Monkton Elm aspire to being the garden centre destination of choice. Our mission is to share our passion and inspirational ideas for gardens, homes and lifestyle living with our customers in a peaceful environment with friendly, knowledgeable staff.
Values and Principles
As a family business we cherish traditional family values and beliefs which help shape our decision making on our continuous
journey to be a more sustainable business. With many of our staff being part of the family business for over two decades, our
actions speak louder than words. We take a long-term view, providing our customers with consistency, quality and value for money
whilst operating in the interests of not just those who work with us now, but those who will follow in the future.
Our objectives are to provide:
· the widest range of plants and gardening accessories of the highest quality
· a safe, knowledgeable and informative environment for gardeners of all levels of experience
· complementary products for gardens, homes and lifestyle living
· a unique destination venue for individuals, families or groups that includes a new state of the art restaurant offering freshly cooked, healthy food everyday of the week
· a positive experience and reason for you to return to Monkton Elm
The garden centre itself evolved from a tomato nursery business which was acquired by Mr and Mrs Bellman in 1978 and provided the ideal opportunity to extend their first hand farming experience in Kenya. Even in the early days the entire family was involved in the tomato business, helping with picking, grading and packaging of tomatoes – together with the obligatory yet occasional sibling tomato fight.
For many years tomatoes were grown in our glasshouses consisting of over half an acre, however increasing imports of cheap tomatoes from Holland, based on subsidised fuel oil made the crop uneconomic. They turned their energies to something else and started selling simple bedding plants to hardy ornamentals and a small array of key garden sundries. The development of the garden centre in those days was best described as organic growth as we developed with demand from a small nursery specialising in quality plants to a leading 21st century destination retail garden centre.
The glasshouses were re-developed in the early 1980’s to provide additional covered retail space. A lot of the building and re-development work was done in-house, using local professionals and suppliers where necessary. Some of the features, particularly the water-tower towards the top of the site remain in place today. The pond has always been a key feature of the garden centre site and customers can often be seen feeding the ducks and fish.
The garden centre continued to expand and the top of the site was re-developed in the late 1980’s. The new building (state of the art for a garden centre of the time) also housed the Four Seasons restaurant which quickly became synonymous with good quality, healthy home cooked food. Families travelled from far and wide to visit the garden centre, have a good meal and enjoy a relaxing day out. The business started to diversify with an increasing wide range of plants, composts and gardening utensils, including furniture.
The founders consider that what was created was a ‘club’ atmosphere with very many loyal customers who have witnessed Monkton Elm grow over the years. The family prides itself that it is not just a garden centre, but a meeting place and hub of the local community. They organise and arrange many special events at the garden centre from charity days, to gardening club evenings and food & wine tasting events. Monkton Elm’s customers are generally from the South West, but many visitors travel from further afield. Coaches from all over the country are welcomed.
By the mid-1990’s the concept of out-of-town garden centres had really captured the public’s attention. As part of a continuous journey to be a more sustainable business plant area and surrounding buildings were revamped. Monkton Elm has always been proud to source and offer to customers the finest plants – our plant offering is and will remain the core of our business.
The family business is now run by Michael Lind, son-in-law of Mr and Mrs Bellman, together with Steve Searle and Andrew Pitman both of whom have grown up with the business and been employees for over 30 years. They have a wealth of experience and knowledge together with a wonderful ability to communicate and connect with the many thousands of loyal customers of the business.
We are proud to have been regonsied by the Somerset Chamber of Commerce as an award winning “Family Business of the Year”.
The Business of Monkton Elm
Monkton Elm is a unique garden centre destination based in central Somerset, nestled in the undulating countryside north of Taunton. The business is built around plants and the enjoyment a healthy, happy garden can offer. We stock a wonderful range of plants of superb quality and are highly regarded by many gardeners as offering the finest choice in the west country. Whether you are browsing for a plant in full bloom with a splash of colour that captures your imagination or looking for something specific eg roses, ranuculas or rhododendron our friendly, knowledgeable and helpful staff will guide you on the best choice for your garden.
Around our core offering of plants we have a comprehensive range of composts, seeds, seed potatoes and onions, fertiliszers, spades, hosepipes and many other useful and practical garden sundries. Why not also view our stunning range of garden and conservatory furniture. We stock many different designs, styles and materials including wooden, wicker, metal and plastic furniture.
Monkton Elm’s Four Seasons Restaurant provides a superb range of snacks, sandwiches and lunches prepared daily on site using only the very best of fresh, locally sourced produce where available. Our Pondside café offers an ideal place to re-energise with freshly brewed coffee, tea and cakes in a stunning location overlooking our pond surrounded by beautiful willow tress .