J.A.Collison & Sons
J.A.Collison & Sons is a family run business based at Tuxhill Farm near King’s Lynn, Norfolk. The Collison family have been producing cut flowers in West Norfolk for three generations. Tuxhill Farm was purchased in 1966 by Bryan and June (J.A.) Collison and it has been the centre of the business since then. The family partnership is made up of – June, Philip, Ian & Diane Collison. Philip takes care of the growing side of the business. Ian is responsible for cropping, tulip growing and also deals with day to day customer relations and operational issues. Diane runs the office and manages accounting, invoicing, and payroll, and general administration. June though now retired after having working for over 50 years on the farm still lives on site and has a continued keen interest in the business.
Each year J.A Collison's produce in excess of 19 million stems of cut flowers under 6 hectares of glass and polythene tunnels. They work in an ethically sound and environmentally responsible manner having invested in a biomass boiler to heat the tulip production area, installed solar panels on building roofs and built reservoirs in order to collect and store rain water. They have taken great efforts to be an integral part of the local community and this year won Horticultural Week's Protected ornamentals Grower of the year award. J.A.Collison's are a firm that is continually explanding and finding new ways of doing things better.
J A Collison & Sons
Terrington St Clement,
The tulips are all grown hydroponically, cropping from mid-December through to the end of May. They produce around 11 million stems of approximately 40 varieties. J.A.Collison's usually have a range of between 6 & 12 varieties available at any one time during the season.
For the 2015 season they purchased and installed a fully automatic, robotic flower processing and bunching machine which now handles all our tulips enabling every stems to be individually scanned using a combination of visualisation equipment and software. The flowers are then bunched together accordingly to grade and specification.
Their most popular product, stocks are an iconic summer flower. Well known for their strong scent and beautiful colour range, stocks are always in demand as soon as they become available. With a season runs from the end of April to the end of July and in this time Collison's produce around 3 million stems. Stems are cropped daily through the season and in most cases packed directly in to sleeves and boxes ready to go to the customer. The whole process from cropping to delivery to customer can be complete within 48 hours. Freshness is key with stocks and they manage the crop to ensure that all of the stems reach the customer in the best condition possible.
Colours grown include white, red, purple, pink and lavender.
Our main outdoor crop, Japanese asters have become more popular in the last few year. The short summer season runs from the end of July until the end of September. Collison's grow around 30 acres of asters each year, around 2.5 million stems. All of these stems are individually planted and cropped by hand, so aster season is a very busy few weeks at the height of summer. We grow a range of colours- pink, deep rose, white, red and blue tipped.
We have been producing longiflorum lilies for several years now, planting directly in the glasshouse soil after the scented stocks have finished making best use of our indoor area. We are the main UK grower of this type of lily with our total lily production now over 2 million stems. The main variety we grow is a pure white - white triumph. We also grow a variety called triumphator which is a pink throated longiflorum hybrid.
We are always looking at new varieties and types of flower, both independently and in response to customer demand.
Outdoor chrysanthemums are one such line we have recently reintroduced to our cropping. This former staple UK cut flower product being grown outdoor produces a far superior product to the year round indoor grown stems so familiar on the UK supermarket shelf. Outdoor growing produces much harder, stronger stems in a fantastic range of autumnal colours. We use a wide range of varieties to give us a season of approximately 8 weeks through the autumn.
In the last couple of years we have also started producing ornamental brassicas in response to customer demand. We predominantly grow the white variety, crane white, cropping in November and December.