Some girls go mad over dress shops or buying shoes but, for me, there is just nothing like a nursery for sheer enjoyment.
I would much rather splash out on some beautiful and unusual plants for my garden than a Gucci handbag !
Waking up to blue skies and bright sunshine now the weather is warming, I visited Athelas Plants, one of the best nurseries in East Sussex, located in the quaint village of Hoe, not far from Bexhill. There are many reasons why I buy my plants here -
* all of the plants are exceptionally good quality
* the prices are incredibly good value
* the excellent advice and service ensures that I always buy the right plant for the soil and position in my garden
“Advice is King ” explains Matt as we sit in the sun surrounded by a wonderful display of high quality plants and a new range of truly stunning hand picked pots that have just arrived from Vietnam to add to the incredible garden offering at Athelas.
When Matt and his partner Nigel set up Athelas five years ago their main aim was always to make sure ALL of their customers buy absolutely the right plant for the right spot in their garden .
“Its not about the sale” explains Matt ” but more about the advice and information we provide. We offer an individual service, spending time with every customer – either walking around the nursery or discussing their ideas on the phone with mail order customers to ensure they select the correct plant for what they are trying to achieve – but most importantly for the soil and conditions in their garden.”
Since some of the plants originate from overseas , Matt and Nigel spent the last five years trialing them in a range of English weather conditions . An example is their specially chosen palms - tested in all types of summer and cold winter weather in East Sussex which means that they know for certain just exactly how hardy they are. They now have 10 palms that they consider highly suitable for the varied weather experienced in UK gardens They have also introduced a clever traffic light system to help identify which plants are totally hardy which is important now that we have had three very difficult winters in the UK http://www.athelasplants.co.uk/hardiness-i47
Every plant is clearly labelled with this traffic light system as well as having a detailed sign that explains where it should be planted and the conditions each plant will thrive in. This ensures that customers understand what they are buying and do not choose the wrong type of plant for their garden. This is backed up by the expert knowledge that Matt and Nigel offer to every customer.
One of the other things that makes Athelas nursery so special is the passion and commitment that Matt and Nigel have to offer good quality plants that have been field grown rather than propagated in hot houses, often the case in many garden centres. They also propagate as many plants as possible .The success of Athelas Plants demonstrates that it is possible to grow an interesting range of unusual plants that offer something different in an unpredictable UK climate .
The mail order service at Athelas is literally growing all the time as it is run on the same terms – quality plants which are well packed and delivered carefully to ensure that the customer is 100% satisfied with the end result in their garden
As well as the very impressive range of plants, and beautiful pots, the Athelas Plants website has excellent advice on soils, planting tips and information http://www.athelasplants.co.uk/
One plant that I would definitely buy at Athelas is bamboo as there is an impressive range at excellent prices.This tough, fast growing plant is useful for creating screens to block out neighbours or noise and it also looks attractive all year as bamboo is evergreen. To view the full range of bamboo at Athelas visit their very stylish specialist site at http://thebamboocompany.co.uk/
A visit to Athelas in East Sussex is the only way to shop for plants – wandering around their beautiful nursery is a sheer delight and I never fail to return home with the right plants and full of inspirational ideas for my garden.