Garden centre known as UK's oldest rose growers announces 'regretful closure' after 250 years | The Sun

ONE of the UK's oldest rose farms is closing its doors for good within days.

Cants of Colchester, located on the old A134 between Colchester and Great Horkesley, will close at the end of this month.

The store was first established in 1765 and has over 250 years of experience in growing roses.

The business is still a family firm run by direct 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.

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"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."

The business has now launched a huge closing down sale and shoppers can get discounted flowers, plants and other sundries.

A spokesman for the centre said: "We have a small selection of roses left which can be purchased online or in our nursery.

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"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 the early years, the firm grew all sorts of plants, (bulbs and seeds) including Azaleas, Fuchsias, Rhododendrons, Peaches and Apricots, and the sweetest tomatoes in Colchester.

But in 1853 Ben Cant was introduced by his great friend Mr. Penrose to some new 'standard' roses developed in France.

The popularity of the rose was in its ascendance so Ben decided to concentrate on Roses

By 1880 Ben had emerged as the UK's leading rose exhibitor, and in one month is reported to have won 54 first prizes at major rose events all over the UK.

The firm no longer breeds roses but it prides itself in seeking out the best of the new varieties coming onto the market.


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Shoppers can visit the garden centre for help with planning a rose garden and selecting the correct rose for a particular spot.

Staff also offer guidance on preparation and aftercare.

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