Company Profile & Introduction
Over 50 Years of Cactus Growing
specialists plant nursery operations, Abbey Brook grew out of hobby
which started with 6 plants in 1947.
The nursery began trading as Abbey Brook in 1956 whilst founder
Brian Fearn was a student of Botany at Sheffield University.
It became a full time nursery on his graduation in 1959.
The nursery name originated from “Abbey Brook”, a small stream
which has its source on the nursery land, and ran to Beauchief Abbey. This Abbey was founded in 1183 by one of the four knights who
murdered Thomas Beckett, Archbishop of Canterbury. The nursery remained based in Sheffield until 1976.
and Flower Shows were the main shop window in the early days, but a
small mail order catalogue was produced from the very beginning.
Abbey Brook has always had the aim of propagating a wide range
of species, a policy which still continues to the present day.
People began to make tracks for our doors all over the world,
because we propagated plants which were unobtainable anywhere else.
Our current computer label file has over 4,000 species on it!!!
Brian Fearn (founder) with ECHINOCACTUS INGENS
use of growing room technology was a key element in this and seedlings
were produced in this way as early
as 1965. This was long
before the idea of growing plants under intensive artificial lights
was taken up commercially by the bedding plant industry, where it is
now standard practice.
Brook was the first commercial nursery in the world to declare in 1963
that it would not deal in field collected material.
This was decades before the current awareness of environmental
1976, the nursery moved to Darley Dale near Matlock in Derbyshire, where
a 4 acre South West facing site became its new home.
This area has long been favoured by plantsmen because of its
aspect and favourable climate. The first of many nurseries was founded here in the early 1820’s.
The site, fronting the
A6 trunk road in the centre of England as ideal for a nursery operation
that now delivers collector quality Cactus plants to Garden Centres
all over the UK and Ireland. We
are within equal reach of Aberdeen, Cornwall, Dublin and Kent.