We are Rob and Joanna (the people second and third from the left in the admittedly rather vintage photo opposite). The three young men are our sons, now alarmingly all in their twenties, and the person on the far left is, well, you know who she is.
Since 2003 we have been running our nursery, Paddock Plants, where we grow perennials and shrubs in a peat-free and generally environmentally friendly manner in a tucked-away corner near Southampton, Paddock Plants is family-run ( Rob and Joanna with help from Joanna's mum Deb who is the lady you will meet on our stand at the events we attend) and we offer what we hope is an interesting range of perennials, grasses, ferns and shrubs, including some more unusual varieties or plants new to the UK market, all at very affordable prices. As we are a nursery, not a garden centre, we focus on growing plants that will enhance your garden, and you won't find any candles or barbecues in our sales area.
All our plants are grown peat free in 2 litre and some in 1 litre pots with 12-14 month slow-release fertiliser and, other than a few more tender specimens, are overwintered in the open.We offer friendly advice on all aspects of your garden and, even if we don’t grow a plant ourselves, we can probably find it for you at a price cheaper than you would pay elsewhere.
As Paddock Plants we attend a lot of plant fairs and garden shows and have often been asked the questions 'Can I grow it in a pot?' and 'Have you got any houseplants?'. So, inspired by that, we have in the past couple of years started to grow a few indoor plants to add to our range. We have in fact a bit of history in indoor plants, as middle son Russell (he's on the far right in the photo) was deeply into cacti as a teenager and had his own greenhouse full of various prickly things. Rob used to take him down to a wholesale nursery in West Sussex which back in the day had a cactus section, where he would buy trays of young cacti for 50p each which he would pot on into 10cm pots and then sell for £2.50 or more under the banner of The Cactus Shack alongside our stand on Sunday mornings at the now defunct Bursledon market and car boot. Happy days.
So it is fitting that we have quite a few cacti (and succulents) in the greenhouses, and Rob retains a lot of affection for such things from the days when he and Russell would attend meetings of the Southampton branch of the BCSS. We are in addition developing a specialism of sorts in Abutilon hybrids, and we hope to add a fair number of varieties not usually seen in the UK to this website in due course as our collection grows.
Visit our nursery (call first to check we'll be there!) and browse the hundreds of varieties of plants we have on display. You can also see our plants at one of the plant and garden shows we attend throughout the season.Our website provides an online descriptive and fully illustrated catalogue and ordering facility. So you can buy plants online and have them delivered throughout mainland UK by 24 hour courier. If you are local to Southampton, we may be able to make delivery in our van (at cost beyond free 5 mile radius).
How it all started …..
On June 1st 2003, instead of bringing Joanna a champagne breakfast in bed to celebrate their first wedding anniversary, Rob got up at some unearthly hour of the morning and set off for the Bursledon car boot along with middle son Russell and an MPV-load of young plants in 9 cm pots. From two pasting tables they set about selling their wares at 25 or 50 pence a plant – sunflowers, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins and some perennials – and so Paddock Plants was born.
Over a decade on later the scale of things is rather different: we send plants all over the UK thanks to our website, and we grow and sell thousands of plants each year. Rather than the car boots at Bursledon or Shootash, we now spend many of our weekends from March to September at plant fairs and other gardening and country shows in Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, West Sussex and Surrey. We are very grateful to all those regular customers who have supported us over the years in all those locations. As well as those from further afield.
Rob and Joanna