That most English of flowers, the rose, is at its most fragrant and floral from spring to the first frosts. Unfortunately, some home gardeners don’t choose to plant roses as they fear they are ‘difficult’. This reputation is unfounded and we think there is a rose for every garden; it’s simply about understanding which rose will suit your plot and how to look after it.
The classic ‘rose bed’ rose is called a hybrid tea, and they’re often pruned to be statuesque and a showstopper in the garden. Hybrid teas can flower more than once a year, often have larger blooms, usually one per stem, and can be great as cut flowers.
If you are looking for something less formal, perhaps lower maintenance or that will scramble over a pergola, consider a climbing or rambling rose. As their names suggest, climbers tend to be better for training over a trellis or against a wall, whereas rambler as a bit more vigorous and can make their own way up!
We sell a good number of smaller rose varieties, too. We refer to them as patio roses but they will be fine in small gardens or even large pots, so check when you buy, particularly miniature or miniflora roses. Prune fairly hard between December and March to encourage new growth and flowers later in the spring.
For our full guide to choosing rose varieties, try our blog here or chat to one of our plant experts in Centre.
Whether you are looking for height and drama in your garden, seasonal interest or rich colour, year-round greenery or some privacy, we have the plants to suit. From fruit trees to flowering shrubs and from hedging plants to ground cover, we have a wide selection to choose from.
When you are thinking about what to plant, there are a few things to ask yourself that will help identify the right plant to suit your position:
• What is your soil like? Sandy, acidic, boggy? Pick a plant that will cope in those conditions.
• How much sun will the plant get? Not everything needs full sun so pick to suit your site.
• Do you want seasonal interest? Leaf colour, flower colour, berries/fruits and scent are all options so think about what your plant needs to bring to your garden in each season.
• How much room do you have? Think about how much your tree or shrub will grow and whether it will block light from plants around it (or from you!)
• Finally, how much maintenance are you prepared to do? If you’re hands on, pick something that is faster growing that you’d be happy pruning. If not, perhaps choose something which grows more slowly so it will require less attention from you.
Once you’ve thought about your answers to these questions, you’ll be in a good position to read the plant labels or pick the brains of our Plant Experts in Centre.
We also have a great range of houseplants in the garden centre; read about our selection here.
Water – however little – can add an extra dimension to any garden. Whether it’s the gentle sound, its cooling or light-reflecting properties, or the attraction for wildlife, water is to be recommended. Having water in your garden also gives you another planting ‘environment’, an opportunity to bring in an even greater variety of plants.
Measure the depth of your water in a few key places so you have an idea of what type of plants you need; bear in mind that water levels will rise and fall during the year so allow a few centimetres either way. You will ideally want a mixture of marginal plants, deep-water plants and perhaps floating ones too.
Next, think about how big you want the plants to grow. As with all plants, some are much more vigorous growers and could quickly swamp (pun intended!) a smaller pond. That said, some of the much-loved plants, like water lily and Zantedeschia, do come in dwarf varieties too so do just ask our team if you’re not sure.
Roughly calculate the water volume of your pond. Multiply length by width by depth and you will get the total cubic capacity. This will give you an idea of how many oxygenating plants you will need. Too many and the algae or duckweed will take over but not enough and your plants or wildlife might struggle.
For further advice on choosing the right plants, try our article here or chat with our plant experts in Centre.
For definitions on the type of pond plants available, this blog will explain.an
We have over 200 varieties of seeds in stock, from fruits to vegetables and herbs. Packets of seed start from just 99p.
We have a range of spring bulbs now. From traditional bright daffodils to more unusual varieties, browse our colourful selection. We will have summer- and autumn-flower bulbs in at the appropriate time of year to plant these.
We also stock a range of grass seeds to suit different conditions.
Gardening in pots is perfect if you don’t have much outside space or live in a rented property but pots are also ideal for moving seasonal colour into a focal point. Simply move what is in flower into view and move a pot that has faded to a less visible spot.
We stock a wide range of plant pots and containers, suitable for any garden or terrace. From simple and traditional terracotta to glazed and decorated pots, and from just a few centimetres in diameter to really large statement pieces, we have something that you will love. We hold a number of ranges as standard but try to source interesting and unusual pieces too, so do come back and visit us again to see what’s new.
