2015 Open Day – 5th August 2015

For those of you who have not already received the invitation, the details of this years Open Day which will take place on the evening of the 5th of August are as follows.



National Cut Flower Centre Open Evening



J.A. Collison and Sons, Perch Holme Nursery, Market Lane, Walpole St Andrew, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire PE14 7LX


CFC, Rookery Farm, Joys Bank, Holbeach St Johns, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE12 8SG


5 August 2015


The National Cut Flower Centre (CFC) is now three years into a five year work programme funded by AHDB Horticulture, and has developed a full portfolio of trials both at the Rookery Farm site and on commercial growers’ holdings.

This year’s open evening event will commence with a visit to the deep pool hydroponics trial being staged at the Perch Holme Nursery site of J.A. Collison and Sons. The production system will be available for viewing and an update of performance so far provided.

Two other commercial nurseries are also undertaking additional trials examining alternative growing media for boxed lily production, focusing on anaerobic digestate and coir. The results from these trials will be presented at the CFC.

The CFC is once again hosting a number of AHDB Horticulture funded herbicide trials, undertaken by ADAS, to identify suitable replacements for oxidiazon (Ronstar Liquid) in the production of direct drilled Asters, sweet williams and wallflowers, as well to identify suitable herbicides for use in larkspur production.

Trials at the main CFC site this year include an examination of Trachelium varieties, planting dates and the impact of pinching; an investigation of direct drilled fillers (grown both outside and under protection); an assessment of the performance of traditional Alstroemeria varieties when grown as a spot crop; Zinnia vase life and demonstration plots of various perennials, new varieties of pinks and carnations and hardy species for cut foliage. A large ornamental brassica variety trial will be planted this year, but plants will not be ready for harvest until the autumn.

This event will provide a good overview of the work in progress within the cut flower sector and permit discussion about future research ideas. The programme commences at the Perch Holme Nursery site of J.A. Collison and Sons at 17.00 to view the deep pool hydroponics trial and will then progresses to the main CFC site at Rookery Farm for an update on the wider range of work within the project and a tour of the trials. The event will be rounded off with a hog roast and an opportunity for informal discussion.

Event programme


Time Presentation Speaker
17.00 Meet at J.A. Collison and Sons to view the deep pool hydroponics trial
18.00 Coffee and registration at the CFC site (Rookery Farm)
18.15 Developments in the global market for cut flowers Gordon Hanks, Consultant
18.30 New developments within horticultural lighting and spectral coatings Simon Pearson, Freiston Associates
18.45 CFC trials overview (2015) Lyndon Mason, project leader
19.00 Herbicide trials John Atwood, ADAS
19.15 Tour of CFC trials
20.00 Hog roast refreshments and depart