7 inspirational plant nurseries in Hertfordshire to make your garden dreams come true
PUBLISHED: 12:46 27 June 2017 | UPDATED: 07:53 13 July 2017
Visit a garden or show this summer and it's likely you'll be inspired. But where to find the plants that got you excited? Not far away, says Philippa Pearson, who shares seven of her favourite Herts nurseries
It’s high season and a great time to visit gardens and take in one of the summer’s horticultural shows. If you come away inspired and wanting to add to you own borders or create new ones, you won’t need to leave the county to find the perfect plants as Hertfordshire has a wealth of fabulous plant nurseries to choose from. Here are seven of the best.
London Road, Hertford Heath SG13 7NS (opposite Foxholes Farm)
Friday and Saturday, 10am-4pm, March to October
With a delightful collection of perennials and grasses, Anne Godfrey offers a comprehensive range from her nursery on the outskirts of Hertford. Look out for a good range of ornamental grasses and helpful plant groups for dry and shade areas of the garden. As well as buying plants from the nursery, you can catch Anne at various shows this year including Hatfield House Garden Show from June 2-4, RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show from July 3-9, and RHS Hyde Hall Plant Fair on August 3-6.
Little Heath Lane, Potten End HP4 2RY
This nursery on the edge of the Chiltern Hills is laid out like a cottage garden. Here John and Jan Spokes grow an extensive range of hardy plants, specialising in alpines and herbaceous perennials, alongside shrubs, ferns and trees, with many unusual varieties. The couple will also be at several events this month including Rare Plants at Gilbert White House, Selbourne on June 17-18, Berkhamsted Farmers’ Market on June 18 and the Rare Plant Fair at Waterperry Gardens, Wheatley, Oxfordshire on June 25.
High Street, Much Hadham SG10 6BU
March to December, Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm, Sundays 12.30-5pm (4pm in winter). Closed Tuesdays
Set back from the road, Hopleys is a large Victorian House with five acres of garden in rolling parkland, and a nursery filled with row upon row of tempting plants. Unusual, interesting and garden-worthy plants and many choice perennials are conveniently displayed in the nursery’s sun and shade sections, while most of what you see can be found in the garden borders. This is a plantaholic’s paradise and the centre will exhibit its treasures at various RHS and other gardening shows in the summer.
Bedford Road, Holwell SG5 3RT
Monday 10am-5pm, Tuesday-Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 10am-4pm. Closed Christmas, January and Easter
David and Allison Thomas have an extensive range of beautiful plants and an abundance of horticultural knowledge. You’ll find all sorts of plants from feature trees sourced from Italy to shrubs of all types, a super collection of perennials and grasses as well as herbs, alpines, vegetables, fruit and seasonal bedding plants. The little shop has a great selection of lovely garden tools, including old re-conditioned ones restored by Allison’s father, plus Sarah Raven seeds are available.
234 North Road, Hertford SG14 2PW
Family-run Crown Topiary at Hertford is one of the largest specialist topiary nurseries in the UK and is unique in focusing on just topiary and hedging. But what an inspirational place the nursery is as you wander down avenues of neatly clipped plants of all shapes and sizes that beckon to be placed in a prominent spot in a garden. The business has been trading since 1982, so they know a thing or two about shaped trees and shrubs and there’s a good mix of traditional topiary as well as contemporary creations.
This is a wholesale trade nursery but gardeners are welcome to make an appointment to visit. Contact Wendy Hammond or Anita Southwell to arrange and to discuss your requirements.
Shantock Lane, Bovingdon HP3 0NG
April to end of October: Friday and Saturday, 9am-5.30pm, Sunday 10am-4pm. Monday-Thursday viewing is by appointment only
Home Farm Plants is one of only two specialist growers in the country of Delphinium elatum. Known as the Queen of the Border for their cottage-style blowsy flower spikes in summer, these plants are hardy, reliable and easy to grow with a little care and treatment. The nursery also grows a wide range of perennials, all propagated here, and have a pick-your-own cut flower area where you can choose your own blooms, including delphiniums and dahlias in summer and asters and gladioli in autumn. There’s also a hanging basket service.
Maydencroft Lane, Gosmore SG4 7QD
Visits by appointment only, contact the nursery
This wonderful nursery, specialising in aquatic gardening needs, supplies plants for the smallest tub to the largest lake, with all plants grown on the nursery. There’s an extensive range of plants for all aspects of water gardening including marginal, oxygenating plants, water lilies, deep water and floating plants. The nursery also specialises in mail order and its website has a useful menu of plants in various categories and collections to suit all sites.