The best garden centres and nurseries in Kent

Brookside Garden Centre

An impressive 90% of plants sold are grown on site, which means they often have stock long after other garden centres have run out. Tool ranges include top brands Wolf-Garten and Spear & Jackson. Friendly and well-informed staff.

Don’t miss: Planning a pond? Experts are on hand to give advice on pond liners, bedding gravel, pumps and filtration systems.

Gardener’s tip: The Mulberry Tree Coffee Shop has fresh pastries and free wifi.

Seven Mile Lane, East Peckham, near Paddock Wood TN12 5JG

Folkestone Garden Centre

This family-run garden centre, which opened a year ago this month, is part of Grovewell Garden Centres with other centres at Canterbury and Tenterden. A plant finder service by knowledgeable staff is on hand to source specific plants or flower varieties for customers if it is not in stock.

Don’t miss: Grove’s Coffee Shop and Restaurant offers homemade dishes and cakes and treats.

Gardener’s tip: The centre’s five-year plant quality guarantee means any customer whose hardy plants fail to thrive are offered a replacement. Valid receipt for plant required.

Canterbury Road (A260), Swingfield, near Folkestone CT15 7HX

There are more than 3,000 in the UK to choose from
There are more than 3,000 in the UK to choose from

Longacres Bybrook Barn

A family-run centre which stocks outdoor plants, shrubs and trees, timber and fencing, stoneware and aggregates, garden tools and chemicals, gifts and cards.

Don’t miss: Need some flower power? The centre offers a specialist section for cut flowers and floristry.

Gardener’s tip: The Riverview Diner is a great place to enjoy a great cup of coffee with American customer service.

Cemetery Lane, Ashford, Kent TN24 9JZ

Maytree Nurseries

Stunning selection of plants, many grown at the nursery, with some unusual varieties on a well-ordered site backing onto Blean Woods. Friendly and knowledgeable staff always ready to help and highly competitive prices.

Don’t miss: The polytunnels full of new season bedding and border plants in peak condition.

Gardener’s tip: Take a look at their Facebook page for superb photographs of the latest stock.

Courtenay Road, Dunkirk, near Faversham ME13 9LH

Smaller, specialist garden centres usually trump the larger DIY chain on quality of advice when it comes to plants
Smaller, specialist garden centres usually trump the larger DIY chain on quality of advice when it comes to plants

Preston Garden Centre

This family-run centre just outside Wingham in east Kent specialises in growing ornamental and woodland trees, shrubs, hedging and screening plants as well as statement pieces to create impact and a lasting impression. The new display garden offers a tranquil setting in which to inspire and appreciate the plants and products on offer. Open seven days a week.

Don’t miss: The cafe or Indian antiques and artefacts on site, such as carved granite temples and water features.

Gardener’s tip: Take a stroll around the serene display garden which is practically a tourist attraction in itself.

The Street, Preston, near Wingham, Canterbury CT3 1ED

Rosemary Nurseries

Open seven days a week, carries a wide range of trees, shrubs, and cottage garden plants. There’s also a good selection of climbers, roses including David Austin Roses, flowering shrubs and seasonal bedding plants.

Don’t miss: Customers can bring their own baskets into the nursery which staff will then fill and hang, until they are then ready to be collected – charging only for the plants, compost and food and basket liner if required.

Gardener’s tip: The nursery offers free local delivery throughout Thanet.

Manston Road, near Margate CT9 4LT

The test of a good garden centre lies in the quality of its live offering
The test of a good garden centre lies in the quality of its live offering

Stones Garden Centre

Known for an extensive range of plants and climbers, the centre has everything needed to add the wow factor to your garden. The essentials are not forgotten either.

Don’t miss: The chance to go formal – the centre is a specialist provider of topiary and buxus which add structure and a sense of occasion to an outside space.

Gardener’s tip: Experts are on hand and write up their tips throughout the months so you can plan your garden over the seasons and avoid any pitfalls.

Halfway Road, Halfway, Sheerness ME12 3AA

Tenterden Garden Centre

Experienced horticulturists work closely with UK nurseries and growers and hand select the highest quality plants and shrubs. Garden furniture is hand-picked and scrutinised to achieve the highest quality for the best value. Customers are encouraged to take a seat and try before they buy.

Don’t miss: A fabulous Living World Aquatics and Pet Centre, with expert staff on hand to give tips and advice on reptiles, marine, tropical and pond livestock.

Gardener’s tip: Giveaway voucher to redeem at the till every month, affordable event days, great coffee and beautiful views across Romney Marsh and the Isle of Oxney.

Appledore Road (B2080), Reading Street, Tenterden TN30 7HT

Owners, Stephen and Serena Shirley at the Victoriana Nursery Gardens in Challock
Owners, Stephen and Serena Shirley at the Victoriana Nursery Gardens in Challock

Victoriana Nursery Gardens

Run by the Shirley family for decades, the working nursery and plant centre boasts that they have never used any pesticides and other “nasties”, and offer a wider range of plants by mail order. It is the ideal location to incorporate a forest walk in King’s Wood with ideal spots for picnics.

Don’t miss: The flower garden, where they grow flowers for cutting and trial varieties for their flower seed list, the mini orchard and there’s even a vineyard in its infancy.

Gardener’s tip: There are several popular tea rooms, pubs and restaurants nearby in the villages of Charing and Wye which the staff are always happy to advise on and provide directions to recuperate after your trip to the nursery.

Challock, near Ashford TN25 4DG

Walled Nursery, Hawkhurst

A fantastic selection of roses and bedding plants, annuals, shrubs and climbers, many grown in the centre’s 13 Victorian glasshouses. The nursery is situated in the historic Tongs estate and is a family-run business with friendly, helpful staff.

Don’t miss: On Sunday, August 27, the nursery holds a plant roadshow where you can buy plants direct from the grower

Gardener’s tip: The nursery has 13 Victorian glasshouses including a melon house, vinery, fernery and peach house.

Water Lane, Hawkhurst, near Cranbrook TN18 5DH

Hawkhurst's Walled Nursery
Hawkhurst's Walled Nursery
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