The Lowden Story
The Early Days
Once a farmer, always a farmer, or so the saying goes. This is certainly true for me, having been born and raised on our family farm in Warwickshire, where I spent the first 23 years of my life. My passion for growing and cultivating led me to study a course in horticulture, after which I decided to up-sticks and move to Wiltshire, to begin a new chapter in my life. Being stubborn and unemployable, I quickly found myself running a fruit, veg and flower stall in the local markets.
The Original Lowden
After a few years, this led to me establishing the “original” Lowden Nurseries, in the middle of Chippenham during the early 1980’s. On this site, I grew outdoor cut flowers, bedding plants and vegetables which I sold in an on-site farm shop and in local street markets.
Lowden Mk. II
The Business steadily expanded, until we had outgrown the space available in Chippenham, so in 1987 we re-located to the current site here in Shaw. This gave us the freedom to rebuild Lowden as a purpose built nursery. In the early days, we were totally focused on growing shrubs, herbaceous and bedding plants – a long way from the Lowden that you see today!
As the public’s expectations of Garden Centres changed, so did we. We began by adding a small restaurant – in fact it was a vending machine and a couple of tables. A long way from the current restaurant, which comfortably seats 150 guests, and employs a large team of full time chefs and waiting staff!
The Hardware department soon grew into an entire greenhouse, and we subsequently added a row of poly-tunnels to increase our growing capacity.
Never really being able to escape our farming roots, in 2005 we added the Farm Shop. The Garden Centre, Farm Shop and Restaurant kept us busy until 2014, when one evening we took the bold decision to introduce an events marquee into the Lowden mix.