Red Lodge Nursery was situated in Bassett, just north of Red Lodge House, after which it was presumably named. It was owned by the Rogers Family and was also known as Rogers’ Nurseries. The origins of the business go back to the early 19th century when John Rogers, who had previously been an assistant to William Alton, manager of Kew Gardens in the reign of George III, opened a nursery on land at the rear of the military asylum (later the Ordnance Survey offices) in London Road. John Rogers was born in Richmond in 1752 and settled in Southampton in a cottage in Bedford Place. In 1828 the original nursery had passed into the management of John’s son William Rogers, who then leased the large tract of land in Bassett which eventually became known as Red Lodge Nursery. Rogers built his family home near the nursery, a picturesque, thatched cottage which still exists as 6 Little Oak Road in Bassett.

The following description of the nursery is from George Measom, The official illustrated guide to the London and South-Western Railway, [1864], pages 400-3:

The Red Lodge Nursery. The property of Mr W H Rogers.

The nursery dates from 1828 and was established by the father of W H Rogers. It lies three miles from Southampton on the London road, just through the first turnpike at the junction of the high road to Shirley, with magnificent views to the south-east. The nursery contains nearly 100 acres of land, broken up from an unenclosed heathy waste (Loudon’s Gardener’s Magazine for 1835). The highest part is 275 feet above the level of the water at Southampton]. Mr Rogers has built a picturesque cottage, on a raised platform substantially finished, and in good taste; sheds, pits, frames, and other nursery buildings. The nursery extends one whole mile along the high road; and, parallel therewith, and of the same length, Mr Rogers has formed a walk, along both sides of which he intends to plant an arboretum. Along the road side, Mr Rogers is preparing to plant a mixed hedge of double furze, Cydonia japonica, China roses, and sweet-briar. The space within this part of the grounds is divided into compartments, each a pole (5 and a half yards) in width, and of a certain length; so that the quantity of surface, and of plants in rows at any given distance, which each compartment will contain, is readily ascertained. The compartments are numbered; and the numbers being entered in a ledger, with the stock, Mr Rogers can give the clearest instructions for executing orders, preparing of the soil, or planting, without looking at the compartments above twice a year….
[Visit was but a few weeks since]. We went into the grounds from the London road, and, passing the beautiful lawn in front of the “picturesque cottage”, entered the Arboretum, containing some grand specimens of Thuja, Wellingtonia gigantea, and other Conifers, many rare and new. Here we saw 250 VARIETIES of Rhododendrons, with numberless other fine hardy and choice American plants and shrubs, and 20,000 roses. In the grounds may be seen over one million Rhododendrons, acres of glass covered house, MILES of walks, and forest and fruit trees of all kinds, - a remarkably fine as well as large stock…. strangers are freely admitted at all times…. We must … call attention to an Arbutus procera, one of the most remarkable trees in the world; also to the Wilderness, picturesque in its wildness; and to the Andromeda formosa, for which Mr Rogers is (among other things) celebrated.
About 500,000 Larch and other Firs are sold from these grounds every year, and we regret being able to inform the reader as to the thousands of Coniferae, American plants, Rhododendrons, fruit, forest, and ornamental trees, lovely flowering shrubs, splendid evergreens, and glorious roses, which are cultivated in and sold from these grounds….
[Mr Rogers also has a large Horticultural and Seed establishment at 130 High Street, Southampton, and trial grounds at Shirley, for testing the growth of seeds, etc. Most of the nobility and gentry in the county are patrons of this celebrated nursery, and Mr Rogers has the honour of being specially appointed “Nurseryman for Her Majesty at Osborne”.

Red Lodge Nursery

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see also

Newspaper clippings:

Further reading:
Southampton Occasional Notes 2nd series, by ‘Townsman’, p84. (HS/h)


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