< Back

40th Anniversary Customer Comments

Please find below some lovely comments from long standing customers who have known and used Burncoose (and South Down Nurseries) for many years.

Thank you all for your kind words and pictures.

I joined the RHS in the early 1970’s, principally because I was fascinated with Rhododendrons. I regularly went to the RHS Halls at St. James Park in order to see Rhododendrons put forward for competition. There were trade exhibits and plants for sale including plants provided by South Down Nurseries owned by David Knuckey. At first, I only bought 2 or 3 plants as I was travelling by train, however David gave me a catalogue which allowed me to telephone my order and then collect at the exhibition hall, he would then store these in cardboard boxes under the exhibition stand. One day unknown to David the cardboard boxes had got wet and while transporting them the plants were falling onto the pavement. An exceptionally kind lady took pity after witnessing my disaster and offered to stand over my plants while I ran to a shop and bought some canvass bags to repack my plants, she even hailed me a taxi to take me to Liverpool Street station. She was an angel from God! Later David arranged for plants to be sent to me by courier.

One of my purchases Magnolia Lanarth is now 60ft high and the flowers quite difficult to see clearly, yet one windy day a flower broke off and fell quite close to me. The tepals were flat on the ground and the whole flower measured 16 inches.

David was a proper gentleman; at the exhibitions he was always very smartly dressed and exceptionally polite. Not only was he an excellent gardener and a skilful propagator he also was kind enough to share his professional talents.

Now at the age of 77 most days I’m out in the garden most days for several hours and continue to plant and keep my plants alive.


Colin's Invoice

Colin -

Congratulations on your 40th anniversary. I have been a customer throughout those years having transferred from the previous Southdown nursery with Mr Knuckey and his Aladdin’s cave of tunnels and green houses. He set me going in trying plants on the edge of survival up here when we had colder Winters.


Ewan -

How lovely to see the history of Burncoose.  I am 54 years old, as a child I used to visit during our holidays to Cornwall (going round gardens).  I Remember the owner ‘Mr Knuckey’, his name always stuck in my mind as a child.  I used to play in the original nursery grounds, seemed huge to me, while my parents bought tons of plants.  We had a Datsun car and it would be full to the brim of plants when we travelled home to Wirral.  I didn’t even get a seat sometimes just a space in the back of the car amongst the plants. 

Since growing up I always look for your stalls at shows and try and buy something – always unusual plants.  I now have my own garden and love buying plants too.  I love your newsletters and the informative videos of how to do things. 

Keep up the good work.


Diane -

Dear Burncoose Nurseries

Congratulations on your 40th Anniversary.

We started as customers when we bought our brand-new house in 1987. We were on holiday in Falmouth, Cornwall and planned our visit.

Although we garden on chalk, in north Hampshire, we were sure we could grow your beautiful camellias in pots and ordered five. Unbelievable, we have three of the five thriving still. We lost Donation and Anticipation if memory serves me right. Six years ago, we moved to an even more chalky site, (not much better than a barren field) but, as we had to improve the soil significantly, we dug in several tons of top soil and council pro-grow. And we planted the camellias in the ground. Taking a chance.

We’re getting a bit too old to water pots now. I’ll take a photo of my favourite once it flowers. A gorgeous pyramid shape with white/cream multi-petalled flowers.

Thank you again for all our years of pleasure.

Maggie & Gerry's Magnolia
Maggie & Gerry -

Visit the Caerhays Castle website
Order the 2024 Burncoose Catalogue
Payment methods accepted
watch us on you tube
Visit Burncoose House - Holiday Accommodation