UK’s 250-year-old rose farm announces closure

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LONDON
The Cants of Colchester, one of the UK’s oldest rose farms, will be closing its doors for good at the end of this month, located on the old A134 between Colchester and Great Horkesley.
The family-run rose-growing store which was established in 1765, has over 250 years of experience and is still managed by the descendants of the founder.
In an email sent to customers, the Nayland Road business said: “It is with regret to inform you that we will be closing our doors for the final time at the end of September.
“It has not been an easy decision to make, but business has become a lot quieter, and the directors are getting too long in the tooth to carry on.
“The rose industry is a difficult industry at the best of times, but where we are situated, with no passing trade and customers struggling to find us, these factors have had a big impact.

“Thank you to all of our loyal customers who have stayed with us and supported us over the years.”

Shoppers can now take advantage of the centuries-old company’s extensive closing-down sale to save money on flowers, plants, and other knickknacks.

A spokesperson for the centre said: “We have a small selection of roses left which can be purchased online or in our nursery. These have been in the pots for many months, so will need to be planted out very soon.

“We also have a selection of sundries on offer including Vitax products, sprays, flowerpots and terracotta and grey marble pots. If you are interested in any of the pots, please visit our nursery or contact us.”

In its early days, the firm grew various plants, including Azaleas, Fuchsias, Rhododendrons, Peaches, Apricots, and sweet tomatoes in Colchester. However, in 1853, Ben Cant was introduced to new French roses by his friend Mr Penrose.

Ben, whose focus shifted to roses due to the increasing popularity of the flower, became a prominent rose exhibitor by 1880, winning 54 first prizes in a single month across the UK, The Sun reported.

The firm no longer breeds roses but focuses on discovering new market varieties. Shoppers can visit the garden centre for assistance in planning a rose garden, selecting the right rose, and receiving guidance on preparation and aftercare. —INTERNEWS