I thought it would be a good idea to give a plug a local nursery that I’ve been going to for the past couple of years, Ashdale Nursery, on the outskirts of Nottingham. I’ve grown rather fond of it. Whereas a lot of garden centres tend to import their seedlings from the continent, everything here is grown and raised on site at Ashdale. That means the plants are likely to do well once they move to your garden.
Ashdale is an independent nursery. There’s a genuinely rustic, rough-and-ready charm to the whole place. No corporate perfectly manicured structures, none of that horrid chintzy patio furniture and garish pots. It’s solely about the plants. I took a few photos so you can get a feel for how it looks. By and large, its operation is about Perennial, cottage garden plants, which is why we first went there (in all honesty, we got lost looking for another garden centre nearby). But there’s a decent selection of veg there, from artichokes to sprouts, to several varieties of tomatoes and squash. There are also plenty of unusual fruit bushes and trees, from loganberries to granny smith apples. The important thing, though, is that everything seems a little different – and it’s much more reasonably priced than a larger garden centre. They’ve taken the care to find something interesting, and put that in front of customers.
I like that the whole place properly informal and laid-back. The very friendly staff can occasionally be seen having their picnic-style lunch on a table to one side (with a cheeky chilled bottle of wine opened). There’s even a dog that spends its hours roaming the place, looking for the best spot in the sun. You wouldn’t get that at Homebase.