A chance remark by Monty Don on BBC Gardeners’ World has led to a project to support independent nurseries and the launch this month of an UK-wide online plant nursery guide.
There was dismay when Monty said that garden centres would be shut on Easter Day without mentioning that small nurseries were allowed to open under Sunday trading rules.
It sparked a debate about how to best support these small growers and led to the idea of an online guide giving opening times, contact details and an idea of the nursery’s range. The website will also offer the chance for plants men and women to write about their business.
“Often we hear it is hard for nurseries to find affordable advertising space,” say the organisers, “and that people who want to support the British horticultural industry often find it hard to find nurseries.
“Hopefully this site will help to begin to solve both those issues while also giving our industry a boost through good media support.”
The online plant nursery guide, which launched last week, is still in its infancy and new suggestions of firms are being added as they come in. However, it already lists nearly 200 growers and received more than 2,000 hits in the first day.
It’s divided into areas, such as the Channel Islands and Northern Ireland, then regions, and then further sub-divided into counties. The Cotswolds has several nurseries listed, including Tortworth Plants, Pan Global Plants, Farmcote Herbs and Chilli Peppers, Dundry Nurseries, Miserden Nursery and Hoo House.
Specialists include Spinneywell for box, Shady Plants and The Lavender Garden.
Among those on the fringes of the Cotswolds are Harrell’s Hardy Plants in Evesham, penstemon specialists Green Jjam Plants and Gardens, and Bob Brown’s well-known Cotswold Garden Flowers.
There is also a section for those nurseries who deal with customers via mail order only, although several of those who open will also send plants to gardeners who cannot visit.
Organisers are open to ideas of independent plant nurseries to include and should be contacted via the website.
• The online plant nursery guide is available here: http://independentplantnurseriesguide.uk/
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