Extreme Plant Shopping – Finding a Personal Plant Shopper

I think it’s fair to say that most men detest shopping! I certainly would agree, when it comes to shopping for food or clothes I’m usually bored within a few minutes.

However take me plant shopping and that’s another story. In-fact when it comes to buying quality plants I’m a shopping plant-aholic. In-fact I’m that addicted to plant shopping I regularly get asked accompany many of my clients as a personal plant shopper and for busy customers I shop for quality palnts of distinction for them and their gardens.

Finding quality plants for sale can be quite a challenge, often garden centres are full of the latest seasonal flowering annuals or short lived perennials. Beware of overly priced and delicate flowering plants that are located near the checkout, encouraging shoppers to increase their shopping basket overall spend.

The problem I have with buying plants in full-flower as obvious to the keen gardener, flowering plants often forced under stress to flower on demand. Whilst these flowers are appealing and often regarded as a flowering cash crop for growers, unfortunately due to the conditions they are forced to grow and flower in and the shock they recieve once they arrive at the point of sale means that these flowers last no more than a few weeks in your own home or garden borders.

The solution besides hiring a Personal Plant Shopper is to do your research before going plant shopping and not to be tempted into buying plants based on color, instead choose perennials that have filled their alloted pot capacity.

When it comes to herbaceous perennials I would suggest buying 9cm plants in 3’s-5’s etc and planting in groups for maximum effect at minimum cost. Alternatively if you are lucky enough to find choice perennials filling a 3L or 5Litre pots then these can be easily divided into 3 plants and planted straight into your border for quick establishment and stunning display. Read more about saving money when buying plants>>

So imagine my delight on finding a quality plant stall right on my doorstep in a local market! Not only that but a delightful plant-mad couple running the stall, who are obviously passionate about perennials and alpines.

What I adore most about my new find is that the display would not look out of place at the Chelsea Flower show or Hampton Court for that matter.

When growers put this much attention and detail into displaying plants for sale. The non plant person amongst us may think it’s little extreme but not only does this stall send my pulse racing but it also sends me heading for my wallet .

Grow with me on


Stephen Pryce-Lea

Head Gardener and International Horticultural Consultant




“It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, when you find it in a Garden it’s like finding Paradise“

iGrowHort – A Head Gardener’s Horticultural Journey of love, life and learning.


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About Head Gardener 291 Articles
Award winning, 40 something year old professional plantsman and horticulturalist with National Trust, private parks and estate management background. My vast plant knowledge and hands on techinical experience, afforded me the opportunity to work in various horticultural landscapes, in the UK, USA & Eastern Europe. Having worked in both garden retail & the design service industry gave me the practical diversity and managerial skill set, required for running a large prestigious gardens and stately homes. I strongly believe knowledge is to be shared and have worked closely with people and staff of all ages and abilities keen to develop their passion for gardening, including groups of children, special needs and adults. I have hosted guided walks, talks and tours for those keen to learn about cultivated and wild plants, garden development, history and design. As an member of the NNCPG and National Trust, I am actively involved in the preservation of several important plant collections both in public and private gardens throughout the UK. “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, in a garden it’s paradise” Follow @IGrowHort on GardenTags. Stephen is passionate about gardening as Head Gardener with a team of ten staff he manages a prestigious Cheshire country estate of 55 acres, inc wild flower meadows, woodland, organic kitchen and formal gardens. Follow Stephen today”

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