Top ten gardening websites

Furnish your garden with the country's finest plants by visiting the best online nurseries.
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1. Reads Nurseries; 01508 548395
Muscat grapes, French figs and mandarins are just three of the exotics grown in the glasshouses of Reads, a family-run business in its sixth generation.

Holding the National Collection of citrus, figs and grapevines, it also offers bougainvillea and hothouse jasmine. Some may not be in stock; all are worth waiting for.

2. Langley Boxwood; 01730 894467
Who knew box could be so versatile? This Hampshire nursery carries the largest selection in Europe. For special functions, this is the place to buy or hire: topiary twists, balls, cones and cubes, as well as to order hedging; and take your pick of 80 different species, from compact to columnar.

3. RHS Online Plant Shop; 0844 557 2622
The RHS cherry-picks from specialist nurseries, so you don't have to. The focus is on new and unusual plants, and its monthly offers are good value. Hardy plants carry a two-year guarantee.
Special offer:
Homes & Property readers can get 15 per cent off by checking this page at the start of each month; the current offer code is 10310 and can be claimed on the RHS Delphinium or Aquilegia collections. Visit

Blue Tit plum
Ken Muir's range of plums, damsons and gages includes dessert and culinary plum, Blue Tit (

4. Gardening Direct; 0844 994 3555
If you've caught the veg-growing bug but can't be bothered to grow from seed, Gardening Direct will deliver young plants, neatly packaged in plastic containers, ready to settle in pot or border.

Now you can grow tricky types such as cucumber, melon and chillies with ease, and take the praise. Prices are good and quality high.

5. Big Plant Nursery; 01903 891466
Choose your olive tree here, from Sicilian stripling at £19.99 to a 150-year-old gnarled beauty at £975. The company specialises in mature specimens for the impatient gardener, but there are also bargains in smaller banana trees, gingerlilies, ginkgos and Japanese maples.

6. Fibrex; 01789 720788
Captain Starlight
One of the versatile Angel pelargoniums from Fibrex, Captain Starlight (
This family-run business specialises in the three London garden staples: ferns, ivies and pelargoniums. Plants can be usefully bought as five-strong collections: ferns suited to dry or damp shade; ivies for climbing, trailing or groundcover, slow-growing and speedy; pelargoniums, species, regal, ivy-leaved, angel and dwarf.

7. Ken Muir; 01255 830181
Regular visitors to the Chelsea Flower Show will be familiar with Ken Muir's sensational display of strawberries. One of the largest mail-order suppliers of fruit trees in the UK, Ken Muir is your one-stop for espalier pears, fan-trained cherries, stepover apples and just about every berry imaginable, from blackcurrant to goji, as well as asparagus, rhubarb and kiwi.

8. Crocus; 0844 557 2233
If it's good enough for Chelsea show gardens, it's good enough for you. Favoured by top designers, Crocus is the largest gardening website in the UK, offering a wide selection of more than 4,000 plants, many of which are grown at its 30-acre nurseries. You can also buy colour-coded borders.

Aquilegia vulgaris var stellata Ruby Port
© John Horns
Aquilegia vulgaris var stellata Ruby Port is just one spring gem from the large selection of plants at Crocus (

9. Raymond Evison; 01481 245942
Guernsey grower and authority Raymond Evison has bred more than 100 new varieties of clematis that are renowned for their quality and profuse flowering. Here is where you will find the cream, including the celebrated Boulevard range, easy to prune, ideal for containers and with a long flowering period.

10. Jekka's Herb Farm; 01454 418878
Dubbed the Queen of Herbs by Jamie Oliver, and one of Rick Stein's food heroes, Jekka holds 62 RHS gold medals for her organic herb displays, so you really wouldn't want to go anywhere else. And with 600 herb varieties, mostly sold as young plants, including 27 lavenders and 21 rosemaries, you don't need to.

To view Pattie Barron's latest gardening blog, visit

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