The response to the Peat Free Nurseries List has been incredible. It’s fantastic to see such interest in sourcing peat-free plants. Thousands of people have accessed the list which now includes nearly 70 nurseries across the UK, from Edinburgh to Cornwall, from West Wales to Norfolk. Thank you so much to everyone who has sent me information and used the list.
This is an updated version with more peat-free nurseries and a section on those which are peat-free on-site and working hard to source peat-free plants from other suppliers. If you know other nurseries that fit into either of these categories, please do drop me a line.
This list contains information about the ways these nurseries normally sell their plants. I have not given details about current COVID-19 arrangements, but these are generally available on individual nursery websites.
Agroforestry Research Trust – non-profit making charity researching and educating about agroforestry, focusing on tree, shrub and perennial crops, based in Devon. Online orders cover a wide selection of forest garden plants including more unusual species. The nursery is carbon-negative and sends out plants in biodegradable packaging.
Allwoods – specialist growers of pinks, carnations, pelargoniums, fuchsias and succulents. Plants available online and from the nursery in West Sussex by prior arrangement.
Arvensis Perennials – trade nursery specialising in herbaceous perennials, grasses and ferns online and from the nursery in Wiltshire.
Ashridge Nurseries – online nursery based in Somerset, delivering to customers across mainland England, Scotland and Wales and also to the Isle of Wight.
Barnsdale Gardens – Chelsea Gold Medal Award-winning nursery attached to Barnsdale Gardens. Online and nursery in Rutland.
Backyard Larder – Alison is a guru on growing perennial vegetables and other food plants. She writes a fascinating blog about perennial food plants and sells her perennial veg online in as near to 100% recycled or fully biodegradable materials as possible.
Beekind Plants – top quality pollinator-friendly plants, packaged in 100% biodegradable plant pots. Plants available online and at farmers’ markets across Suffolk.
Bernhard’s Nurseries – family-owned trade nursery supplying the finest quality plants to local authorities, landscape contractors, landscape architects, garden designers and general trade. Based in Rugby, Warwickshire.
Beth Chatto’s Plants & Gardens – propagated from plants grown in the gardens, the Beth Chatto nursery offers a wide range of herbaceous perennials, ferns, grasses and alpine plants with excellent advice on choosing the ‘right plant for the right place’. Available online and from the nursery near Elmstead Market, Essex.
Binny Plants – specialist peony nursery near Edinburgh; also grows a large selection of herbaceous perennials, trees and shrubs. Plants available online and from the nursery.
Blooming Wild Nursery – family-run nursery in Somerset selling herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses. Plants available from the nursery.
Bluebell Cottage and Gardens Nursery – nursery in Cheshire specialising in flowering perennials, run by former BBC Gardener of the Year, Sue Beesley. Plastic-free mail order service and option to de-pot at counter. No neonicotinoid pesticides used.
The Botanic Nursery – family-run nursery in Wiltshire selling online and on-site, focusing on salvia, foxgloves, hollyhocks, peonies and seeds.
Botanica – British grown plants – a wide range including trees, shrubs, climbers, herbaceous perennials and grasses. Plants available online or from the nursery in Suffolk.
A Buzz and A Flutter – family-run plant nursery selling wildlife-friendly perennials online.
British Wildflower Plants – the largest grower of native plants in the UK. Plants grown from seed from known provenance at the nursery in Norfolk and available online.
CB Plants – traditional nursery in South Somerset selling unusual hardy perennials and herbs, cottage garden favourites and native wild flowers. Plants available at local plant fairs and mail order via the RHS plant finder.
The Coastal Gardener – specialist plant nursery (maritime plants) and garden design practice on the Isle of Wight. Plants available from the nursery.
The Cottage Herbery – quality herbs, aromatic and scented foliage plants, hardy perennials and more unusual edibles grown on the nursery in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire. Plants available at farmers’ markets and plant fairs around the country (see website for details) and visits to the nursery on request or open weekends.
Crûg Farm – outstanding selection of plants at available online and from the nursery in North Wales, run by plant hunters and horticulturists Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones.
Cumbria Wild Flowers – UK native wildflower plug plants available online only. 100% reusable or compostable packaging.
Devonshire Lavenders and Herbs – retail and wholesale nursery based in Devon. Wholesale plants can be ordered and the nursery also supplies retailers across the England and Wales.
Edibleculture – proud of being an old-school nursery, Edibleculture sells a wide range of fruit, vegetables, herbs, native perennials and native hedging plants from its base in Faversham, Kent. They also sell peat free compost in a bag-for-life form.
The Edible Garden Nursery – one of the leading culinary herb and edible plant nurseries in the UK, based near Okehampton, Devon. Plants are grown cold and without chemicals. Buy online or from the nursery (open weekdays, but check if coming a distance.)
Fawside Farm Nursery – small friendly nursery founded on the principle of growing environmentally-responsible, pollinator-friendly plants that are able to survive the harsh climate of the Peak District.
