As we reach another summer when ‘the Great British get away’ is stalled or at least, fraught with uncertainty, we return to our gardens for solace, relaxation, exercise, and socialising.
Science says that green has a calming and therapeutic effect on us due to its association with nature which many researchers feel is hard wired in our brains from evolution.
The Garden Centre has had a re-birth and no longer fills a dull Sunday afternoon when there’s nothing else doing. And if you’ve visited one of late then you’ll know the best are busy! But where are they you ask?
I've scouted out the local garden centres and farm shops where you can prune, tweak, and adorn your garden and home with the latest, best, and most fabulous plants, blooms, and accessories.
And for those of you that like to bring the outside inside then this post is for you too. House plants have seen a huge rise in popularity with classics like the ‘spider plant’ now back dressing the best abodes.
Lowden Garden Centre – Atworth, Nr. Corsham
Prepare to be impressed at Lowden. The team have curated an impressive list of responsibly sourced plants and trees, as well as a wide range of home-grown varieties in what they call an ‘eclectic mix’. Lowden isn’t just a garden emporium it also has a popular restaurant that serves up an excellent range of all-day breakfasts (confirmed by yours truly). You’ll also find a comprehensive selection of indoor plants too.
Whitehall Garden Centre – Lacock, Nr. Chippenham
Go big or go home! If garden furniture, hot tubs, sculptures, or water features are your thing then Whitehall is the one for you. This vast shopping centre has just about everything, everything, you could dream up for your gardening plans. These are the guys that are home to the largest collection of Christmas decorations in the UK so helping you adorn your garden is their bread and butter. They have an excellently stocked food shop too, full of local fare to tempt you with. Family run since 1894.
Walled Garden Nursery – Brinkworth, Nr. Malmesbury
If you are looking for specialist climbers then the Walled Garden Nursery is an idyllic quiet spot to view an extensive collection of climbers, creepers, and clematis. Much of their collection is sourced from overseas with new varieties being introduced to their catalogue all the time. They offer plenty of advice too from their experienced gardening team and there is also a mail order service.
Langley Nurseries – Chippenham
Langley Nurseries sits on the Draycott Straight on the B4069 straight out of Chippenham. They boast that they have ‘everything you need for your garden’ specialising in compost and fertilisers, essential ingredients for happy plants. They also stock a wide range of pots and planters with as many seasonal bedding plants too for those who like to add colour to their outside spaces each year.
The Botanic Garden & Nursery – Atworth, Nr. Corsham
Mary and Terry Baker who are the green fingered couple behind The Botanic Garden & Nursery are also keepers of the National Collection of Digitalis (Foxgloves) who not only have a plant shop and nursery but a garden school too. Their specialist collection is also available on-line, but the Bakers encourage you to visit between March and November.
Lydiard Park Walled Garden - Swindon
A rare example of an 18th century Walled Garden. In the 1740s, the St John family built this rhombus-shaped garden behind the Coach House and Stable buildings. It was used to grow flowers and fruit as well as providing a pleasant place for the family to stroll after dinner. As part of the Lydiard Park Project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the garden was restored to its former glory and re-opened to the public in 2007. Not a garden centre, but sells plants and flowers.
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