Our History

In 1947 the grandparents of the present owners of Moorland Nurseries and Garden Centre purchased the present site at an auction sale. The site then was just grass fields with some old small farm buildings.

The second world war was not long finished and materials were in short supply and some were indeed “ rationed”.
The first glasshouse was made from secondhand materials, and once up plant production began.
A mixed range of crops were grown at first just to provide some cash.

The then owners Maurice and Joan Wilson began to produce chrysanthemum plants and flowers and this developed into a very successful business. The flowers were sold to many florist shops in Harrogate,York and Leeds. There was great demand for the young chrysanthemum plants and these were propagated and sold to many areas of the country being sent by the then extensive rail network. Such was the interest in chrysanthemum production that Maurice Wilson was much in demand to give lectures in various parts of the country.


In 1962 a hurricane hit the area and most of the glasshouses were destroyed. These were replaced by secondhand glasshouses to get plant production started again.

In the 1970s the next generation joined the family business and an acre of new aluminium glasshouse replaced the older structures. The heating and ventilation was controlled by computer and this all gave much improved conditions for plant production.

Flower shops in town centres began to give way to out of town Garden Centres and this meant less demand for the cut flowers, and so production began of all-year-round pot chrysanthemums and bedding plants for sale to the new Garden Centres. These were sold throughout the north of England and even to Scotland.

Retail sales direct to the customer were always available, and as this side of the business expanded the Garden Centre was created at the front of the nursery. The nursery was adapted to grow the plants which were required for sale at the Garden Centre.

Development of the Garden Centre has now included The Lime Tree Café - Harrogate Aquatic and Richard Griffith Houseplants.

From late October there are Christmas items on sale and in December there is always a Christmas feature which children love to see and which raises funds for local charities. Real Christmas trees are sold under cover in the glasshouses which are normally used for the production of bedding plants.

The present owner-operators are the third generation of the family and the fourth generation is now becoming involved.