Flora Alive – this carnivorous plant nursery has been growing in peat-free compost since 1990. They sell Thrive, their own peat-free growing medium for carnivorous plants, and have an online plant catalogue. All plants are grown free of artificial pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers.
Gwynfor Growers – fruit tree nursery, including heritage Welsh fruit trees. Based in Llandysul, Mid-Wales. Trees available from the nursery and for local delivery.
Hairy Pot Plant Company – Family-run nursery near Winchester, Hampshire growing a range of eco-friendly, sustainable and ethically produced cottage garden plants and herbs in hairy coir pots. Plants available from stockists across the UK and wholesale deliveries in the South of England.
Hawkwell Herbs – This Northamptonshire based herb business provides herb collections, growing in pots of peat-free compost, for use in cooking and runs cookery courses with herbs. Herbs available at local markets in Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Cambridgeshire.
Hardys Cottage Garden Plants – wide range of herbaceous perennials from one of the UK’s leading nurseries. Online and nursery in Hampshire.
Hippopottering Japanese Maple Nursery – Japanese maples available online and from the Chelsea Gold Medal winning nursery in Haxey, North Lincolnshire.
Hoo House Nursery – a retail and wholesale nursery that has been growing perennials and alpines peat free for 16 years. Plants available from the nursery in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.
Howle Hill Nursery – wide range of plants and specimen trees for private and show gardens. Open to both professional and amateur gardeners. Call or email the nursery in Herefordshire to arrange a visit.
Jekka’s Herb Farm – family-run herb farm on the outskirts of Bristol, with the UK’s largest collection of culinary herbs. Plants available online and from the farm on Open Days – see website for details.
Jemima’s Garden – plants grown free from peat, pesticides and plastic. Available online and from local plant fairs and farmers’ markets in the summer in Norfolk.
Kitchen Garden Plant Centre – locally grown herbs available online and from food fairs, markets and by appointment from the nursery in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.
Little Green – house plant purveyor with a green heart. Plants available at the Tobacco Factory Market, Bristol, and other events/markets around the South West. Little Green also has an online shop and will deliver anywhere in Bristol.
Little Green Plant Factory – organic plants propagated on-site at the nursery in Yorkshire. Plants available online.
Little Omenden Farm and Nursery – small environmentally-conscious farm and nursery based in Kent. Plants available at plant fairs across the South of England.
Long Acre Plants – shade plant specialists based in Somerset. Order online or collect pre-ordered plants from the nursery.
Lovegroves – a traditional plant nursery with trees, shrubs, ferns, climbers and a few of their favourite perennials. Based in Gloucestershire and selling online.
Lowaters Nursery – the wide range of plants grown at this peat-free nursery in Hampshire can be ordered online or bought at the nursery.
Malcolm Allison Plants – unusual hardy and half-hardy perennials, all grown on the nursery in Gloucestershire. Plants available from Stroud Farmer’s Market, at plant fairs and at horticultural events across Gloucestershire and beyond (March – Oct), and online (Oct-March).
National Trust – all plants sold at National Trust properties are grown in peat-free compost and all their gardens are peat-free too.
Natural Surroundings – wildlife gardens and nursery near Holt, North Norfolk. Wildlife-friendly cottage garden favourites and native wildflowers, trees, shrubs, bulbs and seed, all available from the nursery.
Northern Ark Nursery – specialising in an unusual range of hardy perennials, shrubs and herbs. Plants available online and at the nursery near Morpeth, Northumberland.
Old Market Plants – interior plant specialists based in Old Market, Bristol. Plants available to buy on site.
Organic Plants – organic, peat-free growers offering mail order vegetable plants and plugs in recyclable or compostable packaging.
Paddock Plants – family-run nursery near Southampton, Hampshire selling perennials, grasses, ferns, shrubs and house plants. Buy online or at the nursery.
Peat Free Plants – Caves Folly Nurseries sell herbaceous perennials, alpines and bulbs online and from their nursery in Herefordshire. They also sell to trade customers and for shows.
Penlan Perennials – nursery in West Wales specialising in hardy geraniums, ferns, woodland, shade and moisture-loving plants. Buy online or at the nursery.
Pennard Plants – edible plants, heritage and heirloom seeds, fruit and herbs. Online and nursery in Somerset.
Pineview Plants – nursery based in Kent offering mostly herbaceous perennials, especially shade-loving plants, ferns and a wide range of epimediums. Colin and Cindy attend a large number of plant fairs around the South East of England and orders can be brought to the fairs, or an appointment made at the nursery.
The Plantsman’s Preference – selling an extensive range of hardy geraniums, ornamental grasses and unusual perennials (especially those suitable for shade). Based in Norfolk, with plants available online and at the nursery.
Polemonium Plantery – organic nursery in County Durham selling polemoniums, a wide range of unusual and edible herbs, edible flowers and plants for pollinators. Available by mail order or from the nursery.
Potash Nursery – Suffolk-based fuchsia nursery, also sells a wide range of pelargoniums. Plants available online, from flower shows and can be collected by arrangement from the nursery.
