EXTERIORS

20 OF THE ABSOLUTE BEST PLACES TO BUY PLANTS

These are the nurseries that top landscapers and designers keep coming back to (plus the plants to buy now).

November 29, 2017

ALPINE NURSERIES

Over a hectare of every plant – the place to come for large quantities – drive off with 200 buxus if the spirit moves you. A good range of large trees, both evergreen and deciduous, everything from conifers to palm trees – the choice is dazzling. It’s a wholesaler, with knowledgeable and helpful staff. The retailer’s fave. (02) 96510900 www.alpinenurseries.com.au

Australian Native Landscapes

Sydney’s largest landscape-product suppliers, also a big recycler of composted materials (this is where a lot of clean-up week prunings go). A huge supplier of pebbles, stones, sand soils and boulders, (real and artificial) as well as plants, great and small. Expert horticultural advice on hand too. Branches across Sydney. www.anlscape.com.au

Bunnings

If your back garden outlook is an urban mishmash and you crave nature’s finest, the huge outlet at Mascot offers a fully fledged garden centre that is a good source of plants, (topiary to lavender), plus pebbles, mulch and much more. Most big Bunnings outlets are good: just set your taste meter to ‘high’ because the chains cater for everybody. Bunnings garden centres are at Mascot, Bankstown, Penrith, www.bunnings.com.au

Frogmore Gardens

One of the best for perennials, seeds and bulbs for real gardeners. Vast choice of daffodils, tulips, dahlias, crysantheums, gladioli, lilac, lily of the valley, peonies, hydrangeas, cleamatis, as well as all kinds of shrubs and vines. Click on to it’s easy-to-navigate website that is indexed by colour and season. You won’t go wrong here.  1560 Trentham-Greendale Rd, Lerderderg Victoria, (03) 5424 1777, www.frogmoregardens.com.au

Garden Life

One of the Sydney’s chicest plant nurseries has an impressive list of clients, from John Laws to film director Baz Luhrmann and top designer Iain Halliday. Terraces and courtyard are the mainstay of the company, according to owner Richard Unsworth, who concentrates on an excellent array of hardy, low-maintenance plants, including advance succuelants (agaves are a house specialty), bamboo, jade, advanced tress from citrus to olive and bay. Plus the best fiddle leaf figs and cloud trees in town. 158 Princes Hwy, St Peters, (02) 9517 3633, www.gardenlife.com.au

Gubbins Home Timber and Hardware

A one-stop hardware in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales for all garden materials: from plants of all kinds such as buxus, to topsoil, mulch, pebbles, gravel, pots, pavers, garden edges, retaining walls, stone cladding, even great  garden furniture that resembles the designer stuff. 54 Berrima Rd, Moss Vale, (02) 4869 7555, www.homehardware.com.au

Hancock’s Daffodils

A-list landscapers go nuts over this place in Victoria. They all come for the best varieties of bulbs from the daffodil family, (or do we say narcissus?); along with a few fragrant antique flowers we can never resist. 2 Jacksons Hill Rd, Menzies Creek, (03) 97543328, www.daffodilsbulbs.com.au

Honeysuckle Garden

Hardly a secret, but an essential stop for those short on time and green fingers. Grab a white hydrangea, cyclamen or phalaenopsis orchid (the Hermes scarf of interiors). It has a strong line of its own grown topiary at very competitive prices, or browse the Zanzibar gems, gardenias, agaves, camellias, lavender and flapjacks. There are also planters, in everything from cement to terrazzo, matt black, glossy white and celadon. Half its pots are usually discounted. Knowledgeable and helpful staff. 93 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction, (02) 9387 87 86. www.honeysucklegarden.com.au/bondi-junction/

Mesara Tree Farm

Tree heaven, the place to come if you want quality exotic or semi-advanced trees including maples, plane trees, alders, ornamental cherries, chinese elms, dogwoods, claret ash, crabapples, hornbeams, magnolias, manchurian pears and oaks. Take your pick. George Emery Lane, Glenquarry,  Australia, (02) 4887 1284

Moidart Nursery

The Southern Highland’s nursery, that opened back in 1970, to propagate rare tree and plant specimens to make them available to other nurseries, landscapers and garden lovers. 19-21 Eridge Park Rd, Burradoo NSW 2576, (02) 4861 2600, www.moidart.com.au

Parkers Nursery

An upmarket nursery servicing well-heeled Sydney with quality camellias, perennials (hellebores and hardy geraniums are a specialty), topiary, magnolias and unusual species for collectors). Great gift department too, tools section and furniture, and trained staff are on hand to give horticultural advice. 45-47 Tennyson Avenue, Turramurra, (02) 9487 388, www.honeysucklegarden.com.au/turramurra/

