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“ Rushfields is an entirely independent, family-owned company. One of the owners is always on site to offer help and advice, or sort out a problem.”


Club’ where members get emailed about the month’s special sausage variety. Then there are local cheeses, honey, fresh fruit and vegetables – it’s a mouthwatering selection and, of course, all the food is accompanied by local beers and delightful wines from Sussex vineyards.


Above: Rushfields Farm Shop. Below: A selection of local meats. Bottom: Patio plants for autumn; Spring bulbs now on special offer


Although Rushfields is set out on a really comfortable human scale, unlike some of the cavernous, aircraft-hangar like garden centres which have sprung up recently, they stock a surprising mix of goods from pet food to oak furniture, as well as ‘Outdoor Living’ items like barbecues and decorative pots. When I asked about this, Adrian explained patiently that selling such a wide range of products is a way of countering the very seasonal nature of the plant and gardening side of the business which peaks in the spring and again in the autumn. “It’s important to be able to attract our customers all year round.” he said.


“That’s why we’ve invested in such an attractive café and a really well stocked Farm Shop. And it works,” he went on. “Amazingly, one of our top sellers at the moment is bird food and it’s not even autumn yet.” Of course, Rushfields is known for its roses, and what a display they make. There are over 350 varieties in stock, all of them – including patio roses, ramblers and floribunda – grown on the premises, so you could see thousands of plants on display at the appropriate time of year. I love the names of the floribundas: My Dad, Hanky Panky, Jam and Jerusalem and Darcy Bussell are just some of the more inventive.


Right now the emphasis is on autumn planting to create winter colour in the garden with plants like spring flowering bulbs, winter flowering pansies and cyclamen. “We really are happy to advise people on any aspect of their garden,” Adrian reminds me, “even if that means having to discourage them from buying a variety of plant that we know won’t do well in their soil. All they have to do is ask and we’ll spend time with them.” I can see that my Rushfields Loyalty Card is going to come in handy this autumn. ■


RUSHFIELDS PLANT CENTRE Henfield Road, Poynings, West Sussex BN45 7AY Tel: 01273 857445 Email: enquiries@rushfields.com www.rushfields.com


Opening Hours: Mon- Sun 9.00am-5.30pm


SUSSEX LIVING October 2011


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