Sally Gregson



Sally Gregson has followed a varied career in horticulture after training professionally as a mature student at Hadlow College in Kent. She initially worked as propagator for a small nursery near Sevenoaks specialising in shrubs and perennials for flower arranging and for the acid soils of the Kentish Weald around the nursery. Following a family move to Somerset at the end of the 80s, Sally set up her own small nursery and began giving talks to Garden Clubs in the area, and writing for local magazines. Mill Cottage Plants specialised in an 'old fashioned' genus, Hydrangea. It now sells the more unusual, and more interesting, species and cultivars of hydrangea and their shade-loving companions. Mill Cottage Plants exhibited Hydrangea Serrata at first locally, and then eventually at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, where they were proud to receive a Silver Medal – quite an achievement for a single species of a single genus on a specific day following a hot spring! Gradually at various flower shows and sales, Sally picked up an increasing number of new forms – Chinese species and hybrids – of Epimedium. And the idea of a new book on the subject came to fruition through Timber Press in April 2015 – 'The Plant Lover's Guide to Epimediums'. It is the first well-illustrated, general book on the subject. In doing the research Sally picked up some lovely new plants that relish the same rich soil in shade as hydrangeas. The two genera make a good combination, and the nursery now stocks some of these new forms. Sally's garden has developed over the years, creating shade and trialling hydrangeas and epimediums, and many other rare, shade-loving plants. It's now open by appointment to the public under the NGS Yellow Book scheme.

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