Prenplants Sussex Ltd – wholesale herbaceous nursery based between Horsham and Billingshurst, Sussex. Selling plants in recycled and recyclable (where councils permit) taupe pots to garden centres, landscapers and garden designers in the South East of England.
Rose Cottage Herbs – wide range of herbs available online and from the nursery based near Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
The Rosemary Specialist – rosemary nursery, holder of Rosemary National Plant Collection based in Ceredigion, Wales. Buy online.
Rosewarne Nursery – commercial enterprise supplying the nursery trade throughout Cornwall and Devon. Broad variety of plants including Southern Hemisphere plants, coastal plants and good range of hardy shrubs, grasses and herbaceous varieties. See website for contact and visiting details.
Rosybee Plants for Bees – pesticide-free and peat-free plants grown near Wantage in South Oxfordshire. Plants available online, with gardening club and bee keeping visits to the nursery by arrangement.
Special Plants Nursery – nursery near Bath selling a range of unusual plants from across the world including hardy and herbaceous rockery plants, and tender perennials. Plants available by mail order and seeds sold online. Also available from the nursery.
Tissington Nursery – family-run plant nursery. Herbaceous perennials available online and from the nursery in Tissington, Derbyshire.
Treseders – family-run nursery in the heart of Cornwall. Plants grown at the nursery using bio-friendly insecticides, no growth regulators and locally sourced material where possible – available online and from the nursery.
Village Nurseries – family run nursery in West Chillington, Sussex. Seasonal and hardy plants all grown and sold on site.
The Wildflower Nursery – native wildflower plants grown in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Buy online or contact the nursery to arrange a visit.
Woodview Gardens – distributor of quality garden products including peat-free compost. Free delivery within 20 mile radius of Halstead, Essex and distribute through farmers’ markets and regional events across East London, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and South Cambridgeshire.
Peat-Free Nurseries (On-Site)
These nurseries are 100% peat-free on-site, but do buy in some plants grown in peat. They are working hard to source peat-free plants from suppliers wherever possible…
Babylon Plants – wholesale nursery in Oxfordshire supplying garden designers, landscapers and horticulturists. Specialists in growing hardy perennials, ornamental grasses, shrubs and trees.
Chew Valley Trees – large tree nursery near Bristol, selling British-grown quality trees online and from the nursery, also sells peat-free compost.
Hartside Nursery Garden – offering a selection of rare and unusual hardy plants grown in the North Pennines near Alston, Cumbria. Plants available online and from the nursery.
Knoll Gardens – the UK’s leading specialist in ornamental grasses based in Wimbourne, Dorset. Grasses available online and from the nursery.
Seagate Nurseries – family-run nursery in Lincolnshire including a fantastic collection of bearded iris. Plants available by mail order and on-site.
Suttons – founded in 1806, Suttons is an online supplier of flower and vegetable seeds, young plants, bulbs, fruit bushes and other horticultural products.
It is still the case that much peat-free compost is more expensive than its peat-based equivalents, although buying online in bulk with friends/family and sourcing locally can reduce costs. However, I don’t believe it is acceptable to damage one habitat (peatbogs) in order to improve another (our gardens), especially when alternatives do exist. I’d rather reduce my compost use and garden a little less, so that I can afford to buy peat-free…
Dalefoot Composts – large range of exclusively peat-free composts, including ericaceous, seed, bulb, tomato and multipurpose compost. I have always had excellent results with Dalefoot products.
Melcourt SylvaGrow Composts – another large range of exclusively peat-free products with growbags, multipurpose, ericaeous and organic composts. Widely used by growers across the UK.
Fertile Fibre – coir-based composts, all peat-free, including potting, seed and multipurpose. Coir is sourced from organic coconut waste and is dehydrated and pressed before being shipped to the UK to make the process as efficient as possible.
Blooming Amazing – peat-free soil conditioner and mulch produced as a by-product of the UK’s first commercial biomethane generating plant on the Duchy of Cornwall estate.
Earth Cycle – peat-free top soil, turf dressing, soil conditioner and cow compost, produced in from composted green waste from household and businesses across West Sussex. Products available online.
New Horizon Peat Free Compost – widely available peat-free compost produced by Westland. (Westland also sells peat-based composts)
Happy Compost – new peat-free compost launched at Garden and Outdoor Retail Show, GLEE this week by Bord na Móna, soon to be available in local garden centres. (Bord na Móna was established as a peat company and still derives half of its income from extracting peat)
Bulrush Peat Free Multipurpose Compost – 100% peat-free compost. (Bulrush also sells peat-based composts.)
If you would like to read more about the importance of peatland to the climate and biodiversity, here are some related articles:
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NB: I have taken information from nursery websites and from email contact with the nurseries themselves. Whilst the nurseries on the first list are, as far as I’m aware, using peat-free compost themselves onsite and sourcing peat free plants, there may well still be some nurseries on this list that are not yet able to source all the plant material for propagation and growing on completely peat-free. For more information on this, please contact the nurseries themselves.
Many thanks to David Morris for the beautiful image of pristine peatland in Birsay Moors, Evie, Orkney. This is where peat belongs!