Trevisker Garden Centre - Padstow
We caught up with husband and wife team - Mark and Sian Sandry who own and run the Trevisker Garden Centre in Padstow, who are encouraging people to think about the environment.
The Beginnings Of An Amazing Journey
The Trevisker business was founded in 1998 by Mark and Sian Sandry who set up a family farm to sell a few plants and make hanging baskets for the local pubs and the Padstow in Bloom event. Things ‘grew’ very quickly and they soon became famous for their gorgeous hanging baskets, dripping from every business and adding amazing colour to the surrounding villages. Progress meant that they were approached by the Rick Stein group to work on their properties with their Green Team, but the plants needed to be coastal and resilient, being the operative word. Mark and Sian already knew everything about growing plants from scratch on a North Cornwall hilltop in the worst of weathers, so it was natural progression...
"We soon became known as the place to buy coastal plants that could begin their life with us, battered by the North Cornwall weather above the boiling ocean of the Atlantic, and hence survive anywhere. With our passion for Cornwall and Cornish grown plants, we soon extended our range to encompass our passion for Cornish grown plants to a mostly holiday trade. Grown here yet taken to their holiday home or back to a city, our plants were/are resilient!
Years on, our passions remain exactly the same, but we move forward with the times and now our plants sit alongside our commitment to a better planet, and our aims this year to be as plant responsible as possible. We have replaced our fertilisers and chemicals with a refill station, we have held a supremely successful Pot Amnesty where we collected over a ton of garden plastics and we now have The Beach Guardian living with us, so we are working towards much better systems of dealing with waste".
Passion & Influence
"We are passionate about people. they drive what we do, the choices we make, the things we do, getting up in the morning! People who get involved with the earth and the soil can never be sad, we encourage you to love plants and the earth as much as we do and reconnect whenever you can. You can do that here with us, or we can send you home with plants you’ve never thought of growing or ideas that inspire you".
Mark is a trained horticulturist, having trained at Pershore and specifically trained in garden centre management. It was a natural progression for him to come home to Cornwall and share all that expertise. Every plant that comes through the garden centre is selected, grown and nurtured by him. Sian is a fine artist, photographer and designer, so she adds the beauty and design to the Trevisker shop and planteria, often hand-painting signs, designing fabrics and generally adding the ‘wow’ factor to everything. Planteria manager, Alison, was a member of the Eden Project's Green Team and brings a wealth of experience to the Trevisker planteria and their customers. From bedding plants to exotics, she’s planted and tended them all in one of the most famous gardens in the world, so her advice is invaluable.
Paving The Way To A Greener Future
"Our new initiative is to encourage people to think about the environment and their wider effect on it. We have implemented a new system where we remove your plant from its plastic pot and retain it (ultimately recycling for us to use it again) and you take your plant home in a bespoke compostable sleeve made entirely of degradable thistles. Take your plant out, pop it in the ground, use your compostable sleeve in your counter top compost bin and after filling it, pop it straight in the compost to degrade safely.
Our carrier bags are now made of the same thistle fabric, so are completely degradable. Our compost is made in a revolutionary way by using sheep wool and bracken to provide the ultimate sustainable, peat-free option, which also holds 50% water by its very nature, helping with plant hydration. In time, we hope to dispense with bagged compost entirely and encourage people to come and bring their reusable buckets and tubs, collecting by weight and dispense with plastic stored bags, but we are on an adventure not a race and its always good to give people time to adjust".
When you’re not working, what else do you enjoy doing? Tell us about your interests and hobbies.
We’d love to say that we try to do other things, but we live on site and the draw here is so strong! We do love to walk our Schnauzer Poodle-cross-Schnoo on all the 7 beaches that are near us. We also love music and we support as many of our friends as we can at events and with their businesses by trying to eat at different ones out of season, so we all help each other.
What is your top tip to unwind?
Play with plants and have a kitchen disco every single chance you get. We love cooking with wholesome homegrown ingredients and as a family we all cook together, encouraging our children to grow vegetables and cook from scratch.
What’s on your playlist at the moment?
Its the same as it always is…….the Guardian of the Galaxy soundtrack!
Where is your ultimate holiday destination?
Where are your favourite places in Cornwall to eat/drink/visit – or all, and why?
We love the Cornwall Hotel and Spa for its beautifully kept estate and exquisite Laura Ashley tea rooms. We love to stay in their woodland rooms overlooking the beautiful spa. We love the St. Michael's Resort in Falmouth for exceptional service and getting away from it all. Our favourite places to eat are Sams in Polkerris for incredible seafood, Raffertys in St. Merryn for the best pizza in the history of the world, and lastly the Retorrick Mill for the ultimate woodland getaway with unbelievable food and live music.
What makes these places special for you?
We love to escape to places that are steeped in the magic of Cornwall and all of these hit the nail on the head for us for lots of different reasons. From glamorous luxury to rustic charm. This is why we love to go to the Cornish Arms in St. Merryn, a genuine pub that's part of my childhood and now a beacon of all the good work that the Rick Stein's group do (we chose to get married there and it was the best day of our lives with food you can only imagine in your wildest dreams).
We love Harlyn. Its on our doorstep, its wild, raw and beautiful, and on a summers day or wild winter sunset, its the same…..the Trevisker dog Schnoo loves it too!
Finally, what's your favourite piece from the Celtic & Co summer collection and why?
Oh my, what don’t we love?! We love the Linen Cotton Tie Waist Top, the V-Neck Lounge Jumper and my all time favourite - the Wax Riding Coat. And of course I wouldn’t be without my Sheepskin Bootee Slippers which I have in 3 colours!