A green-fingered couple are retiring after more than 50 years running a garden centre – and growing more than 50 MILLION plants.
Paul Kennett started working at the Meadow Grange Nursery at Blean, Kent, aged just 14 as a Saturday job.
But then he bought the centre 53 years ago with wife Jacky and the pair reckon they’ve grown a million plants every year since.
Paul and his team grow about a million bedding plants and flowers a year for customers and around the area.
But at the ages of 72 and 73 respectively, the couple have decided it’s closing time and handed the centre off to new owners.
“In some ways I’m not ready to give it up,” says Paul.
“But the time has come for someone to inject some new energy, and drive it forward.
“We got planning permission for a tea room but never got round to it, but that is something the new owners will be looking at.”
Those taking the reins are Christine Buchan and her two sons, Wayne and Ross, who are a local farming family.
And Christine is already very familiar with the business having worked for Paul as his plant production manager for 11 years.
Jacky added: “We know we are handing it on to a safe pair of hands and someone who is passionate about it, and that’s important for us and our customers.
“We are also still helping out during the handover, briefing them on the retail side of the operation.”
Paul admits he is not quite sure what he will do with himself in retirement.
He added: “I know I will miss the place and the customers and the banter.
“But I’m not one for golf or anything like that.
“Maybe I’ll just potter around the garden.”