With the UK lockdown keeping people indoors and supermarket shelves understocked, now could be the perfect opportunity to try your hand at a spot of gardening.
Whether you have access to a garden, balcony or just a windowsill, there are plenty of herbs and plants you can grow at home.
Of course due to the lockdown rules, many gardening centres and shops have been forced to close to walk-in customers, so getting the seeds and equipment you need could prove tricky.
Here’s our guide on finding the plants and supplies you need.
Where can I buy plants?
With the lockdown affecting loads of businesses across the UK, certain “non-essential” businesses have been instructed to close their doors by the government.
Garden centres and plant nurseries are included in this list of “non-essential” business, meaning that they won’t be open until the lockdown has been lifted.
However, there are plenty of websites where you can buy plants online, whether you’re looking to grow herbs, vegetables, fruits, plants or even trees.
Binny Plants is a great online store for all your plant needs, as well as boasting the largest list of peonies available in Britain. Also available from Binny Plants are perennials, roses, ferns and even trees and shrubs.
The website says: “During the national crisis we are still shipping out plants by courier. Please order online as normal. Any other enquiries please email [email protected] or 01506 858 931.”
There is no minimum order when buying your plants and shipping is flat rate, depending on where you’re located:
- UK mainland: £10 flat rate shipping- Scottish Highlands: £15 flat rate shipping- Scottish Islands: £12.50 flat rate shipping
Crocus boasts a 4.5 star rating on Trustpilot and a five year guarantee on their plants.
The five year plant guarantee does not apply to house plants, bulbs, vegetables and seeds, or any other plants that are known to be short lived.
You can also buy pots on Crocus as well, from indoor pots to hanging baskets, terracotta to plastic or wooden.
In terms of shipping, you’re looking at £5.99 for the majority of orders as a flat rate, £3.99 for bulb only orders and £2.00 for seed only orders.
If you’d rather splash out for next day delivery, that’ll cost £8.99, and you’ll need to place your order before 1pm the working day before.
Fibrex Nurseries are actually the home of the National Collection of Pelargoniums and the National Collection of Hedera, so you know that they know their stuff.
They have a huge fern variety to choose from, as well as other plants to browse as well.
They have tiered shipping, which means the more you order, the more the shipping will cost.
So between one and five purchases, the shipping will cost £4.96, between six and 35 purchases it will cost £8.75 and so on.
Seed orders cost less, with up to 30 purchases only costing £1.50 for shipping.
Where can I buy seeds and herbs?
If you’re more interested in seeds and herbs than plants and flowers, then there’s lots of ways to get started.
Many supermarkets sell plant seeds for herbs like basil and coriander, but if you’re looking for something a bit different then you’ll need to go online.
Jekka’s is home to over 140 different herb seeds that are available to buy online.
If you’re not sure where to start in terms of herbs, then you should look into buying one of Jekka’s herb kits, of which there are a few to choose from: one for herbs, one for vegetables, one for seed sowing and more.
Their UK shipping rates can vary depending on the items you’ve bought and whether you want it standard or signed for - there’s also a £10 minimum order.
The website states: “Due to unprecedented demand and a number of our team being in isolation there might be a delay to your order. We thank you for your support and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”
Nicky’s Nursery is a small, family owned business and boasts a huge amount of seeds to choose from - if you’re looking to grow tomatoes, fruits, herbs or anything else, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for on their website.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, they have had to implement a daily order capacity - each day they will only allow so many orders to be made until they are suspended for that day, reopening the capacity for the following day.
In the UK, you can enjoy free shipping for orders over £30, and for orders under this threshold, you’ll receive shipping via first class Royal Mail delivery for £1.98 per order.
Marshalls Garden has a huge selection of herbs, fruits, vegetables and more to choose from to get you started on your gardening journey.
Due to the higher order volumes they’re experiencing as a result of the coronavirus, there is a slight delay on orders going out.
For those who are looking to order flower, vegetable and fruit plants, you should allow up to two weeks for them to arrive.
If you’re looking at buying potato, onion, shallot and garlic, you should allow up to three weeks for them to arrive, and finally for any seed and gardening equipment orders, these can also take up to three weeks to arrive.
For shipping, it will cost £4.99 to the UK mainland (some extra large and heavy items might cost £7.99 for shipping) and for outside of the UK mainland, like Northern Ireland, Highlands and Islands, shipping is also £4.99 plus £5.90 for trees and other bulky items.
Where can I buy gardening supplies?
You’ll need good equipment to grow the best seeds and take care of your plants.
There are lots of sites that you can buy equipment from, whether you need something for the garden, or the tools to grow plants inside.
If you’re looking for equipment online, you should check out:
- Dobies, which has a huge selection of equipment, as well as plants and seeds as well to choose from- Homebase, which also has some gardening advice on it’s website, including tips for beginner gardeners and how to properly care for your plants- Argos, which offers up tool sets, plant food and compost as well as some handy tips and trick as well to keep your plants looking healthy