The Gilchrist’s roots in horticulture can be traced back to 1876, when James Gilchrist purchased five acres of land from Corehouse Estate. The fields were planted with tomatoes, strawberries, red currants and raspberries and the produce sold to local shops. James Gilchrist and Sons provided summer work for the local community and in 1918 a further 25 acres of land were purchased from the estate. The site, known as The Pleasance, is where you will find GP Plantscape’s nursery and head office today.
By 1945, the business had passed down two generations and employed 35 permanent staff and 150 seasonal workers. Ambitious to diversify, in the 1960’s James Gilchrist invested in building two large span glasshouses at The Pleasance to accommodate growing all year-round chrysanthemums which were supplied to shops and markets throughout Central Scotland. In the late 1950’s James’s son, another James Gilchrist, this time thankfully known as Jim, joined the business learning the ropes managing squads of fruit pickers.
Gilchrist’s Garden Centre
Jim had a vision for a new direction for the company and in 1974 Gilchrist’s Garden Centre threw open its doors at The Pleasance in the presence of HRH Princess Anne. The retail trade flourished and Jim embarked on another horticultural enterprise, providing plants for offices. It grew rapidly, and soon plants were being installed throughout Scotland in businesses, hotels and shopping centres. Customers included Scottish Power, IBM, Scottish Gas, BP and Skean Dhu Hotels. The company extended it’s offering to exterior landscape installations and maintenance in 1982.
Indoor Plants and Landscape Maintenance
The commercial interior and exterior landscaping business continued to grow and Jim’s son Jimmy – James number five and current Managing Director – joined the business in 1986. In 1991 the garden centre was closed to concentrate on commercial landscaping. Father and son also embarked on building a green waste recycling business which James Snr managed until his retirement in 2018.
Jimmy drew on his own experience of working in nurseries in Denmark and Florida and founded GP Plantscape 1997 – the commercial indoor plants and landscape maintenance business we know and love today. Christmas displays and gritting and snow clearing services were added to the service offering to provide a more holistic service to clients and through organic growth and several acquisitions, GP Plantscape has become one of the leading interior and exterior landscape business in the UK. Today GP Plantscape services over 400 clients throughout the UK, delivering horticultural solutions to their businesses which are not only aesthetically pleasing, but contribute to the well being of staff and visitors and enhance sustainability credentials of our clients.