A PLANT nursery near Romsey will hang up the hoe after decades of business.

Family-run Choice Plants in Timsbury has served locals for 34 years following a decision by the owners, Roger and Mary Savage, to retire.

The nursery will close its doors on June 30 and will not be turned into another plant nursery.

"It isn't staying as a nursery. It's up for redevelopment," Mr Savage told the Chronicle

(Image: Roger Savage)

Mr Savage explained that he received no offers from anyone interested in continuing the site as a nursery or garden centre.

When asked why he thought this was, he said: "I don't think there is the skill and knowledge. People think that what we do is easy, but it's actually very challenging.

"And the big garden centre chains won't buy it because it's a nursery, so it can't be developed into what they want."

Mr Savage cannot disclose who has bought the plant nursery for confidentiality reasons. 

(Image: Roger Savage)

But why have Mr Savage and his wife chosen this moment to retire?

"Because I'm 66 and I've been at it for 34 years. It's good fun but it's hard work.

"It's better to leave now when you're still fit rather than injure yourself.

"It's another chapter in life. We've got loads of pastimes. It's about moving on and doing something new."

The nursery specialises in hanging baskets, but also has a café and 'poppies crafts', where local children can get stuck in with pottery and and handprint painting. 

Poppies crafts will continue its activity in the Romsey area - those interested should keep their eyes on the Choice Plants Facebook page for its new location.  

(Image: Roger Savage)

The loss of the plant nursery comes as a blow to the Romsey gardening community.

One customer, Carolyn Nixon, said: “For many years, we have been supplied by wonderful plants and shrubs throughout the growing season, not to mention the home made cakes and ice cream which are a delight all the year round.”

Ms Nixon also commented on Mr Savage’s efforts to keep the area pretty: “Roger also supplied and tended the beautiful floral displays on the Romsey Bypass and at the railway station for many years. 

“His expertise will be much missed and I'm sure we all wish Roger and his family well in their retirement.”

(Image: Roger Savage)