Those who visit Polhill today find it hard to believe that it started out as a rundown nursery at the time the land was bought by Father and Son duo, Jim and David Novell.
Jim first set up shop aged 46 whilst David was still at school. After completing his education, David joined the business full time and the focus was on cut flowers for the Covent Garden Flower Market. This meant being up and ready in the early hours in order to get the wares ready for the market throngs. Within a mere two years, the business expanded into tomatoes, bedding plants, shrubs and conifers.
The Sevenoaks site was originally created from old, wooden greenhouses built in 1964, though these were soon replaced with glass for use solely as a nursery for growing chrysanthemums and bedding plants. However, in 1970 an oil shortage struck and it was too expensive to heat up. Jim and David soon decided they needed to make strategic changes to develop the site into the forerunner of what it is today; a thriving garden centre with shopping village, restaurant and more.
With the launch of the M25 came Jim and David’s next objective for Polhill Garden Centre- to make it the ideal destination for families to visit. Trading partners were introduced and with a continuously growing garden centre along with the expectations of customers, Polhill invested in new areas such as clothing, furniture and more.
Now managed by Allison Novell, who joined the team in the late 1980’s aged 20 as the company’s stock controller, Polhill Garden Centre employs 160 full and part-time staff and continues to employ a number of the Novell family.
Run by the family on a day-to-day basis, Polhill has an excellent team of passionate and thriving people; a real family in itself. Allison continues to find new talent to join the team at Polhill and helps to develop careers of those who are a part of the Polhill family.