We sell everything a garden centre should, and much more besides, but our plants have the biggest share of the site and will always be the main draw. We always have a huge selection of seeds – flower, vegetable, and more recently, houseplant – and bulbs, and all the tools for enjoying every stage of the growing process – compost, plant feeds, propagators and pots – but if you don’t have the time or the space for that, full-fledged plants are the way to go. With a dedicated team of knowledgeable staff in our plant department, we can guide you to the right plants for you and your garden and recommend the products that will ensure the best care, the best display and the best chance of survival. What’s more, for the past ten years, 90% of our bedding plants and 70% of our perennials have been grown onsite, so we know – and you do too – that we’re providing our customers with the best quality.
Grown from seed and plugs-plants, we’ve sourced our stock for quality and reliability, and the majority comes from trusted suppliers in the UK, with a small percentage arriving from Portugal and Holland. Our orders are placed in August and September to ensure we receive the stock in plenty of time, and come February, we take delivery of both plugs and vegetable seeds; that’s when life gets pretty busy! Sowing the seeds and planting the plugs to bigger pots, we use Westlands compost – already treated with fertiliser to give the plants the best possible start – and already this year, we have used 28800kg of compost (for reference, that’s 2 artic lorries’ worth)! The process is non-stop from January to September, and we’re working seven days a week, dawn to dusk to care for the plants; by Easter, many are in the plant department, ready for you, and that will continue throughout the spring and summer seasons with stock levels constantly monitored to ensure we have enough plants for all.
Our ready-made hanging baskets are also planted and cared for in the tunnels – once the bedding plants are established – generally starting in the second week of March, and you will have seen them appearing in the plant department over the last few weeks. As the season progresses, we assess all our plants, constantly checking quality, amending our orders for the following year should any particular plant fall short of our high standards.
Wherever possible, we use recycled pots and trays that are recycled again, once the plants have been transferred to bigger pots, and all our plants are housed in four tunnels at the back of our plant department. Watering is done by hand to ensure no plants are missed, and although we have mains water as a back-up, four large tanks onsite collect rainwater from a series of guttering around the tunnels, and that is the plants’ primary source of water. Two of our tanks house 330000 litres of water, and we have used each of those twice so far this year; add to that the water from the other two, and you’ll see just how thirsty our plants are!
Next time you buy our Bacopas and Begonias, Nemesia and Petunias – and many more besides – you’ll know they’ve been nurtured by us, with the best of care.