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Paying good money for the plants you want is money well spent. The age of the internet gives access to plants that are never available at any ‘local’ store. Though the cost can be high when postage is added.

I try to avoid Garden Centres. You know them, they are those chains of GCs that dot the country and hold a selection of ‘popular’ plants and shrubs. They delight in stocking this years ‘must-haves’, the new arrivals from commercial growers that deal in large-scale supply, plants that have been grown in their thousands under sterile conditions and quite possibly never had the feel of soil for their roots; Hydroponics is the way to go! But you pay a premium.

All well and good if you are into current trends and are happy to accept that, ‘what you see is what you want’. Up and down the country there are many who are willing to buy into this culture. Happy to accept the offerings of these giants of industry that serve the nation. And who can argue against it? They do give customers access to a narrow selection of popular plants. I have bought from them in the past, and will continue to do so I suspect; But, there are alternatives available…

Modern day gardening life seems to be about the instant fix. TV shows have given the nation the notion that a few hours hard labour – add decking and a water feature – will give life-long happiness and joy. Gardeners World has become an unending catalogue of sameness.. Every week they show how to set seeds or how to propagate cuttings, and they have done this for years.

But all that is by the by. I want to give a nod of approval to those champions of gardening life who do what they do without the bugle call of celebrity – The Nursery men and women who operate on a shoestring in backwater places. Those who just love to ..Garden!

And on that subject; Take a look at this picture -

Five strips (five plants in each) of annuals. Here shown, Petunia (4) and Lobelia (1)
A Geranium Orchid Blue
A full pot of Sysirichium californicum
Monarda didyma
Geum chiloense

And all of these for £10 !

At a GC the cost would be far more for the selection.

Finding the nursery is not easy; It is located deep in the Forest of Dean on a small track off a minor road. It seems to rely on ‘Word of mouth’ for its survival. The elderly couple who run the place are reliant upon family to help out during busy periods and a worthy job they do.

Long may such places exist. Seek them out good people; There is a Nursery near you, go find them! :)

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exactly how I feel Fractal. sadly the 'best' one near me gave me new Zealand flat worm. disposed before I planted the plant thankfully.

I have had some absolute gems from the members stall of the local HPS group. well worth a visit if you have one near you.

shameless plug east Yorkshire branch 1st Thursday of the month except august 7.30 pm .

7 Jul, 2013


I agree, our local GC will deliver peat which is useful, but is now just full of 'instant colour' few perennials and nothing original, no good looking for new ideas there, maybe just new gardening gloves and some tomato feed then.

7 Jul, 2013


Agree fully! We will buy the occaisional plant from a GC but our garden is full of 'different and interesting' plants that we buy from private nurseries, commercial plant stalls at our shows and the members stall at the same shows.
I also find that unusual plants from the nurseries often cost less than than the run-of-the-mill plants from a GC.

7 Jul, 2013


I agree with bulbaholic. I travel about 10 miles to a nursery to buy a lot of my plants, not only do they have a better variety, but you also get better information on growing them, I do buy from garden centres and supermarkets as well, but only the old cottage garden plants I am familiar with,

8 Jul, 2013


Know that particular nursery well, FC.....a real gem and one not to be missed.As you say, almost hidden away in the Forest of Dean.

8 Jul, 2013

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