Alan's Bio:

Alan, a 3rd generation Nurseryman has been working on the family nursery for 23 years. His experience in gardening includes, designing award winning RHS displays, maintaining gardens, big and small and growing plants commercially for garden centres and the gardeners alike. These are his top picks for February 2024.

Alan's top plants for buying in July 2024

With the end of June bringing some very warm weather the summer may finally be here. With that in mind we have picked some cracking plants for you this month. All of them will brighten up your garden as well as being able to cope with whatever the UK weather decides to throw at us.


Known as the lily of the Nile, these majestic south African plants produce elegant blooms from lush green foliage. This is a plant that brings a bit of tropical delight to the summer garden. Our Agapanthus range boasts a wide range of colours, from delicate whites to bold purples, there is an Agapanthus for everyone. Agapanthus has wrongly got a reputation for being tricky to look after. However, they are ideal for the novice gardener, the only thing to remember is they like a well-drained compost, so adding, bark or gravel to your compost mix, will have you on the path to success.

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The tiny leaved herb with big flavour. Thyme is one of those plants is all too often overlooked. But this staple of the herb garden has come a long way, since first being used in ancient Rome. Thyme is just as good an ornamental plant, as it is culinary. The joy of this plant is, that it does both jobs with no problem at all. Flowering though the summer, Thyme is very hardy and can cope with everything the UK weather will throw at it. For best results, a well-drained soil is ideal, so add a bit of gravel to your compost and get ready to enjoy tasty dishes and stunning carpets of flower.

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Also known as coneflower, these stunning daisy-like flowers are native to north America. Our range features some of the newest and highly sort after varieties. Growing just as well in a large container as in the middle of a border, the right echinacea can really make a garden and will bring adoring looks at your next Barbecue. These hardy perennial plants are easy to look after, also, they will lose their leaves in the winter, which is when the plant concentrates on putting all its strength into the roots, to produce an even better show the year after. A fantastic garden plant.

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Often referred to as the Peruvian lily, this majestic range of garden Alstroemeria produce stunning flowers which really do wow. Known as cut flowers, many people are not aware of the Hybrids which produce stunning flowers but are also very hardy. In fact, these plants can cope with temperatures way below freezing. This makes them an ideal choice for the UK garden, where once established, they will treat you to stunning flowers all summer.

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Lupin West Country

For towering spikes of colour, it is hard to look past Lupins, but the west country lupins are even better (we think so anyway). Bred by the famed lupin breeders, these varieties really are special. Coming back every year, these hardy perennials really do put on a show flowering in the summer, these have become a mainstay in many a garden and you can see why they are so popular. Lupins are easy to care for, they will lose their leaves in the winter, but come back the following spring, ready to dazzle you with their beauty.

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