Traad Nurseries Ltd – Audley Stanbridge Earls Retirement Village

Greenwood Plants adds old-school beauty to retirement village in Romsey



Greenwood Plants provided trees, hedging, shrubs and wildflowers for an ambitious development in Romsey, supplying commercial soft landscaping company Traad Nurseries Ltd with a magnificent range of plants, often to challenging deadlines.

Traad Nurseries Ltd undertook the complete soft landscaping package for Audley Stanbridge Earls Retirement Village in Hampshire, a huge project in excess of £400K, in which the Stanbridge Earls School site was redeveloped. The beautiful Grade II listed Tudor manor that housed the school itself was expertly restored, becoming the heart of this beautiful and exclusive retirement village. The development offers buyers independent living in stunning surroundings, with full maintenance of the property and gardens and an extensive range of amenities included.

Traad Nurseries Ltd worked closely with the landscape architect and Greenwood Plants to bring an aspirational vision to fruition – using beautiful plants to create an eminently desirable environment full of character and colour, and complementing the vista of natural woodland and ornamental lakes beyond.

Client: Traad Nurseries Ltd Northern Ireland

Project: Audley Stanbridge Earls Retirement Village

Location: Romsey, Hampshire, England.

The Brief

Traad Nurseries Ltd were eager to work in close and productive collaboration with the landscape architect in order to bring his conception of the village to life.

Audley Stanbridge Earls Retirement Village’s 155 cottages and one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments are situated in 32 acres of beautiful open meadows, reed-fringed lakes and majestic woodland trees in Hampshire. The village also includes the Audley Club, home to an elegant swimming pool and state-of-the-art gym.

Traad Nurseries Ltd were often challenged by tight timescales; Greenwood’s ability to provide plants at short notice and weekends made them the horticultural supplier of choice. Greenwood were privileged to have the opportunity to provide beautiful specimens of 232 different species of trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers to create a vibrant, textural landscape for the village inhabitants to enjoy.

Our Approach

Greenwood always prioritises quality, expertise and service. We worked assiduously to ensure that the best species and specimens were selected in order to meet the end-client’s brief.

Sometimes deadlines were exceedingly tight. Greenwood Plants were pleased to assist Traad Nurseries Ltd by providing flexible evening and weekend deliveries of top-quality plants on an ad hoc basis.

We supplied a range of fruit trees to line the expanse of lush lawn outside the apartments, including flowering cherries Prunus a. ‘Sunburst’ and Prunus a. ‘Stella’ with decorative blossom in spring and wonderful rich autumnal foliage. Pear, plum and apple trees were also supplied, creating a wonderful English country garden atmosphere for the residents.

This theme was continued with a wonderful selection of shrubs, grasses and wildflowers for borders.  Shrubs with varying foliage colour and texture, and an array of dramatic flowers, create a visual feast. Plants such as Hosta ‘Big Daddy’, with its quilted frost-blue leaves, were complemented by the delicate stems and intense colour of flowers like Sanguisorba offic. ‘Tanna’, whose lollipop-shaped blooms will create nodding accompaniment for residents as they relax in the luxurious gardens.

The outdoor terrace was given an intimate ambience with stylish hedging and ornamental conical trees, while was provided by bright climbers and wildflowers. Fourteen different species of rose, with a variety of gorgeous blooms, were supplied, including the striking Rosa (F) ‘Blue for You’ with its unusual lilac-hued, white-rimmed double flowers and Rosa (H) ‘Crocus Rose’ with pale apricot rosettes that fade to cream outer petals. Other species provided the more usual shades of brilliant reds (Rosa rugosa), vibrant pinks (‘Tickled Pink’), glorious yellows (‘Flower Carpet Amber’) and cloudy whites (‘Iceberg’).

The Result

Traad nurseries were thrilled with the finished scheme, which measured so well to the end-client’s expectations that they were awarded the third phase of the project.

Audley Stanbridge Earls Retirement Village was presented with a HAPPI award for the Best Project Scheme. The HAPPI (Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation) award specifically recognises innovation in housing design for the ageing population, and the landscape – including opulent gardens and an intimate terrace for dining – is an integral part of that design.

This development boasts an incredible range of plants, from gentle wildflowers like Astilbe ‘Bressingham Beauty’, and feathery ferns including Woodwardia unigemmata, to architectural grasses such as the fresh green Sesleria autumnalis, and richly coloured shrubs including Loropetalum chin. ‘Ever Red’ with its rich year-round hue, and the bright thicket of Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ stems.

Trees such as the magnificent Magnolia grand. ‘Exmouth’, with its queenly bowl-shaped blooms and heavenly fragrance, bestow stunning aesthetic impact. Mature trees, fronds and grasses, such as Stipa gigantea, fringe the ornamental lakes, carefully chosen to match the existing habitat.

Well-defined hedging separates the sprawling lawns, creating a sense of privacy and tranquillity as residents wander the gardens at their leisure.

Traad Nurseries Ltd have landscaped an oasis that sits gracefully alongside the beautiful woodlands and meadows, giving Audley Stanbridge Earls residents the pleasure of outdoor colour and fragrance all year round.

Greenwood are proud to have been able to supply such a diverse range of plants at premium quality, and to have contributed to such a prestigious project.

“Greenwood Plants have great quality first and foremost with their plants. They helped us to achieve a great soft landscape project at Stanbridge Earls Retirement Village – as per their quotation, and also on time: a great testament to them. They have a great team with Taryn and Kevin on the quotation and delivery ends. Nothing is too much trouble, including delivering plants on Saturday mornings and late in the evenings to make sure we got the planting done on time.”

Gareth Cassidy

Managing Director , Traad Nurseries Ltd