Finding Plants

Sources of plants for our Gardens:

  • Agroforestry research trust at has an internet shop with a very wide variety of trees, shrubs and edible or otherwise useful plants. They are available from October to March, and are best ordered the spring before, as they have quite limited amounts of each plant. They are geared specially to forest gardening.
  • Burncoose nursery at has an internet shop as well, and they offer quite a few of the plants and shrubs we might like to grow. The nursery will not list most plants as edible, possibly because they are not aware that they are. The price of the plants at this nursery is perhaps a bit higher than from bigger nurseries, but the plants look very good and are shipped with much care for packaging etc.
  • Victoriana nursery at specialises in plants that were found in Victorian gardens. They offer some unusual edible plants, for reasonable prices. They also have an internet shop, and ship nationwide.
  • Chiltern seeds at sells a very wide range of seeds, of trees, shrubs and plants. They have a lot of unusual vegetables, and a catalogue that has very good plant descriptions, often listing edible qualities, although they are not aware of all the edible qualities of their seeds. Although growing from seed can take longer, some species are hard to find as plants and many herbaceous plants are quite easy to grow and a lot more affordable if started from seed. I wouldn’t recommend growing the trees and shrubs from seed, unless you have a lot of patience, or the seed is the only way to get hold of a tree, as even to get them to germinate may take years.
  • A surprising range of plants can be found on Ebay where they are usually very affordable. The quality can be quite variable however.
  • Big online nurseries like Thompson & Morgan, Van Meuwen, Bakker, Jersey Plants, J Parker Dutch bulbs etc. offer a lot of plants that we may want to grow as well, generally for a competitive price. Some of these nurseries are now including information on edible parts, which is very useful.
  • For more normal vegetables the Seed co-operative offers organic and biodynamic seeds of very good quality.
  • Aquatic nurseries are best found by doing an internet search for the pond plants you are looking for.
  • Hedging is best ordered from nurseries that specialise in this, as they offer very good bundle prices. Native trees can also be found there, for low prices. The best price can be obtained by combining orders from a group of Gardians, and asking for a quote, as many of these online hedging nurseries suggest for big orders. Plants like the nitrogen fixing elaeagnus species, as well as rosa rugosa and dog roses are best ordered from these nurseries as well.
  • Kernock park plants offer many herbs and bedding plants in large quantities. Quite a few plants that are good for ground-cover can be obtained from here. As there is a minimum order of 10 trays of 50 to 100 plants, here too it may be best for Gardians to combine their orders. Interesting is that they offer the option of having the plants delivered over a few weeks or months, making it easier to cope with getting them all planted out.
  • Roses are probably best bought from a local nursery, to select the most scented ones, and to try a rose petal to assess the flavour, as many are bitter and some are lovely. The Wych Cross garden centre, near Forest Row, East Sussex has a very wide range on offer. It is best to select roses with an open centre, so that bees can benefit from them as well.