All our pots and containers are suitable for outdoor use – some are also frost proof – but they can also be used indoors if you wish. Purpose-built indoor plant pots don’t usually have a hole in the bottom so you may want to think about where you put it or purchase a matching pot saucer. We also sell plant pot feet, to raise your pots off the ground to prevent them waterlogging. We have a selection of pot ‘wheels’ suitable for larger pots to help in moving them.
As well as pots and containers, we also had a selection of baskets and wire planters inside. We also stock liners for them as well as a selection of decorative brackets. Please see inside the shop to see what is available.
Unless you are planting a plant that requires something specialist (like ericaceous plants), pots and hanging baskets don’t require any special type of compost (see below). They do, however, tend to dry out more quickly than if planting in the ground so water-retaining granules or a dish in the bottom can help. (Ensure the dish is smaller than the pot so that excess water can drain away, while the dish provides a ‘sump’ to retain some).
Hambrooks are proud to stock a wide range of composts to suit any plant. Please note that we now only stock peat-free compost.
John Innes Composts – John Innes was a person but the range of John Innes composts named after him were created by the institution he founded. The John Innes Horticultural Research Institute developed a selection of different compost mixes for the different stages of a plants life. You will often see bags of compost produced by a range of suppliers labelled with a John Innes type, as follows:
John Innes Seed Compost is for sowing seeds; it tends to be a fine mix and has nutrients that will typically last the baby plant for a month or two.
John Innes Cutting Compost is for rooting cuttings; it also tends to be a fine mix with nutrients that will encourage early roots, until the cutting is large enough to be potted on.
John Innes No 1 Potting Compost is for pricking out young plants; this is suitable for young plants with nutrients to help them establish before they are potted on or planted out.
John Innes No 2 Potting Compost is for potting on; this mix contains double the amount of nutrients than No 1 to suit, which will suit established plants. It is suitable for most houseplants and vegetable plants in containers.
John Innes No 3 Potting Compost is for established plants and shrubs; this is the most nutrient-rich mix and is suitable for established or vigorously growing plants, like tomatoes.
John Innes Ericaceous Compost is for plants which cannot tolerate lime; see our section on ericaceous plants to see if you will need this (link to ericaceous plants webpage).
Read more about The John Innes Centre here.
Orchid – Orchid compost doesn’t really look like traditional compost at all but rather more like bark chippings. This is because most orchids that we grow as houseplants in the UK have roots which absorb nutrients and water from the air, rather than through the soil. The most common orchids that you would find in a supermarket or garden centre in the UK are the Phalaenopsis (moth orchid) or Cymbidium. Both make excellent house plants and are relatively easy to care for as long as you don’t drench them with water or keep them in too much sun. Gardeners World have some great advice on repotting orchids.
Citrus – as the name suggests, citrus compost has been developed for growing lemons, oranges and plants of the citrus family, whether indoors or out. It is a slightly acidic mix (mildly ericaceous) but also incorporates good drainage materials, as citruses generally don’t like to sit in wet soil.
Bonsai – we stock a potting mix specifically designed to provide the right balance of drainage, water retention and nutrients for your precious bonsai specimens. When you check your bonsai’s roots each year, that is the perfect time to refresh the soil, even if replanting back into the same pot. The potting mix will provide all the nutrients the plant needs for up to 8 weeks, after which time we’d recommend using a specialist bonsai feed every 2 weeks during spring and summer.
We stock a wide range of plant foods and treatments. As with all chemicals, we would urge you to consider natural remedies first wherever possible; for example, think about making your own plant foods or finding predators who will eat your greenfly. Using any chemical in a garden can create an imbalance and have unintended consequences; organic solutions are better for us all whenever possible. Please read the labels of anything you intend to use carefully to ensure they are not toxic for children, pets or you!
Whether you are overwhelmed with slugs, pestered by the neighbours cats or want to pro-actively protect your fruit trees from winter moth, we have a wide selection of treatments to help. We stock a range of lawn treatments, including moss and weedkillers, some of which also feed your lawn at the same time. We have solutions to treat ant, slug and maggot infestations. We have moth and wasp traps. We also sell general weedkillers. Please read the directions for us carefully to ensure you have the correct product for the problem you are treating and speak to our staff if you would like further advice.
