In the 19th and early 20th centuries Kelways were famous for introducing new varieties of plants that they had bred and trialled themselves. The range of plants that they cultivated was huge. A visit to Kelways by contributors to the Gardeners’ Magazine in 1892 noted that, ‘In addition to the fruit and vegetable departments, the specialities grown are amaryllids, paeonies, cannas, gladioli, delphiniums, pyrethrums, gaillardias, and herbaceous plants, the latter collection being very large, and worth a long journey to see.’
In 1900 The Garden, the foremost British gardening journal, paid tribute to their expertise. ‘The names of many famous hybridists are recorded in this list. That great leader, Kelway, of Langport, has enriched English gardens with a hundred noble flowers – delphiniums, paeonies, gladioli, and other plants precious to the gardener’.