Alpine Plant Nursery



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The Nursery is situated in one of the loveliest and most splendid parts of the Highlands, surrounded by the magnificent scenery of the Cairngorm Mountains.  By reason of its situation it is also one of the coldest places in the whole of the British Isles, the winter being extremely severe, with zero temperatures (Fahrenheit).  There can be no doubt, therefore, that any plant which survives in the Nursery, must be hardy anywhere in the British Isles.

The above picture features the founder, Jack Drake planting some of the wonderful alpines in this unique Nursery.

Jack Drake, founded the Nursery over 50 years ago.  From an early age in his Hertfordshire home, Jack took an interest in plants, especially those from the alpine regions.

His career started out in the City, as a sugar broker, but this however turned out to be short-lived when he became disillusioned and decided to pursue his love of plants.

He trained at Ingersens Nursery in East Grinstead, moving North in 1938 with his parents where they settled at Inshriach House.  It was then part of a small estate with an area of moorland and a farm.  A little way down the road was a 4 acre site of light birch woodland, with a stream and a small field which had once been the site of an old bobbin mill.  

Inshriach Alpine Nursery was borne......

Nothing grew properly in the first year, it was a disaster, seedlings and plants just died away.  The John Innes Institute at that time were experimenting with a new compost-fertiliser.  This was the answer, and it is unlikely that the Nursery would be here today without this.

Within 18 months Jack was called up to serve King and Country, and the nursery was closed down.  Demobbed in 1945 Jack returned to rebuild the nursery, with the help of two German p.o.w.'s who were encamped at Nethy Bridge, and a young girl.

John Lawson joined Jack Drake in 1949, when together they enlarged the nursery.  The two cottages were built in 1950 to house the nursery staff.  Business flourised and in 1955 Jack Drake and John Lawson became partners.  Jack retired in 1971.

In 1999 John Lawson decided to hang up his dibbling stick.  John and Gunnbjorg Borrowman have now laid down roots at Inshriach along with their family, having transplanted themselves from Norway. 


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