About Us

orchids growing in the nursery greenhousesBurnham Nurseries Ltd is situated in picturesque South Devon and has been run by the Rittershausen Family since 1949, now in its third generation. Our long-standing team are full of knowledge and helpful advice.

We have the largest selection of orchid species and hybrids available in the UK and our unique nursery can be visited any time of the year.  We are open 7 days a week from 10am to 4pm and plenty of free help and advice is always on hand. When you visit you are free to wander around the greenhouses where you will see all the plants we have for sale, with orchids in bloom in our cool and warm shop sections.

Orchid Paradise is our unique, permanent, ever-changing orchid display house at the nursery. Here we display the plants that are in the nursery collection when they are in flower. These are all ‘Mother Plants’ that Brassia orchids in flower in Orchid Paradisewe use for breeding, propagation, as well as exhibition. These species come from all around the world and many of these orchids won’t be seen anywhere else in the UK. The displays change often on a weekly basis so there is always something weird and wonderful to be amazed at, whatever the season!

As of January 2019, the Orchid Paradise greenhouse will be closed for winter maintenance, reopening by Easter 2019. Some of our flowering stock plants will still be on display in the nursery greenhouses so please explore to discover the orchids that are in bloom. 

You can even relax and enjoy some refreshment in our Café Vanilla.

All year round we travel the length and breadth of the British Isles to bring our orchids to you at garden centre orchid days and specialist orchid events both large and small, so there is bound to an event in your area at some point.  Every year we attend the RHS London Orchid Show and RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, both prestigious occasions plus we exhibited at The Chelsea Flower Show for 52 consecutive years 1958-2009 where we were awarded 20 Gold Medals.

Mail order is our speciality; we can send any orchids, anywhere in the UK. Our fast services will get the orchids to you safely with expert packing, even in full bloom! You can order with confidence and know that your orchids will arrive intact.

We also offer our popular Orchid Masterclasses, full day courses to help you learn all the basics you need to enjoy your new, fascinating hobby. If you have a poorly orchid, bring it along to our monthly Orchid Clinics.

Our History

At Burnham Nurseries we are proud to be a family-run business. Now in its third generation, Burnham Nurseries was started by Percy Rittershausen in 1949, in Croydon, Surrey, having grown orchids successfully as a hobby since the 1920s. Our business gradually grew and moved to Kingsteignton, Devon in 1951 where, against all odds, it survived and prospered for many years until we relocated to our present site in 1985. Percy’s son Brian and daughter Wilma continued to run the nursery as well as authoring many books on orchids over the years.

Burnham Nurseries is now managed by Brian and Ann’s daughter Sara, as well as a team of long-standing and experienced staff who you will meet in our nursery and at events around the British Isles.

We now grow and produce the widest range of orchids of anyone in the UK, with a clutch of awards and vast knowledge, here to help you with your orchids!

Our story is interesting and entertaining and one which has been published in our book “Orchids – One Family’s Passion” by Wilma Rittershausen. It is of interest from the orchid and social history points of view, chronicling the trials and tribulations of running a nursery in the post-war years.

Even if you are not interested in orchids, we think you will find it a fascinating read.