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Plants in France

We're just back from a few days in France. I had the opportunity to look around a garden centre and was quite shocked to see how much cheaper plants were - about 50 - 75%. These were usual seasonal plants - heathers, perennials and shrubs. Why is this?


  • granmagranma Posts: 1,929

    Makes it all the more worth while to join the seed / plant exchange!  image

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,588

    I live in France and in my local Garden Centre plants are cheaper, but they are tiny and often in poor condition. When they do have large perennials for sale they are often unnamed varieties and more expensive than in the UK. I buy plants in England because you get bigger, better plants and more variety. Which part of France were you in? I'm in Dordogne.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,634

    Plants are cheaper than the UK in Belgium too and the better weekly markets have some excellent plant stalls with some gems in amongst all the usual bog standard culprits.   Then there are seasonal plant fairs and some excellent nurseries with different specialities so some expensive, niche plants but also a wide range of goodies at normal prices.

    At a plant fair this weekend I got a very good hydrangea paniculata Diamant Rouge for €18 and extensive advice on pruning and after care and the possibility of signing up for email reminders on when and how to prune it and feed it.   The same nurseryman had some fancy esoteric hemerocallis for over €100.

    I do find the best seed suppliers are in the UK and order those online.



    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Some really interesting comments here!  We were in Brittany - sadly the car was full of wine & bikes so could not take advantage! Also, I'm not sure of the regulations (if any) about taking plants from one country to another.

  • Tropical SamTropical Sam Posts: 1,488

    It all depends on what plants. If you go to Spain then succulents tend to be cheap as plants like agave now grow wild and they pup easily.

    The supermarkets tend be cross border so they have magnitude buying power, hence a plant might be 3 euro across their shops (say Carrefour). The UK supermarkets are only really found in the UK so they have less buying power. There is also the costs of bringing plants from Italy, Spain, Netherlands etc across the channel etc.

    Rare plants though are different. They do tend to be much cheaper in the UK than in Europe and in the US.

  • floraliesfloralies Posts: 2,505

    I also live in France in Haute Garonne near the Pyrenees. I agree with Busy-lizzie, plants tend to be small and not well looked after. In this part of France the french are very reluctant to try new plants eg only grow geraniums in containers in summer, they won't try anything different. Things are changing very slowly but they are way behind with choice of plants.

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