We stock a range of both general and specialist plant foods. Please have a chat with our expert staff in centre if you have a specific plant or if you notice an existing plant is suffering. Many plant problems can be traced back to inappropriate nutrition so can often be improved with the right feed solutions.
For plants to grow, they need three essential nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), together known as NPK. Nitrogen is found in all plant cells, in plant proteins and hormones, and in chlorophyll; phosphorus helps transfer energy from sunlight to plants, stimulating root and plant growth and; potassium increases the vigour and disease resistance of plants, and can improve fruit quality. In most plant foods, you will find these three nutrients balanced in different ratios: for example, a typical tomato food tends to contain more potassium to promote fruiting, whereas ‘Blood, Fish and Bone’ mixes tend to have higher proportions of phosphorus to encourage rooting.
Plants also need a selection of other nutrients, like calcium and iron, but in smaller quantities, and which vary by plant type. This can be where our specialist plant foods can help. For example, we sell specialist feeds for houseplants – orchids, bonsai and succulents as well as a general houseplant food – designed to suit their specific needs. For outdoors, we stock rose food, clematis and citrus food, amongst others. We also stock a treatment that will help ensure your hydrangea stays blue – if you prefer blue to pink, of course!
Whether you like to potter among your pots or get down to some serious double-digging, we have a range of sturdy and reliable tools and equipment to choose from. From pretty and practical gardening gloves to plant labels, we have everything you will need to keep your garden blooming. Please browse the gallery below to see a selection of our current stock.
From trowels to secateurs and from dibbers to loppers, we have the tools! We have everything from little nippers for dead-heading, to secateurs for bigger stems and pruning saws for larger jobs. We have a selection of buckets, shovels and spades for tidying up afterwards; our plastic spades are also great to keep in the garage for clearing snow.
We stock a range of small pots and trays for sowing seeds, in both reusable plastic and environmentally-friendly fibre. Sizes start from just 6cm for our smallest individual pots (sold in a multi-pack). We also sell cloches and covered seed trays, great whether you are starting your seeds outside or on a windowsill. We have a selection of plant labels, too, so you will never forget what you’ve planted!
We have a range of fleece, matting and netting that will help protect your plants from pests and from the worst of the weather. Different sizes and thicknesses are available, and we keep some in stock on a roll so you can just buy the length you need.
From watering cans to complete hose systems, we have your watering sorted! Our smallest watering cans are rather dainty and colourful and are great for keeping your houseplants topped up. For bigger jobs, we stock a range of Hoselock hoses, accessories and fittings. We also sell irrigation systems that you can set up in a greenhouse or when you go on holiday to automatically water your plants.
As gardeners, we love to encourage birds and other wildlife into our gardens. Not only are they so lovely to watch but they perform an important function too. Wildlife play perhaps the most important role in our gardens’ ecosystem, helping to keep pests in check and manage waste materials. We encourage all our customers, whether you just have a windowsill or a really large garden, to think about making provision for wildlife; it will really reward you.
We are proud to stock a wide range of Tom Chambers bird foods and feeders. From simple peanuts to seed mixes and suet balls, we have a wide selection that is bound to suit all of your feathered garden visitors. Please see the images on this page for examples of what we have in stock.
Some birds like to feed from a flat surface, either a ground tray or a bird table (hanging or free-standing), while other prefer to hang from a feeder. We stock a variety of both types of feeder so we hope you can accommodate them all! We also have specialist feeders for things like suet balls and whole peanuts so it’s worth matching your food to the right feeder. To check what the most common garden birds prefer, have a look at our article here.
You could also check out our range of decorative brackets for somewhere to hang your feeders.
As wildlife also needs water as well as food, we stock a range of water dishes to suit every garden. It is good to have a mix of ground dishes as well as something hanging, to suit birds, insects and any other wildlife that might visit your garden. If you water dish is particularly large, you might want to add a few clean pebbles to it, to give visitors somewhere to perch (without risk of drowning). It’s important to clean water dishes and feeders regularly, too, to help prevent the spread of disease.
