Everything is coming up roses for an East Renfrewshire business as staff celebrate its 50th year.

McLaren’s Nurseries Ltd, based near Uplawmoor, has received three stars from tourism organisation Visit Scotland in recognition of its “very good standard of facilities and services.”

The company started the process to join the quality assurance scheme last year, with feedback highlighting the positive customer experience on offer.

It is no stranger to awards, having been named Scottish Small Business of the Year by Enterprise Scotland in 2020.

Managing director Louise McWhinnie told the Barrhead News: “My dad worked very hard to build the business up and he’d be very proud if he was here.

“We have great staff and that helps to get these great accolades as well.”
In 1973, Louise’s late father Robert McLaren was a time-served electrician with a good job and a secure future.

Robert and his wife Ruth, now a retired partner of the business, gave it all up to “indulge a passion for growing plants” and rented a small holding at Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, to start a nursery.

Barrhead News: McLarens’s Nurseries Louise and her mum RuthMcLarens’s Nurseries Louise and her mum Ruth (Image: Sourced)

After operating the nursery for two seasons, Robert then purchased a 2.5-acre nursery in Ardrossan.

Stanley Nursery, as it was known, was open for many years before being relocated to the present site in Lugton, which was bought in 1983.

Today, the company is one of the biggest intensive nurseries in Scotland, operating a 50-acre site and serving both wholesale and retail customers.

It has 50 staff and remains a family business, with Louise’s husband Michael in charge of repairs and bettering the nursery, alongside son Daryl, while daughter Lisa manages HR, payroll and pensions and another daughter, Nicola, works with Louise on the seed side of the nursery.

“My husband is the site engineer and Adam McGowan is our nursery manager,” added Louise. “Everyone plays a very important part.”

To mark five decades in business, the nursery will host an open day on Wednesday, March 22 – the first for wholesale customers since before the Covid-19 pandemic.

That will be followed by a retail weekend on March 25 and 26, featuring a range of special deals and promotions.

Matt McGowan, sales and marketing advisor, said: “We have run some Christmas events, which have always done well, but this will be the first time we have done a big event for our retail customers in the springtime, just as everything starts to come alive in the nursery.

“We are really looking forward to it and it’s a great chance to celebrate our 50th.

“We have staff who have worked with us for over 35 years and we have customers who say ‘Oh, this is the fifth garden we have done with you guys’ and they have stuck with us. It’s fantastic.

“We like to think anyone can walk in here, whether it’s an experienced gardener or first-time plant buyer, and we’ll give them what they need to know.”