The History of Leahurst Nurseries
Plant enthusiast and Barnet local Andrew Mellenfield bought a plot of land, nestled in behind the suburban houses of Galley Lane.
There he began to erect glasshouses, the ones you see stood here today, setting up a cut flowers, bedding and pot plant nursery. It was named Leahurst Nurseries, reflective of the landscape in which it sat - “Lea” meaning open field or meadow, and “Hurst” meaning small wooded hill. For years Andrew ran a flourishing business, producing cut flowers, such as chrysanthemums, for the original, iconic Covent Garden flower market and to various landscapers and jobbing gardeners.
19 May 2004 - Andrew watering Lyndons tree ferns, a plant very new to him but which he cared for religiously.
Today, the nursery is a full family affair, run by Lyndon and his partner Leigh, with help from their now grown children Adelaide and Tarn. Day to day life comprises of taking care of circa 30,000 plants and a 3 acre plot. Lyndon also works on Landscape gardening jobs and trades at Columbia Road, a great outlet for plants and a customer base. Andrew is sadly no longer with us, but the nursery has retained the quaintness and charming disarray he was so fond of and our favourite part of the day continues to be tea and coffee with customers, discussing plants and news of the day, in Andrews tea shack.
Having emigrated to the UK in the early 80’s, kiwi Lyndon Osborn, was searching for a plot of land to operate a tree fern importing business from. By a stroke of fate, Lyndon was told about a small nursery in Barnet, a hidden gem. After visiting the nursery and hitting it off with Andrew, over a cup of tea and shared enthusiasm for plants, Lyndon and his then young family began their journey at Leahurst.
Andrew and Lyndon worked together on the nursery for the next 15 years. In these years, Andrew passed on his plant and propagation skills to Lyndon, as well as his knowledge of pelargoniums. Our vast collection of Pelargoniums today forms part of Andrews legacy. The unfortunate demise of bedding plants, coming from the rise in plants from the continent, meant the pair had to reinvigorate the plant list, moving towards hardy perennials. The infrastructure of the nursery also progressed in this time to possess an automated propagation system, machinery sheds and further land, which we now call the long border.
One of the first signs for Leahurst Nurseries, advertising the availability of bedding and pot plants.