It was in 1840 that the late James Cocker - great, great grandfather of the present senior partner, Alec J. Cocker - whilst head gardener at Castle Fraser in Aberdeenshire quarreled with his employer about picking fruit on a Sunday; he would gather fruit on a Saturday night, no matter how late, but never on a Sunday. As such, he left his employment and moved to Aberdeen in 1841 and started a nursery business focusing on forest trees and herbaceous plants. As the business prospered, the nursery moved several times to larger sites until eventually in 1960 Whitemyres Farm was acquired where the business still operates from today. The business was passed down the generations from the original James Cocker to his son, also James Cocker, to his three sons, James, Alexander and William and then to Alec M. Cocker and his wife Anne G. Cocker (who decided in 1964 to specialise in rose growing) and now to Alec Jnr. the current senior partner.
Cocker’s have bred many outstanding varieties such as Silver Jubilee, Alec's Red, Glenfiddich, Remember Me and Gordon's College (a.k.a. Braveheart) many of which have won numerous National and International awards over the years.
Arguably our most famous rose is Silver Jubilee which was bred by Alec Snr. in 1977 and launched at Chelsea Flower Show that year. It was named by kind permission of H.M The Queen to celebrate her 25 years reign as British monarch. Silver Jubilee was to become the world's number one selling rose for many years and won several distinguished awards, but unfortunately Alec Snr did not live to see the worldwide success of his rose as he passed away suddenly in November 1977. After his death, his wife Anne became a world renowned rose breeder in her own right and was still active in the rose fields well into her 80’s.
In recognition of the quality and high standards achieved, H. M. The Queen granted Alec Snr the Royal Warrant as Suppliers of Roses In 1976. The Royal Warrant was then granted to Anne after his death and is still held by Alec Jnr today. Anne also recieved the Royal Warrant from H.R.H The Queen Mother in 2002 and Alec Jnr was awarded the Royal Warrant from H.R.H The Prince of Wales in 2018.
Today the business still supplies first class roses in great value bundles of five or ten plants per variety. It is a still a family business run by Alec J. Cocker and his wife Leanne from their home in Aberdeen.