SE Magazines caught up with one of their lovely customers, John from Alexandra Nurseries in the May issue of SE22. 

At Alexandra Nurseries in Penge we are proud of our place in the community and delighted to find people feel the same. Our existing customers, neighbours, friends and newcomers have been keen to support us with kind words and custom!

Of course this would be one of the peak times in our industry and it has hit us all hard, including our loyal growers, nurseries and suppliers. We have found the relationships built from 8 years of trade; of trust, loyalty and flexibility – both ways around – have kept us in good stead.  Small independents have been able to suddenly downsize, re think how to operate and market and between us we are just about keeping each other going.

Moving into ‘Amazon’ territory has been very challenging especially for a small shop with no existing online sales operation! We have all become perhaps too familiar with a click and collect climate and expect our stuff tomorrow! We have one person and one phone-line, one person on admin and email and a very talented instagrammer! With over 100 queries a day on those three platforms it’s been fun! So to all your readers— so sorry if we didn’t return your call, you couldn’t get through, or we lost you somehow – please forgive that and return for excellent cake and coffee and browse the lovely vintage garden things and quality plants soon .

We thank too our lovely loyal furloughed team, who have been patient and trusted us as we work through the uncertainty. Being partly family run has been important giving an incentive to adapt and proceed beyond a straight business ethic, and the directors of the company have been working flat out to keep on top of everything. Our 8th birthday this week would have been our opportunity to greet you all with tea and cake.  Watch out for the celebrations next year!

Being a small business has allowed us to remain true to our values and, while we are not perfect, we rejoice in that. We are a creative company made up of different personalities and skill sets, and in the current context this has meant we have the ability to adapt.

We are fortunate to be a garden centre as the demand for our products remains strong, It has been satisfying to help people enjoy Spring, get into their gardens, connect with loved ones from a distance – they’ve been sending plants seeds soap and vouchers!  Enabling people to create, grow and be in touch with nature has always been our aim – we are still here and hopefully back to full speed soon !

Estate House, 56B Parish Lane, London SE20 7LJ
07939 110 970  t: 020 8778 4145