Sunday, 14 June 2015

HOW TO: 5 tips for buying plants

1. Pick your shop wisely
If you're going to pay full price for a plant in a shop, you want it to be a pedigree plant. Purchase full price plants from Botanical Gardens, National Trust gardens, English/Scottish Heritage homes - you can probably walk past the parent plant in the gardens and know that it's come from a sound specimen. The last thing you want if you're going to drop £20 on a flower is it to shrivel up and die as soon as you get it home (and that's before you forget to water it).

2. Flower Shows
'But I'm not seventy-five years old!' I hear you cry. No. You're not, but £20 on an entry fee enables you to find the creme de la creme of plant suppliers and generally, not only is it cheaper to go on the last day, they suppliers are also selling off perfectly good plants for cheap. Niiiiice.

3. Online/Brochure
Monty Don regularly says he buys plants online (sweet, what a lege), but research your suppliers. You will inevitably get a few random bulbs/flower/plants that are completely wrong or just plain shit, but the majority, if you pick supplier well, will thrive and give you a great yield - whether that's crop, foliage or flowers.

4. Supermarkets or DIY stores
No, not full price, pfft! As soon as a plant gets a dead head or a branch of a bush dies, they half the price. Reduction bays hold absolute gems! Sometimes a full tray of bedding plants has about a third left, or even only one good plant, but see the potential for a few weak ones. If you're willing to give it a feed every week for the first few weeks to get them going, then grab them quick! The Lad and I went to Homebase recently and got a tray of 16 pansies, a bush thing, a campanula, a tray of 8 lobelia and a wafty bush thing for £9. The pansies alone were meant to be £6. Boom, winner!

5. Grow your own
It's not actually that hard to take cuttings. Take lavender as an example: find a new shoot, cut it off about 3 inches long, just under a bud of a leaf, strip the leaves off about two thirds of it and stick in down the side of a pot. Bash it on a windowsill and water regularly. Once it starts growing new leaves it should have it's own root system so it's essentially a new plant. Job's a good 'un.

1 comment:

  1. What a great post! I love buying plants for my home, so your tips are super helpful! :)


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