Perennial Hill

Love the English country house and cottage garden look? Here’s where to head for unusual perennials, perfect shrubs and small trees to add height, structure, and visual interest to garden beds. And create parterres, a rose-covered pergolas, espalier fruit trees, and climbers. 1 Nero St, Mittagong NSW 2575, 0409 244 200, www.perennialhill.com.au

Lambley Gardens & Nursery

The gardener’s fave source for lamb’s ear, which was once part of the Byzantine empire – that undeniably strong-growing perennial ground cover that stays low and dense, is easy to care for, and collaborates with a wide variety of different garden styles and colour palettes. Great for softening walkways, filling gaps, and adding a casual formality to gardens. 395 Lesters Road,  Ascot, Victoria,  (03) 5343 4303, lambley.com.au

ROUNDABOUT THE HOUSE

Alright, it doesn’t sell plants but you will find everything in timber for the great outdoors. Huge half-barrel planters, terracotta pots, as well as a good choice of gates, pre-made picket timber fencing (mostly in panels or rolls that can be mounted to posts or pre-existing fence structures), awnings, even cubbyhouses. At fantastic prices. 96-98 Bowral Road, Mittagong, (02) 4872 2866

Swane’s Nursery

The old family business, established in 1919,  is one of the biggest nurseries in the country, with wholesale and retail areas. Famous for its roses, good glasshouse and own tearoom. Ask about its discount system. 490 Galston Road, Dural, (02) 9851 1322, 237 Marsden Road, Carlingford, (02)9871 1699; 78-82 Port Hacking Road, Sylvania, (02) 9522 7086, www.swanes.com.au

Tesselaar Plants and Bulbs

Many of our favorite flowering plants grow from bulbs, rather than from seeds – and this is where serious gardeners get them. Everything from tulips and daffodils, peonies and dahlias, and gladioli (corms). Melbourne (03) 92136200, Brisbane (07) 33918400, Perth (08) 63896222, www.tesselaarflowers.com.au

The Diggers Club

Choose the right vegetables for your kitchen-cum-herb garden (and climate) at its online site. Learn how to opt for a combo of ornamentals and edibles. Sow heavy croppers like tomatoes, zucchini and beans that all produce abundantly. Strong on the unusual. Plus, learn how to layer with its excellent tips and tricks. Plus get all the tools you need to get you going. This is a must for your little black book. (03) 5984 7900, www.diggers.com

THE POTTING SHED BOWRAL

Garden guru Maureen Gardener always has a good stock of on-trend plants, (succulents, topiary,  rosemary, herbs, foxglove, standard cumquats),  plus lovely old pots, English-style benches, obelisks, willow ware, fire pits, arches, and much more. The Potting Shed Garden Centre, c/- Dirty Janes Antiques, 391 Bong Bong Street, Bowral, NSW 2576, 0419 154 860, www.thepottingshedbowral.com

The Tree Keeper’s

Get mature specimen trees and hedging all year round. Gigantic. Rare. Graceful. Noteworthy for their size, species or beautiful branching. Go for a large tree that can bring instant gratification and make a garden feel as if it has always been there. Oxley Hill Road, Bowral NSW 2576, 0407 611 349, www.treekeepers.com.au/who/

Welby Garden Centre

Come to the gem of a nursery, where you can get you can get a lifetime’s supply of trees, and garden supplies, in one hit. With wholesale and retail arms, it is renowned for its quality shrubs, roses, fruit trees, (citrus, apple, peach, plum)  perennials, pines, and great hedging plants.  Also seedlings, potting mix, fertilisers, sprays, soils, mulches, and good general lines  – the whole bit. If you’ve got acreage, look no further. And trained staff are on hand to give great horticultural advice. The focus is on cold weather plants. Old Hume Hwy, Welby NSW 2575, Australia, (02) 48721244, www.welbygardencentre.com.au

WINTER HILL

If you don’t want to wait years for trees grow, and fancy big, beautiful trees, some of which are pruned into interesting shapes, come here. The 70-acre Canyonleigh farm has more than 300 semi-mature and advanced specimen trees and distinctive standards in endless shapes. (Hello cypress, beech, oak, plane, juniper, bay, laurel, maple as well as tulip and pear trees). Ideal for shade, hedges and driveways. The landscaper’s choice.  An excellent annual sale, too. 2233 Canyonleigh Rd, Canyonleigh (02) 4878 9193, www.winterhill.com.au

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