Chrysanthemum grower Woolmans has recently discovered one of its catalogues dating from 1912 – a year notorious for the sinking of the Titanic and Captain Scott’s arrival at the South Pole. The find has prompted John Woolman, a fourth generation member of his family to be involved in the business, to wonder if anyone has a Woolmans catalogue older than this century-old edition. He is offering a £100.00 Woolmans voucher to any customer who sends one from before 1912 to him.
“In addition to four generations, the nursery has had four locations – Shirley, Dorridge, Evesham and Spalding. Back in 1912 one plant of a new variety cost a shilling (5p), which is today’s equivalent of £4.30”, says John. “So a collection of six new varieties a hundred years ago would have cost the equivalent of £25.80, whereas a similar collection in our 2012 catalogue is offered for just £8.95”.
None of the cultivars listed in the 1912 catalogue is offered in the 2012 version, as so much breeding work has been done to improve the chrysanthemum through the decades. “The original Rayonnante, which was pink and later gave sports of white and yellow, was sold up until the 1960s, but we stopped selling it because the neck was not very strong and the blooms needed support”, John reports.
Any pre-1912 Woolmans Chrysanthemum Catalogues should be sent to John Woolman, Woolmans, Rookery Farm, Joys Bank, Holbeach St John, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE12 8SG.
To request a copy of the 32 page, full colour Woolmans Chrysanthemum Catalogue 2012 or the new Garden Essential Catalogue 2012, which features a wide range of gardening equipment, go online at www.woolmans.com , telephone 0845 658 9137, fax 0845 658 9141 or write to Woolmans, Rookery Farm, Joys Bank, Holbeach St John, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE12 8SG.
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