Shire Plants Blog

Looking to cut down on sugar?

Looking to cut down on sugar?

9th Sep 2019

This is Stevia rebaudiana, otherwise known as The Sugar Plant or Candy Leaf. It is said that the leaf has 300 times the sweetness of sugar and it is now used in the food industry in some areas of … read more
An Unusual Monkey Flower

An Unusual Monkey Flower

3rd Sep 2019

This unusual monkey flower, Mimulus naianadanus, is not often offered in the UK which is a shame as it's most striking. Large white, cream and purple flowers, with purple spotted tongues adorn the pla … read more

Dianthus 'Messines Pink'

28th Aug 2019

This is Dianthus 'Messines Pink', one of the Mule Pinks, dating from before 1933. There is a story told of this 'pink' which is that a soldier, wounded in the Messines Ridge area, was found holding a … read more
A workhouse 'pink'

A workhouse 'pink'

10th Aug 2019

Danthus 'Brympton Red' is a beautiful pink and one that we can trace back to its humble origins, growing in a workhouse garden. It was spotted in the Beaminster workhouse garden by Lady Lilian Digby o … read more
500 plants and counting

500 plants and counting

19th Jul 2019

We've just listed our 500'th plant on the website. Our range continues to expand and we are grateful to our wonderful friends and customers who continue to gift us heritage and hard-to-find varieties … read more
Dianthus 'Hope'

Dianthus 'Hope'

16th Jul 2019

This is Dianthus 'Hope' - an Old Fashioned Pink dating from 1946 and its name probably reflected the feelings of hope following the end of the war. Now very rare, like a lot of the old pinks, but … read more
Woad

Woad

3rd Jul 2019

These Woad (Isatis tinctoria) seeds have been collected today. The leaves of the woad plant were used to produce a blue dye that the ancient Britons used as body paint when going into battle … read more
Royal Horticultural Society Plant Order

Royal Horticultural Society Plant Order

20th Jun 2019

We were honoured to fulfil an order for the Royal Horticultural Society's Hyde Hall Garden this week.Among the plants heading to RHS Garden Hyde Hall is Berkheya purpurea 'Zulu Warrior' (pictured), a … read more
Employee of the Month

Employee of the Month

6th Jun 2019

Meet our employee of the month! Freddy Frog is one of many frogs who help keep the slugs at bay. This is just one reason why we don't use nasty chemicals :-)
Article on Old Fashioned Pinks

Article on Old Fashioned Pinks

26th May 2019

We were pleased to be asked to write an article on Heritage Pinks for the Rare Plant Fair website and newsletter this month. Available to read now! Read more... … read more
Sowing Mistletoe

Sowing Mistletoe

18th May 2019

So excited that after several years of 'sowing' mistletoe berries on our apple trees, I finally have one that has taken (shown in the photo).Mistletoe is semi-parasitic, meaning that it can produce it … read more
Heritage Pinks (Dianthus)

Heritage Pinks (Dianthus)

9th May 2019

The wonderful variety of heritage pinks (Dianthus). They make long-lasting cut flowers and the scent is heavenly. These are cut from our stock plants and are currently brightening up the office.View o … read more
Black and White Violas

Black and White Violas

8th May 2019

I love the contrast of the jet black Viola 'Molly Sanderson' next to the pearly white Viola 'White Pearl'. Just two of the twenty or so Victorian violas we currently sell. So much better than the mode … read more
Helianthemum 'The Bride'

Helianthemum 'The Bride'

29th Apr 2019

This Helenthemum is looking stunning in our alpine sink at the moment. Such an easy and rewarding plant.Full plant details … read more
​Kitaibelia vitifolia (Russian hibiscus)

​Kitaibelia vitifolia (Russian hibiscus)

25th Apr 2019

This wonderful plant is not often offered in the UK. It can be difficult to find a tall, flowering perennial that grows in shade and has impressive flowers but this does just that.Related to hollyhock … read more
Night-Scented Phlox

Night-Scented Phlox

24th Apr 2019

This Night-Scented Phlox is looking stunning at the moment. They are fantastic patio plants, either in the border or in a container, because the flowers release a beautiful fragrance in the evening, t … read more
​The power of a GQT recommendation

​The power of a GQT recommendation

9th Apr 2019

On Friday last week, BBC Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time's panel recommended one of the plants we sell; namely, Trachystemon orientalis. We agree that it's a brilliant plant for those dense shade a … read more
Independent Nurseries

Independent Nurseries

8th Apr 2019

For more than 30 years, Royal Horticultural Society's Plant Finder has been a record of the hundreds of thousands of plants available in cultivation in the UK and, importantly, the nurseries that stoc … read more
​Primula 'Quaker's Bonnet'

​Primula 'Quaker's Bonnet'

2nd Apr 2019

Primula 'Quaker's Bonnet' - a very old English Primula which was nearly lost to cultivation but has recently been rescued and we're happy to include it in our offering. Beautiful and a strong grower, … read more
Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks

24th Mar 2019

Hollyhocks have adorned country gardens for centuries and no traditional cottage garden would be complete without them. These days they also have a useful role to play in adding vertical interest to c … read more
Saving Heritage Plants

Saving Heritage Plants

24th Mar 2019

One of our passions is to preserve wonderful plants which, for various reasons, have slipped into obscurity and are no longer commercially available. In many cases, these plants have stood the test of … read more
Mail Order Plants

Mail Order Plants

18th Mar 2019

Some of the plants for the current batch of orders waiting to be packaged up to go to their new homes and sporting our smart new labels.
Spring on the way

Spring on the way

2nd Mar 2019

Some photos of early signs of spring from around the site. The frog was sunning himself underneath a polytunnel door. No frogspawn evident in the pond yet, although the frogs are very verbal so presum … read more