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agree with all. Like Lyn I love growing things from seed and cuttings. I currently have some echium pininana (2 varieties) plants that I have grown this year from bought seed. I don't expect them to flower till the summer after next, and then they will die, so you might ask "why bother"? Having grown them before, I think they are just such spectacular plants that it's worth the time and effort, and I certainly wouldn't buy them as plants knowing their fate.

However, although I have grown lots of perennials from seed as well I believe that Hellebores, and some other long lived perennials, are worth some investment. While I'm happy to wait for some plants to mature, I really want to see some things flowering as soon as possible. I've probably bought 5 or 6 hellebores over the years, and now have their offspring dotted around the garden. I only have a small garden to fill, a teeny weeny mini-greenhouse and a limited number of sunny windowsills, so that works for me -  if I had much more ground to fill then small plants or growing my own from seed would be the only affordable options.

I think most of us like to spend as little as possible but have nice plants and gardens, and we use a variety of methods to get what we want. Learning about the different things people do is what I find so interesting on this forum!

(oh and I'm not above "acquiring" seed from nice hellebores spotted in public parks!)

Just got my copy of gardeners world through the door and there is an offer near the front for 5 plants for £11.99 if thats any help. not as cheap as sewing your own but much better than £6 a pop. im sure they will be little plugs though.

My garden is looking so sad I feel like it really needs a treat. Or is that an excuse to treat myself. It's all looking so bare and faded perennials. too much space and soggy soil!!


Every gap between perennials, I have pushed a few bulbs in. Spread a few self seeded forget me nots around. Hibernate and wait until spring.

I don't hibernate well. I'm waiting for some daylight to set the 70 ish pansies that I propagated in summer. I just always feel bad when I need the space back to plant dahlias! 

im just thinking I need more evergreen as I have tiny euonemous and a skimmia japonica and 2 hellebores in the back garden, just not enough!



Went in two Garden Centres today (need the toilet). Bought..........a Cheese topped loaf.

Plants? a Few but the prices have gone up AGAIN!

Bulbs? Half price, but still to much for me to pay.

We should all get together and boycott these places until they have to bring prices down to actually sell something.

I think it depends on the gc, I have a lovely family run one locally, not much choice but ok ish prices and I'm supporting a local family not a big boy

I like to support garden centres and specialist growers online. Like everyone else, I like a bargain, but if it were all about price, then certain supermarkets will end up ruling the world and we'll buy plants, insurance, clothes, computers....etc from them. And soon we will have to, because there won't be any choice. That said, I expect the plants to be healthy and perhaps that little bit special if I buy them from GCs. I treat myself every now and again. And really, a nice well-grown perennial or shrub, that will be in my garden for years, will probably only cost the same as three or four lattes from the nearest coffee shop. Value?!

Agree GG. I don't drink so what I would spend on alcohol when out now goes to my garden and I'm a pint of black current cordial!!! all my money has gone in equip etc and a few selected items. I try to propagate or take cuttings but sometimes you need something different/new. 2 years in now. Can't wait till next season...


There are a couple of good plant stalls in my town which does full sized plants at a very good rate. As I don't drive they get a lot of my business. Am happy to keep them going  Their plants haven't let me down yet, and are much better priced than a lot of GCs.

Buy good perennials now.  Often in GC they are on offer to make space for Xmas products.  On line buy them as smallish.....1 litre....plants to grow on next spring.  Many perennials can be divided now and potted up to make good size plants next Summer. After Xmas my GC will be selling perennials in 9 cm pots...lupins, delphiniums, etc etc ......that I immediately pot on to produce full size flowering plants for summer.  They cost about £1 30 per plant.  I  divided many of my own already.  I have scores of plants growing away that cost me nothing, however, there is nothing  wrong in buying something new for your garden, or something special.  As already said plants can be  very good value.  I too am a non smoker and drink very little.  plants can be purchased economically if you look around


Sadly Red I think we are too far apart - I am an Essex bird, innit 

i am Lincolnshire boarder with notts so yes a tad too far!!!


i have perennials that I took from cuttings that I pray overwinter in my mums unheated GH but I planted so many I hope to sell a few to passers by. Make some pennies. Or even friends and family for peanuts. Pray they overwinter pls. Txx


I buy most of my plants from Plant Hunters Fairs. Small nurseries (not GC selling everything but plants) Good prices, less common plants.

Sorry but £16.99 for a perennial which I bought at the same size for £3.50 is not my idea of good household economics.




Plant fairs, open gardens and packets of seeds supplied me with most of my garden. Patience was required. Some of the shrubs took a year or ten to make much impact from seed. Very satisfying. 

I oooh just seen that we can get a further 10% off GW offer prices. That would take the hellebore offer to just under £10 for 5 orientalis ...... Are we thinking project accepting it will take time or a no go!!

I would rather have one to flower soon Red.  And choose the colour you want 

I know but part of my heart really wants 5 bargains!!! 


A garden that has matured from young plantings is more to my taste than the instant. Instant is there, like it or not. Waiting for maturity is exciting.