Is it worth buying the small perennials I saw in the garden centre today? They were outside but is it too soon to buy them? About two inches tall.
Short answer: No
Slightly longer answer: No they will die in the frost, you could put them in a heated greenhouse but they will still be in stock at the same price in two months time. Dobbies did this last year as well. Sell them early, don’t mark them as for greenhouse and then sell them again when the first lot die.
Only if they are cheaper than usual and you have a cold frame. I've kept young perennials over winter in a cold frame, if they are hardy perennials they don't need a heated greenhouse. I pot them on first to give them a bit more insulation. Another thing I did before I had a cold frame was to bury the pots in the veg garden to keep the roots warmer. Hardy perennials live in the ground outside all year round so should be OK, but if suppliers are selling them now they might have brought them on in a greenhouse so they will be more tender.
I'll wait then. I planted a fair bit in the autumn and now can't remember where I planted things so I guess I should wait to see what comes up anyway and plug gaps with my seeds.
I usually buy them at this time of year or in October, if they are outside at the GC they should be fine - most they sell are hardy to the UK. Pot them on, it's a cost effective way of having plants for next year