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Where do you buy your plants?

DogmumDogmum DerbyshirePosts: 89
I often see plants on tv programmes or in magazines, that I would love to try in my own garden.
I write down the names and toddle off to the local garden centres (there are two local ones) but I never seem to be able to find the exact plant, I can usually find something in the same family but never the exact one. 

How do you deal with this? Do you give in and buy something similar, try travelling further to a different garden centre or turn to online sellers?

Any advice welcome.
Tomorrow is another day


  • Not an easy answer.
    But here goes.....
    Yes we do like you do and write down what is shown on/in shows/magazines.
    Yes you are right when you go to the local garden centres then you can't find them.
    So our first port of call is then to go to local nurseries (not garden centres). Many of them will search plants for you at no extra cost. Sometimes they can't come up with the goods and then we do go online....but we always try to do local.
  • DogmumDogmum DerbyshirePosts: 89
    Thanks, of to try and find good local nursery then.
    Tomorrow is another day
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116

    I personally don't live near a nursery and I don't have a car, so I buy pretty much all my plants online or at local plant sales. If I want a specific variety (which I usually do) it's unlikely to appear by chance in a nursery and my local GCs never have the one I'm looking for.

  • DogmumDogmum DerbyshirePosts: 89
    thanks Fire, that’s a great thread.
    Tomorrow is another day
  • AstroAstro Posts: 382
    There are three nurseries close so I try those, then a B&Q and a large B&M, then a Dobbies and a similar garden shop.  Usually but not always straight away the plant will be available in one of these places. 
    My thinking is that the shows and magazines have access to new varieties or cultivars  that take a while to filter into shops, or they popularise existing plants that  had fallen out of fashion creating new demand.  
  • ZenjeffZenjeff Newcastle Upon Tyne Posts: 641
    Although we have around six garden centres near one an independent I use ,most plants I buy on line nurseries have more choice and some specialise in certain plants take Meconopsis for example one as over 30 to choose from where garden centres lucky to have one..
  • I also try local centres first. (You can see what you are buying). Then the big chain companies. Failing that I go on line and look up specialist growers in the plant I am looking for. I tend not to use the general sellers as in the past I have been disappointed in the quality of some of the plants I have been sent.
  • LunarSeaLunarSea Cheshire / Derbyshire borderPosts: 1,152
    edited November 2021
    The problem I often find is that most of the local garden centres have been flooded with one or two new varieties of certain plants from the big suppliers. For example I have been after Helenium 'Mardi Gras' for months, looking everywhere I've gone, but all the garden centres have been stocked up to the hilt with 'Short & Sassy' to the exclusion of most other varieties. Finally in late October I found it at the huge Bridgemere garden centre west of Stoke-on-Trent.

    One of our favourite places is Bluebell Cottage Nursery near Warrington (run by Sue Beesley who won BBC Gardener of the Year in 2006). She & her team propagate a lot of the stock and has a wonderful garden showcasing much of it but tends to run out quite quickly so it's best to make a list early in the season and let them know what you're after. I'd have got the above Helenium from her if I'd got in early enough! She also does mail order though.
    Delusion is the ideal place to rest on a painful journey to the truth
  • Look up online to see if there's a specialist nursery or stockist who can send it by post if it's too far. 

    I have this problem a lot as I live in Belgium and they tend to all stock the same varieties. After a hood search I've found specialist seed sellers and nurseries that will supply by post from the Netherlands. 
  • LG_LG_ SE LondonPosts: 4,049
    As I'm generally looking for specific cultivars and don't live near a big nursery or even garden centre accessible by public transport, I tend to buy online from trusted suppliers or specialists. I also do lots of dividing and splitting and plant swaps with friends, relatives and neighbours, and pick up all sorts of things from an 'honesty shop' (basically loads of plants on a front garden wall - you post the money through the letterbox) in the next road.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
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