Growing a Business in Horticulture
Swiss Valley Garden Centre is quickly approaching its 50th year, but the story goes back a long time before that.
Back in the 19th century, Mr Jones was a keen gardener, who grew chrysanthemums to enter into the village shows, and regularly won. His family were regularly surrounded by flowers, and the idea must have been germinating in his daughters Doris and Gwyneth from an early age.
When they grew up, they opened a floristry business in Llanelli, and for several years worked together. There is nothing quite like a little sibling rivalry, and in XX they went their own ways and each had their own floristry shop.
Gwyneth married William Bonnell, and the business W.D. Bonnell & Son was born.
With little or no international transport, the flowers used had to be grown locally wherever possible. Supply was often difficult, so they bought an old allotment site in Harvard Road, and started growing their own flowers. Outdoor beds slowly got covered with glasshouses. To the flowers were added tomatoes, cucumbers lettuce and the occasional houseplant.
In 1975 the land was bought at the current site of Swiss Valley Garden Centre and has grown and developed ever since.
2021 celebrates the 3rd generation of Bonnell running the business, serving the gardens and homes of Llanelli people. And who knows what is around the corner.