road Nurseries was born. On family land at Second Avenue Carlton, it was decided to grow rose trees as soon as a supply of under stock became available, so Reg quickly added to the title “nurseryman,” “rose grower” and later became “Gold Medal Rose Grower” as his expertise developed. He became successful at many shows; one of his fond memories was when he shared the same bale of straw to sleep on with Harry Wheatcroft at Chelsea Show, two young men of a shared ambition!
That ambition drove Reg Taylor on and in January 1947 he acquired another loan of £200 from the Midland Bank in Beeston. The bitter winter, however, drove coal prices up whilst trade virtually stopped. Rather than do nothing Reg went round other nurseries and bought up stock, wherever it was, for as little as he could afford. When the weather finally improved, just before Easter there was a shortage of stock for Mothering Sunday, except of course at Reg’s nursery! Since that cold winter and his initial struggle to pay back the loan Reg Taylor’s has never looked back.
By 1962 Reg Taylor’s had developed the nursery at Chilwill, opened a shop on High Road Beeston, moved to a larger stall in Central Market and bought more land at Carlton! The early sixties however, saw massive house building programmes and all sites were now surrounded by housing developments, blocking any room for further expansion.That’s why Reg began looking at 25 acres of land outside Southwell at Normanton. Hill Farm had a large number of buildings surrounded by a small parcel of land. Reg’s son Richard joined him in the business and the job of clearing the Hill Farm site began, along with the careful dismantling of the green houses at Chilwelll for erection at the Hill Farm site. Slowly but surely, throughout that dark winter of 1963 the new Reg Taylor’s was taking shape! By the Spring of that year, the nursery at Normanton was open for business, the sale of the sites at Chilwell and Carlton helping fund the move.
In 1966, it was apparent that the Central Market was to move at some point into the yet to be built new shopping arcade the Victoria Centre. This was not good for Reg Taylor’s, as Central Market was their retail outlet, whilst Hill Farm was situated in a small hamlet with no passing traffic, down a small country lane, far away from Nottingham and the hustle and bustle of Central Market! It was at this time that Richard displayed similar characteristics to his father Reg, when against all advice and odds he began to set up a retail operation at Hill Farm.
Initially Richard would fill up a large barrow with plants and nursery stock and position this just by the gates to the nursery. The first day saw taking of a rather small amount of only 4 shillings and 6 pence! Undeterred he filled the barrow every day with top quality plants from the nursery, which by this time was also supplying many of the new garden centres springing up in the country. Within time word spread about the quality, and it wasn’t long before people began asking Richard for a greater variety and more choice than he could fit onto a barrow. It soon become obvious that it was going to be easier to open up various parts of the nursery and soon people also began to ask for sundry items too. In time, more land was purchased and by the time the Central market was moved Reg Taylor’s had become established as an exceptionally good garden centre, alongside the nursery business at Hill Farm.
Reg Taylor retired to leave to run the business in 1980 and passed away 8 years later on 18 March 1988. His great joy was to see the business establish and grow with his son Richard, whilst his grandchildren Mark, Paul and Helen were preparing to also join the business. Mark Taylor was the first in 1982, whilst Paul was studying for his horticultural degree. Incredibly, Mark having been bought a second hand digger, excavated 5 lakes and remodelled the top soil and surrounding areas, before planting it up with an array of shrubs and trees. Today this is the famous Swan Sanctuary, listed in the top 10 tourist attractions in Nottinghamshire! This special area of natural beauty is well maintained every day, along with help from Richard Taylor’s wife Jean Ann, who was the first to collect unwanted and injured swans that now happily live and breed in the Swan Sanctuary. It’s natural beauty, pathways, open and semi hidden spaces you encounter in walking round, make it the ideal place to display garden sculpture and other works and it hosted the inaugural Sculpture in the Sanctuary event in 2009 visited by thousands of people.
Mark continues to maintain the site, as well as working in the retail side of the business. Paul Taylor joined the business in 1985, his eye for detail, along with his creativity, has resulted in the magnificent standard of how all products and wares are displayed. Together with his wife Cadien, he creates wonderful seasonal retail theatre with breathtaking displays of silk flowers, housewares and giftware items to enhance every room in the house. Their displays are unequalled in their brilliance anywhere! Helen Barry (nee Taylor) joined the business in 1990 and deals with all the behind the scenes details of the business and the finance department. We are very lucky that Helen’s son George Barry, after working with us Part-Time whilst studying, decided to join us on a Full-Time basis and is involved both in the retail and finance side of the business.
Richard has overseen a massive development and growth of the business over the last 40 years, in particular aided by his wife, his sons & daughter and also his grandson. All the family work in the business each and every day and are ready to serve you, their precious customer, in any way they can. Every year brings new additional lines and displays, new plant types and events for you to enjoy,
Reg Taylor’s is and always will be at the leading edge of presentational standards and visual delight. It is now a desired destination, where all your senses can be rewarded fully. Born from a dream, working with nature and nurturing excellence Reg Taylor’s always will be so much more than a first class garden centre and nursery. It’s a total experience to awaken every sense. It always was, it is today and is certain to be in the future.
Walk into Reg Taylor’s Garden Centre and you enter into a different world.
It’s not just a quality garden centre wonderfully set out over a 25 acre site, it’s a place where there is the widest choice and most incredible beautiful things for you to see for your garden and for your home.
It’s maintained and created each day by the Taylor Family themselves, who have grown the business for well over 60 years and who today are passionately dedicated to be of assistance, advice and help in whatever you need to make your garden and home special.
To visit Reg Taylor’s is to have an amazing experience. You’ll want to come back again and again throughout the changing seasons and in the year ahead.