In the past couple of years, the Buckhatch Nursery & Garden Centre in Rettendon Common, Essex has expanded its facilities.

The new front entrance is part of the ongoing development of the nursery and garden centre.

Two thousand square meters of retail space, which includes a garden gift shop, has been added to the site.

The coffee shop and new barn, originally built in 2009, now fill most of that building.

A new polytunnel for plants and garden sundries was also constructed in 2018, as well as a new glasshouse at the far end of the site which grows spring plants for the busy season.

The company employs about 45 full and part time staff.

The business was established by the Eng family in 1966. Before that, they grew plants at the Priory Wood Nursery at Leigh-on-Sea. The business was later taken over by Lynda and Barrie.

A few years ago, GVZ Glasshouses Ltd built a complete glasshouse at Olivers Plants in Earls Colne, Essex.

The project included three compartments with screens and a water tank.

Recently, we installed 20 Philips GreenPower Top Lighting LED modules in six bays of the Propagation compartment of their Production Nursery.

Together, these will produce more than ten thousand lumens.

Olivers Plants light emitting diodes


LEDs enable growers to artificially determine the intensity the light their plants receive in a given day, as well as the number of hours they are exposed to it.

They don’t produce heat or attract insects, and they’re efficient to use.

Olivers Plants greenhouse daytime

Olivers Plants

Olivers Plants is owned and operated by Oliver Wass who began growing plants when he was quite young.

He has a reputation for supplying high quality plants at reasonable prices.

The Retail Plant Centre at his nursery includes a room that’s dedicated to houseplants, and an outdoor display area.

There’s plenty of space for parking, as well as a café where hard working gardeners like you can enjoy coffee and tea, sandwiches, cakes, and daily specials.

For more information visit Olivers Plants.


GVZ Glasshouses Ltd has completed a new extension and enclosed doorway for Craft Nurseries.

The extension adds approximately 280-square meters of retail space to the store.

The enclosed doorway combines the entry and exit points which, before this modification, were about 10 meters apart.

The roofs for both structures are constructed of sandwich panels that are designed to insulate, as well as to let in natural light.


Craft Nurseries is located on Harwich Road in Lawford, Essex. The business was founded by Colin and Andrew Davey more than 20 years ago.

The two brothers had been growing lettuce and tomatoes, as well as a few bedding plants when they decided to expand. They had thought about adding some craft concessions, hence the name, but these never materialised.

That didn’t matter, however, because the garden centre itself took off and became the main focus.


The company grows its own plants under two-and-a-half acres of glass at the rear of the store.

There is also an award-winning café at the back.

Topsail Charters hosted the annual GVZ employee outing on September 9th this year

The Thistle, a former sailing barge, provided the venue for the day trip down the Orwell.


Having Fun

Having Fun


The Thistle was built to carry coal, grain, or straw and first sailed in August, 1895. It has been afloat ever since.

The vessel left its mooring about midday in perfect sunshine and summer cloud. After passing through the Ipswich locks, it motored down to the Felixstowe and then sailed back with the tide and the wind.


Ipswich Locks

Ipswich Locks

To the open sea

To the open sea

Container ship at Felixstowe port

Container ship at Felixstowe port



Paul Hale, guitar

Paul Hale, guitar


A lovely lunch, drinks, coffee and biscuits were served by Iwona Yasielec and Claire Luff, and gentle renditions of music oldies were provided by Paul Hale and his brother.

Topsail Charters

Topsails Charters was founded in 1987 and owns four barges – three which are used for public trips and private hire from ports in Suffolk and Essex, and one which is under refurbishment as a restaurant.

The company won the Visit Essex “Best Small Attraction” in October, 2015.

GVZ Family

GVZ "Family"



GVZ Glasshouses Ltd recently completed the construction of a Venlo hoop-roof greenhouse at Bridge Nursery in Battlesbridge, Essex.

From the foundations to the base of the roof, it is a Venlo design. From there up, it is a hooped structure. Rather than using glass, a special thermal shading screen covers the top. The walls are constructed of netting which prevents plants from being exposed to damaging wind.

The roof screen repels insects, though the walls do not. Even so, the incidence of insectum is less likely than it would be if there was no barrier at all.

The purpose of this Venlo “house” is to provide a large hardening off area for plants. This will make the transition from the glasshouses where they’re grown to the outside world less abrupt. The thermal shading screen will make the air inside flow better and keep the environment drier than a traditional glasshouse. Some rain will get through, but it will be much less than it would be if it was open to the sky.

Venlo Hoop Roof Design front


Bridge Nursery – a family business

Bridge Nursery is located in Battlesbridge, Essex. It supplies high quality perennials to garden centres throughout the United Kingdom.

The family business began life in 1952, when Doug and Win Lodge created a nursery to grow produce for their greengrocer business. The site where Bridge Nursery is located now was bought in 1979, and it was run concurrently with the original nursery for many years thereafter.

After gaining experience in Holland, son Steve joined the company in 1998. In 2005, his twin brother, Pete, also came on board following a year at a nursery in America and time as a grower in the UK.

A few years later, their wives gave up their jobs as well so that they could devote their time to the Nursery.

Bluey, a Labradoodle, has been working at Bridge since 2013. The unusual moniker was given by his original Australian “parents” who thought it would be humorous to give him a name that described the opposite of his reddish coloured fur.

The Nursery

All plants sold by Bridge Nursery are grown on site. The compost used is a homemade-blend that consists of 30% English and Irish peat, and coarse bark which together improve air circulation. A chemical control safeguards plants against sciarid fly (fungus gnats) and vine weevil, and a slow-release fertiliser that feeds plants has also been added. 

These ingredients give their plants the best possible start in life.

The company produces custom-made plant labels for all of its customers – one of the few in the industry that does.

This is the third structure that GVZ has built for Bridge. The other two were a traditional Venlo glasshouse and an office block based on that design.

Venlo greenhouse side