For years, shrubs have formed the backbone of our range, though these days they are taking more of a back seat as herbaceous perennials continue to grow in popularity. Over recent years, trends suggest that larger shrubs are becoming less popular (possibly due to an older population profile) while 'groundcover' or 'low-maintenance' shrubs continue to enjoy strong demand.
There seems to be no let up in the demand for herbaceous perennials. New varieties are being constantly introduced, but the old favourites continue to be popular. Some of our suppliers produce up to 500 different lines; we have more humble ambitions with up to 200 lines, but we can tap in to the vast range that others grow.
Around 15 years ago, demand for larger shrubs really began to take off. Makeover TV programmes fuelled demand for instant gardens and now some major housebuilders only specify 10l shrubs. Specimen shrubs are now grown by most shrub nurseries and Barters will produce specimen sizes in around 100 different species, Having said that, the most popular ones always dominate, such as laurels, Photinia and other reliable evergreens.
For those wanting larger plants, we have a number of suppliers who stock and import a wide range of plants from 15l to 1000l. We tend to limit what we supply to around 100l. Plants larger than that tend to need need specialist handling equipment.
These are the most labour-intensive plants to grow as they constantly need to be trimmed and trained to keep them saleable on the nursery. We grow a range that includes popular favourites such as Lonicera and Clematis species and Hybrid varieties, together with Wisterias, Hederas and the increasingly popular Trachelospermum.
Bare root trees and hedging
This forms a major part of our business in the winter months when it's possible to plant without the need for many plants to be in containers.
We can source plants from 30cm to 5m in height. Anything bigger gets a bit tricky as they're too long for our lorry, but sometimes it's surprising how much trees will bend when they have to.
The bare-root season usually begins at the end of November and finishes around the end of March.
We source our plants from English nurseries and almost all our stock is UK-grown, Buxus being the main exception as the Dutch with their polder soil can't be beaten when it comes to Buxus of all shapes and sizes.
Larger trees are usually rootballed; most nurserymen view rootballs as a necessary evil as they're fiendishly heavy and often difficult to handle.
Barters Farm Nurseries & Plant Centre has been supplying plants for more than 60 years. The Plant Centre has been trading for almost 30 years, not only serving the public, but also acting as a cash and carry for trade clients. Our trade business specialises in supplying landscapers and garden designers as well as a number of garden centres.
We'll be happy to quote for any requirements you might have, from one plant to 1000.
Plant Centre customers
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If you are not yet a trade customer, it gives you an idea of what we grow ourselves at Barters. The Plant Centre stocks a far wider range than this from long-standing and trusted suppliers.