Our Story

The Dutch Nursery is a family business founded by Hans and Anna Henn over 50 years ago. Anna Van Hage had come to England from Holland in 1952 as an au pair. Hans arrived from his native Germany in 1953 to work in the nursery division of the Cheshunt based company, Rochfords. They were introduced at church in Waltham Cross and got married in 1956. Together in 1957 they started their own “Dutch Nursery” from a rented site adjacent to what is now the Cock of the North Pub.  They sold Dutch Bulbs and grew and potted up for sale a variety of outdoor plants, revolutionary at a time when most plants were sold bare rooted. The years between 1958 and 1966 were very busy ones, not only did they grow and sell seven days a week but they had six children 5 boys including twins and a girl.

The appalling winter storms of 1963 destroyed the cucumber nursery across the road. It was put up for sale and the Dutch Nursery moved to its current site in 1964 and  started to rebuild the nursery to provide the bones of today’s garden centre. The business grew, adding a greater range of outdoor then indoor plants, more sundries, a florist and finally a gift shop.  But there are only so many ways you can display a begonia and some 20 years ago “The Dutch Coffee Shop” was opened by Bob Wilson to provide our customers with tea and coffee, cakes and light lunches.  A fairly homemade affair in a greenhouse it was very cold in the winter and too warm in the summer, but it proved very popular with the customers.  In 2007 we undertook a major refurbishment and extension to provide “Café Dutch” a warmer café area with a lovely terrace overlooking the plant area.

Over the years the business continued to grow and diversify to offer its customers a range of products and services from one site which include garden design, bespoke garden buildings, day trips, evening events, food including fruit and veg, lawnmower repair, bathroom and interior design and even massage!

The Henn family have been all over the world and Jose now lives in New Zealand.  They have become florists, garden designers, carpenters and mechanics but all of them including Hans and Anna are still very much involved with the business today.