Garsons garden centre in Titchfield marks 150 years in business - and the firm is still firmly in founding family's hands
A GARDEN centre in Titchfield is celebrating 150 years in business.
Garsons, a garden centre, farm shop and pick-your-own farm business, began life when George Henry Thompson moved from farming in Hersham to Garson Farm at West End Village, Esher in 1871.
The business, which today has two locations – Fontley Road, Titchfield and Winterdown Road, Esher – continues to evolve, and is now run by the fourth and fifth generation of the family.
In the early days, the business supplied Borough Market with vegetables, transported by horse and wagon. During World War Two, land girls farmed the crops.
Garsons rose to the challenge of supermarkets in the 1970s by selling direct to customers for the first time, and in the 1980s, they developed one of the biggest pick your own farms in the country.
During the 1990s the business expanded with the Esher garden centre alongside the farm shop and PYO farm, and with a new garden centre in Titchfield.
Ben Thompson, director at Garsons and a descendant of George Henry Thompson, believes that not many companies are still thriving after 150 years.
He said: ‘We’re incredibly proud to reach this landmark. So many people over the years have helped us provide great products and a trusted service, including our dedicated team in the present day. We’ll keep evolving so we can stay relevant to customers.’
Managing director, Ian Richardson, is part of the fifth generation of the family.
Ian said: ‘As we celebrate our first 150 years in business, these are challenging times for independent retailers. We’re pleased to still be giving customers what they want and contributing towards the local community and economy.’
To mark the anniversary, Garsons has launched a bright new website and it has introduced the 150 Collection of commemorative items.
Artist Lisa Tolley was also commissioned to design a bespoke anniversary print which now forms part of the 150 Collection. Lisa has captured Garsons heritage through her artwork.
Garsons Titchfield is currently running it popular Christmas event.
Based on the the works of Charles Dickens, there are displays inspired by Dickens much-loved stories and characters; Pickwick Street, Brownlow Borough, Copperfields, Fagin's Way, Little Dorrit Drive, Cratchit Copse, Curiosity Corner and Pip's Place.
The centre has also recently reopened its upgraded children’s play park.
For more go to garsons.co.uk/