Alan Bloom (plantsman)

Alan Bloom (plantsman)

name = Alan Bloom
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birth_name = Alan Herbert Vauser Bloom
birth_date = birth date|1906|11|19
birth_place = Over, Cambridgeshire, England
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death_date = death date and age|2005|3|31|1906|11|19
death_place = Bressingham
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occupation = Plantsman
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Alan Herbert Vauser Bloom (November 191906 - March 312005) was an British Horticulturist and steam engine enthusiast. During his life he created over 170 new varieties of hardy perennial plants. These and Alpine plants were his specialities. He wrote some 30 books and appeared on radio and television. He was the founder of Bressingham Steam and Gardens.


Alan Bloom was himself the son of a nurseryman. At the age of 15 he left school and learned his craft working in various nurseries. In 1926 at the age of 20 he started his own wholesale nursery business at Oakington. Four years later, Blooms Nurseries had become one of the largest English nurseries of its kind. [ "Alan Bloom" "Times Online" April 9, 2005] ]

During World War II he grew crops in the fens.

In 1946 he purchased a 228 acre site at Bressingham. In 1948 he left this for Vancouver, leaving the Bressingham nursery in the hands of an agent but returned 2 years later.

Between 1950 and 1962 he continued to develop Bressingham Gardens.

In 1962 he began to collect steam engines, some of which had been scrapped from British Railways. His two sons Robert and Adrian joined him in the nursery business. In 1968 opened the Bressingham Steam Museum alongside the nursery.

In 1985 they began the Blooms of Bressingham company. In 1995 Robert was tragically killed in a car accident, leaving Adrian in charge of the business.


* 1997 — MBE
* 1971 — Victoria Medal (horticulture) [ Leapman, Michael (5 April 2005) "Obituary: Alan Bloom: Innovative Norfolk nurseryman" "The Independent" London, UK, April 5, 2005] ] [ "Tributes to a renowned plantsman" 31 March 2005 "BBC News"] ]
* Veitch Memorial Medal


The Farm in the Fen, 1944
Hardy plants of distinction, 1965
The Fens, 1953
The Skaters of the Fens, 1958
Alan Bloom's Hardy Perennials, Anova Books, ISBN 0713680393
Alan Bloom's Selected Garden Plants, Jarrold Publishing, ISBN 0853060401
Alpines for Your Garden, Intl Specialized Book Service Inc, ISBN 0938804014
Bicker's Broad, Bretland Studios Ltd, ISBN 0904774007 (with Tim Hunt)
Blooms of Bressingham: Choosing the Best Hardy Plants for Your Garden, HarperCollins Publishers Limited, ISBN 0004123298 (with Adrian Bloom)
Come You Here, Boy!: Autobiography of a Gardener, Aidan Publishing, Ellis, ISBN 085628260X
Garden Alpines, Aidan Publishing, Ellis, ISBN 0856282545
Hardy Plants and Alpines, Burall Floraprint, Limited, ISBN 0903001624
Locomotives of British Railways, Jarrold Publishing, ISBN 0853069395
Locomotives of the London and North Eastern Railway, Jarrold Publishing, ISBN 0853069204 (with D. C. Williams)
Locomotives of the Southern Railway, Jarrold Publishing, ISBN 0853068860
Locomotives of the Great Western Railway, Jarrold Publishing, ISBN 0853068372
Making the Best of Alpines, Burall Floraprint, Limited, ISBN 0903001071
Moisture Gardening, Faber & Faber, Limited, ISBN 0571069045
Perennials for Your Garden, Scribner, ISBN 0684139529
Perennials in Island Beds, Faber & Faber, Limited, ISBN 057110892X
A Plantsman's Perspective: Plants, People and Places, HarperCollins Publishers Limited, ISBN 0004122623
Plantsman's Progress, Dalton Limited,, Terence, ISBN 0900963670
Prelude to Bressingham, Dalton Limited,, Terence, ISBN 0900963603
Steam Alive: The Story of Bressingham Steam Museum, Picton Publishing, ISBN 0948251565
Steam Engines at Bressingham: The Story of a Live Steam Museum, Faber & Faber, Limited, ISBN 0571108679
Two Hundred Fifty Years of Steam, I P C Science & Technology Press, Limited, ISBN 0437014002
Your Book of Traction Engines, Faber & Faber, Limited, ISBN 0571104134


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