I love a visit to a plant nursery. There’s something amazingly inspiring about seeing so many plants massed together and the sensory overload always leaves me yearning to go back, fill my arms with as many specimens as I can possibly carry, and spirit them home to my garden.
At this time of year it is always vital to head out to find new plants and actually see them flowering and growing in new combinations. Not only is it great to spend time wandering from polytunnel to polytunnel in search of perfect planting partners, but it is also rewarding being able to pick the brains of nursery staff who often have an encyclopaedic knowledge of many plants grown on site. After a nursery visit garden design ideas are always teeming in my mind…
Binny Plants, just outside Edinburgh is a true haven. Set in the forgotten paradise of an old walled garden, its four acres are over flowing with mouth-watering plants and unusual specimens. As well as a huge stock of peonies, there are also many other choice hardy perennials which will thrive in the more demanding conditions up here in Scotland. Billy Caruthers, who runs the nursery, is always on hand with help and advice and his team are generally scattered throughout the nursery which is handy when I need help identifying my latest ‘crush’.
My last visit saw me fall for several plants and varieties I haven’t seen before and I have picked several below which I think would be valuable additions to any bed or border.
Veronicastrum sibiricum ‘Red Arrows’, great for adding a vertical element to a border
Phlox paniculata ‘Monica Lyden Bell’, the perfect pastel pink to contrast with blues, greys and purples
Sanguisorba menziesii, gorgeous pink bottlebrushes
Paeonia ‘Show Girl’, as per the name, a true show stopper and focus point
and there is so much more to see…!