7 inspirational plant nurseries in Hertfordshire to make your garden dreams come true

Little Heath Farm Nursery near Berkhamsted

Little Heath Farm Nursery near Berkhamsted - Credit: Archant

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

Pops of colourful perennials at Growing Strong (photo: Phillipa Pearson)

Pops of colourful perennials at Growing Strong (photo: Phillipa Pearson) - Credit: phillipa pearson

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.

Shapely shrubs at Crown Topiary (photo: Philippa Pearson)

Shapely shrubs at Crown Topiary (photo: Philippa Pearson) - Credit: philippa pearson

Daisy Roots

London Road, Hertford Heath SG13 7NS (opposite Foxholes Farm)

01992 582401

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.

Plants from Daisy Roots (photo: Philippa Pearson)

Plants from Daisy Roots (photo: Philippa Pearson) - Credit: philippa pearson

Little Heath Farm Nursery

Little Heath Lane, Potten End HP4 2RY

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01442 864951

Monday-Sunday, 10am-5pm

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.

Plants for sunny borders at Hopleys

Plants for sunny borders at Hopleys - Credit: submitted

Hopleys Plants

High Street, Much Hadham SG10 6BU

01279 842509

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.

Growing Strong at Hillcrest Nursery

Bedford Road, Holwell SG5 3RT

01462 712000

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.

Crown Topiary

234 North Road, Hertford SG14 2PW

01992 501055

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.

Home Farm Plants

Shantock Lane, Bovingdon HP3 0NG

07773 798068

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.

Paul Bromfield Aquatics

Maydencroft Lane, Gosmore SG4 7QD

01462 457399

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.

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