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SO Plants puts down roots

Proprietor Michelle Unsworth, nursery assistant Christina Collinson and Fudge the labrador at SO Plants' new permanent home at Little Town Farm, Thornley, near Longridge
Proprietor Michelle Unsworth, nursery assistant Christina Collinson and Fudge the labrador at SO Plants' new permanent home at Little Town Farm, Thornley, near Longridge

The owner of a re-located plant nursery is celebrating putting down permanent roots in the Ribble Valley with a special open weekend.

Michelle Unsworth has announced that her business SO Plants Country Plant Store will stay at its current location - the family farm where she grew up at Little Town Farm in Thornley, near Longridge.

The open weekend, also planned to celebrate the forthcoming summer season, will be held this Friday to Sunday (April 27 to April 29) from 10am to 4pm daily.

A local project is set to benefit from the event with five per cent of all takings to be donated to the Thornley Community Space for the development of the former Thornley school as a community resource.

Horticulturalist Michelle, who trained at Myerscough College, before working in the industry, opened her nursery SO Plants at the former Spout Farm nursery on Preston Road, Longridge, in September 2012.

When she was unable to renew the site lease she relocated temporarily last September to a site adjacent to Little Town Farm Shop and Tearoom.

She had applied for planning permission for nearby site Little Town Lakes but was knocked back twice. Michelle said: “After much consideration and deliberation, we have decided to make Little Town Farm our permanent home. The site offers the perfect position for us to grow our cottage garden nursery.”

She continued: “Relocating to the family farm, where I grew up, is a natural progression for the family’s thriving businesses - comprising the farm, dairy, farm shop and tearoom.

“Little Town Farm has belonged to the Forshaw family for over 50 years, and was started by Mat and Eileen Forshaw. I am part of the second generation and have followed my passion for plants.

Michelle added: “I have dreamed of running a business from Little Town for some time and, since being here, I feel we really belong. The site has such a great feel and a happy atmosphere.”

“The move from my original base to Little Town has allowed me to pursue my dream of growing and selling locally grown, hardy plants suitable for Lancashire gardens. SO Plants is a cottage garden nursery with a contemporary twist.”

There will also be hanging basket and planted pot demonstrations at the open weekend and the nursery’s popular miniature and fairy gardens will be on display.