Old Court Nurseries & The Picton Garden

Address : Walwyn Road
Town/City : Colwall
County : Worcestershire
Country : England
Post code : WR13 6QE
Phone : 01684 540416
Web Site :  www.autumnasters.co.uk

A family run business, since 1906, specialising in breeding and growing MICHAELMAS DAISIES (Autumn Flowering Asters). 

 worcs oldcourt2Enjoy a tour of the well known Picton Garden where over 400 varieties of Michaelmas Daisies are growing in profusion with many other late season perennials and shrubs and also browse our new online catalogue to select your favourite varieties.

Welcome to Old Court nurseries the birthplace of the modern Asters hybridised by Ernest Ballard in the early years of the twentieth century. We have been specialist growers of these wonderful autumn flowers since 1906 and are continuing to expand the range available for purchase. We are a third generation family run business and offer a friendly personal service.



Old Court Nurseries were established by Ernest Ballard in 1906. Ballard was one of the first growers to specialise in breeding Asters and he devoted over 50 years to the development of his new race of garden flowers. The Herefordshire village of Colwall became the international home for the popular Michaelmas Daisy. Several fields glowed with colour each autumn when thousands of plants came into flower.

Such was the popularity of Asters during the first 60 years of the 20th century that many other English nurseries grew Michaelmas daisies and some raised new varieties, most of which were based on those raised by Ernest Ballard.

For decades Michaelmas Daisy borders were prominent features in large gardens and the plants were also popular as cut flowers. Autumn flower shows featured displays and those at London shows of the Royal Horticultural Society were always notable.

Percy Picton continued Ernest Ballard's work after he came to manage Old Court Nurseries in 1947. Ernest Ballard died in 1952 and Percy bought the business from the Ballard family in 1956. His son, Paul, joined him in the 1960's. Paul and his wife Meriel formed the NCCPG National Collection of Autumn Flowering Asters in the 1980's. At the same time the Picton Garden was much expanded to display nearly 400 varieties of Asters. Since gaining a first class degree in Botany at the University of Reading Helen has been back at the nursery, she has now been joined by her husband Ross Barbour and together they are helping to look after what is probably the largest selection of Michaelmas Daisies in the world.


worcs oldcourt3The Picton Garden

Welcome to the home of the Plant Heritage National Collection of Autumn Flowering Asters. The garden is open from August until mid October including many days for the National Gardens Scheme.


Design ServiceCreating contemporary gardens with a traditional flavour

With 30 years of combined experience in horticulture Ross Barbour and Helen Picton have acquired a wealth of knowledge for creating and maintaining gardens of all shapes and sizes.

An in-depth plant knowledge enables us to create interest at any time of the year, and we always work with nature in mind to create a good natural balance.

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