Horticap is based at Bluecoat Wood Nurseries where suitably qualified staff and a team of volunteers provide adults with learning disabilities training in horticulture, allied crafts and rural skills.
From modest beginnings at Bluecoat Wood Nurseries nearly a quarter of a century ago, we now have on site a range of greenhouses, polytunnels, joinery workshops, and classrooms. We also have a vibrant retail outlet selling gardening accessories and fancy goods as well as perennials, bedding plants and shrubs cultivated by our own students and staff. This has all been possible thanks to the generosity of countless people in and around Harrogate who have supported us since the early 1980’s.
What do we do throughout the seasons?
The winter months are when we work around the site, tidying away traces of Christmas and carrying out repairs and improvements. All shrubs and perennials need a health check. Also this presents a good opportunity for students in the joinery workshop to help replenish stocks of hand-made woodwork items, or to make up concrete edging and paving stones.
Early spring sees us all energised! Young bedding plants need potting up and nurturing until they are ready to be sold in the shop or used in hanging basket displays. Garden maintenance contracts re-commence with students, under staff supervision, working at private houses and business premises. This provides students with valuable experience of work in the community.
By late spring/early summer we are planting up orders for hanging baskets, tubs and containers. The nursery now becomes a hive of activity with customers selecting from our wide range of bedding plants, perennials and shrubs. The display garden and nature walk are flourishing and can be enjoyed by customers and pre-booked parties of visitors.
Towards the end of summer/early autumn the display garden needs taming and thoughts are turning towards stocks of bulbs, winter bedding, the Autumn Flower Show, cutting down and dividing perennials or taking cuttings.
Winter is the time when students begin making cards, decorations, garlands and wreaths. Christmas, a magical time at Horticap. The shop is transformed with seasonal gifts and decorations. Customers now arrive to select their Christmas trees. Come and enjoy our Special Christmas Open Weekend with something for all the family!