Must Visit Plant Nurseries in Cumbria

It might not be the first thing you think about when asked about Cumbria however, the county of Cumbria has much to offer the green-fingered amongst us.

Should you visit Cumbria and the Lake District National Park or be lucky enough to call this beautiful part of the world home, you will find wonderful gardens set in some of the finest landscapes in England. And with schemes such as The National Garden Scheme whereby you can pay to take a look around private gardens across the country, the gardening community is well and truly thriving here.

As an area recognised for its outstanding natural beauty, it’s really no surprise that gardening enthusiasts strive to create gardens that are as wildlife conscious as they are spectacular. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice, having a great garden centre nearby can make all the difference in helping your plants thrive and accessing guidance for those who are just starting out.

In the UK, garden centres are much more than just places to buy plants, they are places of possibility and inspiration where Britain’s garden lovers can get excited for the botanical year ahead. Not only are garden centres a place to pass time and cultivate creativity, but they are also the perfect easy going weekend activity, especially when partnered with a visit to a delightful nearby café in Cumbria.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at 5 fantastic plant nurseries in Cumbria which cater to your every gardening need. From herbs, shrubs, potted plants and even garden furniture, these Cumbria and Lake District garden centres are your one-stop shops for everything you need for the garden.

1. Cath’s Garden Plants, Kendal

Cath’s Garden Plants are a family run plant nursery in Cumbria located just 15 minutes from Kendal, within the haven of an old walled garden. The nursery is family-run and has been operating for the past 25 years. 

Cath’s Garden Plants grow and propagate their plants as naturally as possible, making them suited to growing well in your garden. The nursery primarily offers a wide range of herbaceous perennials, shrubs, grasses, clematis and other wall shrubs, but their stock is always changing so it’s worth visiting on a regular basis. You will find all plants are clearly labelled and laid in beds for growing conditions to help you choose the right ‘plant for the right place’. It’s practically foolproof!

Among the wide range of plants on offer, the nursery boasts an extensive range of Acers, Magnolias & Cornus varieties and they grow and specialise in an extremely wide range of perennials with many unusual varieties especially their stock of herbaceous Paeonies. They have over 30 varieties of ferns, kept in a separate shaded area. 

Cath’s Garden Plants also offer a planting design service. Their designer, Bob, who has been in horticulture for over 50 years, can visit gardens of any size, to give advice, provide a design or a planting plan. Bob can set out the plants for people to plant themselves, but also offers a planting service. 

Clients can rest assured that the design of their garden is in safe hands with Cath’s Garden Plants, who have exhibited at many flower shows around the country including the famous Chelsea Flower Show, picking up accolades including many Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Gold medals and Best In Show awards as well as an RHS Silver Gilt medal!

If you’re in the area, a visit to Cath’s Garden Plants would certainly not go amiss. And with several highly commended local eateries such as Levens Kitchen and Sizergh Castle Café just half a mile in either direction, why not make a day of it by partnering a visit to Cath’s Garden Plants with a spot of lunch or a mooch around the beautiful house and gardens of both neighbouring estates.

2. Larch Cottage Nurseries, Penrith

Established in 1985, Larch Cottage Nurseries is an independent family businesses located in the tiny hamlet of Melkinthorpe in the Eden Valley near Penrith.

The team at Larch Cottage Nurseries take pride in cultivating and propagating many of the plants for sale in their own nursery. They host an extensive range or rare and unusual shrubs, perennials and climbers with specialities including Japanese acers, roses, dwarf conifers and ornamental grasses which are all available to buy at Larch Cottage or through their mail order service.

Larch Cottage Nursery is also home to the La Casa Verde Restaurant, offering a taste of the Mediterranean using local produce, much of which is grown in the nursery’s own organic kitchen garden. With its open terrace overlooking the gardens, cosy indoor spaces and tempting seasonal menus, La Casa Verde is a year-round destination in its own right.

Visitors can stroll the nurseries at a leisurely pace, visit the gift shop and then take a refreshment break in the on-site La Casa Verde Restaurant. Dreamy, right?

3. Cochranes Nurseries, Carlisle

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, a visit to Cochranes Garden Centre in Cumbria is sure to inspire and invigorate your gardening passion. Located just 20 minutes north of Carlisle by car, Cochranes Nurseries is a small family run plant nursery and supplier of professionally prepared fresh flowers for special occasions.

The nursery stocks shrubs, perennials and bedding plants throughout the year when they are in season. From vibrant blooms to lush greenery, Cochranes Garden Centre has everything you need to bring life and colour to your outdoor space and the friendly staff are always on hand to offer their expert advice and guidance to help you choose the perfect plants for your garden.

To make a day out of your visit, consider starting with a leisurely stroll through the nursery then pay a visit to the on-site shop. Here, visitors can find a wide selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, locally sourced where possible, and home-grown tomatoes and strawberries when in season. You will also find a delightful range of fresh flowers available for yourself or as a gift.

4. Halecat Nursery, Witherslack

Owned and operated by Abi & Tom’s Garden Plants, Halecat Nursery is a local plant nursery in the small South Lakeland village of Witherslack near Grange-Over-Sands. Halecat Nursery grow and propagate all their cottage plants on-site, ensuring that they can thrive in the South Lakes climate (especially during the colder winter months).

The nursery primarily offers herbaceous perennials, perfect for gardeners who want to plant hardy flowers that will last, though they do introduce new plants to their range every season so there is always something new and exciting to discover here.

In 2020, Abi & Tom’s Garden Plants bought the Grange Plant Centre in the nearby town of Grange-Over-Sands where alongside the site at Halecat they stock a diverse range of hardy plants as well as a selection of ornamental trees, fruit trees, shrubs, roses and seasonal bedding plants.

If that wasn’t enough to excite the green fingered amongst us, the shop also offers a good range of seeds, garden sundries, house plants, plant pots and garden gifts. Whichever site you choose to visit you are in for a treat and the staff will be overjoyed to share their love of gardening with you!

5. Beetham Nurseries, Milnthorpe

Established in 1984, Beetham Nurseries is a wonderful destination for keen gardeners. Located just south of Milnthorpe in south Cumbria on the A6 and just 10 minutes from the M6, Beetham Nurseries is a lovely place to visit, whether to shop for plants and gardening supplies, to walk the display gardens, attend a gardening workshop or simply have a cup of tea in their garden centre café.

On offer in the outdoor plant area and growing nursery are a huge range of plants, including rare and exotics in the glasshouse and within the growing nursery itself. What’s more, the on-site shop is the perfect place to find gifts, homeware and garden furniture from unique local, national and international brands as well as a wide range of houseplants.

To make the most out of your visit to this fantastic garden centre in Cumbria, we recommend browsing all that is on offer in the nursery and shop before heading to the on-site café for a relaxing bite to eat amongst the serene ambiance of the nursery. A trip to Beetham Nurseries is not just about shopping; it’s the perfect place to spend the afternoon or catch up with friends.

When planning a day out in Cumbria, visiting one of these garden centres is a must. From exploring the vibrant displays to enjoying a relaxing break in a nearby café, garden centres in Cumbria offer a delightful blend of beauty and tranquillity. Whether you’re just starting out with gardening or are more experienced, a day spent at these garden centres in Cumbria promises to inspire and rejuvenate your love for gardening and the outdoors.

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