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Nurseryman who helped grow plant business into international success dies

PUBLISHED: 10:24 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:05 14 February 2020

Horticulturist Laurence Flatman who spent his entire career at Blooms of Bressingham. Picture: Simon Finlay

Horticulturist Laurence Flatman who spent his entire career at Blooms of Bressingham. Picture: Simon Finlay

A stalwart of a renowned Norfolk plant nursery business and respected horticulturist who has a variety of flower named after him has died.

Horticulturist Laurence Flatman with Alan Bloom with whom he helped turn Blooms of Bressingham into an internationally successful business. Picture: Archant LibraryHorticulturist Laurence Flatman with Alan Bloom with whom he helped turn Blooms of Bressingham into an internationally successful business. Picture: Archant Library

Laurence Flatman, who joined Alan Bloom at Bressingham when he left school and apart from two years National Service spent all his working life at Blooms Nurseries, died aged 88.

Mr Flatman eventually became a director of the world-famous nurseries and manager of the wholesale section and was "one of the pioneers in helping establish the company and became a big part of the business", according to Adrian Bloom.

Laurence Flatman (front) among the dahlias with other members of Diss Horticultural Society. Picture: Archant LibraryLaurence Flatman (front) among the dahlias with other members of Diss Horticultural Society. Picture: Archant Library

A variety of geranium with pale pink petals developed at Blooms is named in his honour.

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His expert plant knowledge was also on display as a long-standing member of Diss Horticultural Society.

Gardening writer and former BBC Gardener's World broadcaster Peter Seabrook told Garden Trade News: "Laurence was a real Norfolk countryman who loved plants and served Blooms Nurseries with complete loyalty throughout his working life. His plant knowledge was remarkable and his reputation in the garden trade of the highest order.

"Whether it was direct with the public at shows, including the Chelsea Flower Show and on garden centres, or on the road and at home selling Blooms alpines, herbaceous and conifers he was generous with his knowledge and a great friend to many."

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Mr Flatman, who lived in Bressingham with his wife Doreen, is survived by children Stephen, Wayne, Lynne and Nicola and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A service of thanksgiving will be held at St Mary's Church, Diss, on March 2 at 2.30pm.

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