Best place to buy plants for a new garden(20 Posts)
Hi, I am attempting to put together a cottage garden at our new house and have been looking online at where I can buy plants cheaper than at the local plant nursery. Thompson & Morgan advertise a huge collection for £20. Has anyone every used them and what are they like? My mother in law told me never to buy plug plants as they never take so I'm really hesitant about that as well... welcome your viewpoints.
Morrisons have a great range of perennials over Spring/Summer, they seem to have something new every week and are very cheap!
Supermarkets and B&Q have cheap plants but they tend not to be looked after that well. Be careful when buying.
You can buy plug plants but grow them on before making them fend for themselves.
At the end of the season is a good time to get stuff from garden centres, as they turn into grottos that time of year. They sell a lot of stuff off cheap so they don't have to look after it over winter.
Have a look in the bargain bins some places have. Most of the plants will look crappy for the first year, but will get better from then on.
Thompson and Morgan are good for seeds and their plug plants are as good as anywhere else. However, your Mum is right that it can be very difficult to grow these on successfully. They come pretty small and by the time they've been bashed around in the post/sat in the dark in a warm delivery office, they can arrive in a bit of a state. They need to be potted on straight away and given some TLC. It's possible to do, but it is a faff. Also, because they need growing on for a while before being out out in the case of perennials, it will be longer before many of them are large enough to really make an impact.
I think you are often better off buying slightly larger plants. My local garden centre does a hardy perennial offer where you get 7 plants in 9cm pots for £10. They still look very small, but at least you can buy 3 or 5 of the same to make a clump. Secret Gardening Club also do packs of 3 or 5 larger plants for around £5-7.
The discounters (Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons) have very good value plants too!
If you need lots of one thing, there's nothing better or cheaper than growing from seed!
Another vote for Morrison's here I've bought some lovely plants there and they have a small stock and high turnover so they tend to be well looked after. Plug plants aren't great for me they take ages but I did get a great window box on my shed from plug plants so maybe for a small add on.
When you say a cottage garden, do you mean mostly annuals? If so , seed is your best bet .
Do you want perennials as well ? as others have said , lidl and aldi sell cheap ones although the range is limited . They will be on sale soon and you should pot them on a bit before planting them out .
Cottage gardens are really beautiful but so much work, you must be very dedicated ! What fruit and veg are you going to grow ?
Agree with the supermarket suggestions.
Also I've been growing loads of seeds. I'm a total novice and have no idea what I'm doing but it's great fun and I'm becoming obsessed. I've done sweet peas, cornflowers, lupins, nigellas, sunflowers and primulas. Going to buy more today, it gets addictive!! I've also got some fuschia, hydrangea and petunia cuttings which are doing well. I've hardly spent anything.
I've got some seed packs of cottage garden flowers and red poppies too and I'm just going to sprinkle them around the place.
Geranium cuttings are easy and fill pots beautifully I keep geraniums in the greenhouse and took my cuttings this week for pots and gifts
Crocus have a good reputation for plants and shrubs. They are a bit more expensive but with it.
If you have gardener friends, ask for cuttings, they take a while to come on and you have to look after Rhee while they are in pots, but it's cheap and you'll know exactly what they'll end up like. Fill the gaps with annuals in the meantime. Depending where you are, it's normally warm enough to direct sow poopies, nigella, cornflower in May and they'll come on really quickly.
B and q do 3 perennials for a tenner at the moment.
Plug plants have a place but...they do take some care and attention and don't always arrive in the best of condition. I've got some lively lavender from plug plants about 5 years ago but lots of other stuff didn't survive!
Normally over the next couple of months you get local charity plant sales (or you do round here anyway) where people donate their extra seedlings etc to be sold on.
Also, check Facebook for local swap/freely given/gardening groups. If you ask nicely if people have any spare cuttings or are splitting plants you might get lucky.
Morrison's are good for cheap plants. My mum got a lot of stuff from Wilkinsons last year which did really well, so I've got a few bits there this year. I got 3 Echinacea for £1.75 which are doing well in a pot at the moment. They were bare roots which im now growing on.
I like Unwins and Suttons for more unusual seeds, but Wilkinsons are good for garden staples like candytuft, poppies etc. I swap/share seeds with my mum and a couple of people at work too, which keeps costs down.
If you go and visit gardens listed in the National Garden Scheme they often have plants for sale they have grown themselves Lots of gardening mags have offers and free seeds this time of year. I get lots of my plants from my local market stall.
I've had great success with plug plants but a) I treat them as plugs - i.e. pot them on, keep them sheltered, don't plant them out till they're ready and b) I choose plants that I know will be happy in their place. Other recommendations above are good cheap ways of filling your garden. Also look out for big stores selling off their gone-over bulbs: plant them now and they'll flower next year.
Another recommendation for The Secret Gardening Club who are really good value.
Also worth looking at places like Aldi and Poundland. I bought a honeysuckle and a rambling rose yesterday and yes, they were only £1 each.
It's also worth keeping an eye out on local allotments as a lot of them have open days in the spring/summer. Not only do they sell plants pretty cheaply but you get lots of really good advice from the plot holders.
I buy wholesale from Parker's. You need to be a bit patient as they arrive bare root/small but I rarely have failures and it's a small cost to fill a big space. I've just planted out 10 hemerocalis (day lillies) for £8.40.
Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl here...just begun gardening so prices are good if I fail and kill them off!
I get mine from work. I'm a mental health nurse and the Trust I work for operates a Gardening Therapy project on one of the hospital sites. They sell to the public and it's dirt cheap (scuse the pun). The head gardener has worked there for decades and is so knowledgeable. There's also a similar scheme near me for young adults with learning disabilities - have a Google, you might find similar near you.
I've had great success with Aldi and pound land plants - I have a massive rose which I bought from £land, left in my living room to dry out for about three weeks and then shoved in the ground at my old house - only to be uprooted and taken to my DM's house about 6 months later. It's HUGE now and has done very well.
If you collect Tesco vouchers, you can treble their value to spend at Thompson and Morgan or Jersey Plants, you only pay postage - which can be a very cost effective way of filling up beds, they do do some ready to put outside plants. Also, before you cover the ground, think about sticking your bulbs in, it's easier.
I've had loads of good perennial cottage type stuff from Morrisons. Crocus are excellent, but not cheap. I've had varying degrees of success with T&M stuff. Some garden centres are good- generally the ones without tea rooms and a kitchen accessories section...
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