What to buy at plant sales | Alys Fowler

Our gardening expert on trusted plants to look out for at plant sales

After a slice of cake and a cup of tea, one of the joys of visiting a garden in summer is the plant sale. Going home with a little of something you liked is often as sweet as the cake. My favourite plants sales are not fancy – the pots might not match and the labels might be recycled from yoghurt pots – but they are full of much-loved plants: playful self-seeders, and tough biennials and perennials that can dodge slugs and snails. There’s often a bargain to put in a gap you’d hoped would have filled out by now. Here are some truly trusted plants to look out for.

There are always plenty of geraniums, common finds that include the tough-as-old-boots G. x oxonianum and its many cultivars, the most likely being ‘Wargrave Pink’, an old standard that produces salmon-pink flowers even in deep shade. This lot are good at muscling out weeds in seemingly impossible locations – not rarefied, sure, but reliable.


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