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Meet the sisters who run a plant shop in an old cider shed

PUBLISHED: 08:27 18 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:13 18 January 2020

Sarah Turcu and sister Lisa Bolingbroke own The Watering Can in a refurbished cider shed in Coltishall. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Sarah Turcu and sister Lisa Bolingbroke own The Watering Can in a refurbished cider shed in Coltishall. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Archant

Whilst some siblings have a thorny relationship, these sisters are also business partners and have turned their passion for gardening into a blossoming business in a disused cider shed.

Sarah Turcu and Lisa Bolingbroke sell plants and gifts at The Watering Can in a refurbished shed in the Red Lion pub car park. Pictures: Brittany WoodmanSarah Turcu and Lisa Bolingbroke sell plants and gifts at The Watering Can in a refurbished shed in the Red Lion pub car park. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Lisa Bolingbroke, 42, and her sister Sarah Turcu, 39, were colleagues long before they branched out into selling plants and previously ran a cleaning company together.

The pair, who grew up gardening with their parents, launched The Watering Can in April 2018 as a stall on the end of Mrs Turcu's driveway in Spixworth.

The same month, they were approached by the landlords of the nearby Red Lion pub in Coltishall, Harriet and Brian Getley, who they cleaned for and the couple suggested they have a stall in the car park.

After starting the second stall outside the pub, which was unstaffed and had an honesty box, they also had a brief spell selling from the shed next to the now closed Cafe Britannia at Mousehold Heath.

They were only at the cafe for a few months as it "didn't work out", but in the autumn of 2018 they were asked by Mr and Mrs Getley if they would like a permanent home in the wooden shack in the pub car park, previously used to make their own cider.

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The Watering Can has been located in the cider shed since March 2019 and business is booming Pictures: Brittany WoodmanThe Watering Can has been located in the cider shed since March 2019 and business is booming Pictures: Brittany Woodman

It was an easy decision for the sisters and after being granted planning permission and refurbishing the shed it opened in March 2019 selling plants and gifts and they also run a potting service for customers.

Mrs Bolingbroke, who lives in Horstead, said: "It has been absolutely brilliant and in the last few months we have given up cleaning completely to concentrate on the business.

"We started off with outdoor plants but now mainly sell indoor plants, which have become very popular and I think it is because people are becoming more aware of their environment and wellbeing.

"We sell quirky and unusual varieties and it has also been fantastic to see children coming in and wanting to get them for their bedrooms and instead of buying sweets getting a little cacti or succulent."

The majority of plants are sourced locally and they also have gifts from Norfolk makers and businesses, such as jewellery from Norwich-based Lisa Angel.

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The Watering Can sells locally-sourced plants and gifts, including jewellery from Norwich-based Lisa Angel Pictures: Brittany WoodmanThe Watering Can sells locally-sourced plants and gifts, including jewellery from Norwich-based Lisa Angel Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Social media has also had a huge impact on sales, with over 8,000 Facebook likes and almost 2,000 followers on Instagram, and they also recently launched a website with online delivery.

Mrs Bolingbroke added: "We love our location but unfortunately the pub is up for sale and we are also outgrowing it a bit, so we will be looking for new premises this year.

"We also want to grow our gardening project side of the business, as we have already done planters and hanging baskets for local pubs such as The Rushcutters Arms in Thorpe and The Black Swan in Horsham St Faith.

"Social media is our absolute world and it keeps us alive."

The Watering Can is open in 77 Church Street from 9am to 4pm Tuesdays to Saturdays and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.

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