If you are making birds welcome in your garden, you might want to put up some nest boxes to encourage them to stay longer! We also stock a range of bird boxes and roosts for you to choose from. It’s important to check that the type of roost and the size of the access hole suit the type of bird you want to attract, so please check the labelling on the box to be sure. It’s also important to think about where you will site your box: usually not facing direct sun all day and safe from cats is a good start! As you’d expect, the RSPB website has some great advice on choosing and locating bird boxes.
We do not currently stock hedgehog food as the British Hedgehog Preservation Society recommend a meaty cat or dog food is the best thing (please check that meat is listed as the first – and therefore greatest – ingredient). For more advice on feeding hedgehogs – now a legally protected species – we’d recommend the BHPS website. Of course, it’s important to leave water out for them too so one of our ground dishes with a small lip would be ideal.
Elegant furniture can not only enhance your garden but set the tone of it. Whether you have gone for a tradition cottage or rustic style or something more modern, we have the furniture and garden accessories to suit. Dotted around our Show Gardens as well as inside the shop, you find our selection to browse through.
For our advice on outdoor living, try our blog here.
From a sturdy single-seater to a rocker for two, we have a range of garden seating and tables for everyone. Our wooden range come pre-treated so they will be happy outdoors for years to come; you can help to keep them in tip-top condition with a cover when not in use or by re-treating them every few years. Our metal chairs, some of which are collapsible if you want to store them away when not in use, are rust proof so should also remain looking good for years to come. Many of our chairs have matching tables, large or small, so please ask a member of our team if you don’t spot one in store; we can usually order things in quickly if we don’t have them in stock.
What adds more atmosphere to your garden on a summer’s evening than the crackle of a real fire? A metal fire pit is a robust choice, depending on what sort of fire you want to have and what fuel you want to use. Ours are all rust-proof and many will be suitable for simple cooking on.
For safety reasons, with any kind of real fire, think about where you will site your fire pit: ensure it is on a really stable base, that you won’t need to move it when it’s hot and that you have quick access to water in case of emergency.
From elegant metal to more rustic willow, we have a range of plant supports to suit every garden and every plant. Please have a chat with one of our plant experts if you are not sure what type of support will best suit your particular plant. Some plants may only require support during the growing season; for example, peonies are usually self-supporting most of the year but, when they come into big, blooming flower, you may wish to add a low support to help keep those blooms up. Other plants may prefer to climb over something all the time; a wisteria or climbing rose, for example, may scramble over a more permanent support, which will also provide something for you to prune back to or to tie-in new shoots.
From a cheeky robin ornament to a restful windchime, we have a wide range of garden decorations to enhance your outside space all year round. Our dramatic wall sculptures, many of which incorporate outdoor-safe mirrors to help bring light into darker corners, can provide a focal point on a wall or fence. How about a perky piglet or two to sit among the pots on your patio? Or a dramatic eagle sculpture to swoop over your borders? We aim to keep our favourite decorations well stocked whilst also bringing in new products from time to time, so it’s worth popping by to browse our current collection.
Lighting in a garden not only creates superb atmosphere but also ensures your outdoor space is used much more often. Lighting can change your garden from a pretty space during the day to a sophisticated entertaining space in the evening. We have ranges of both permanent, wired-in lighting as well as a selection of solar lights (both strings and individual lights) that can be moved or taken down as you wish.
As such, we’d recommend planning your garden lighting in three parts:
Functional lighting – start with the lighting that you need to safely move around your garden in the dark. Would a motion-sensor light above your back door enable you to find your keys and get inside quicker if it’s raining? Would small lights along a path help you to find your way to the bins more easily? Are there any steps or level changes that could be a hazard in the dark, especially for visitors who might not know they are there? Think about how you use your garden in all weathers. You are not going for mood-lighting here but focused lighting, perhaps even spotlights, that allow you to see where you are stepping. Those lights might not need to be on all the time; timers or light-sensors could allow you to turn these more functional lights off when they are not needed so you can focus on the mood lighting when you want.
Entertaining spaces – if you plan to eat or entertain outside, think what lighting will help you to do that. A few candles in storm-lanterns will certainly provide atmosphere while the sun sets but will your still be able to see what they’re eating when it gets dark? If you do have an outside table, think about the best way to light it so you can see to serve and eat; as with your dining space indoors, it may be that overhead lights are the most practical solution. There is no reason these can’t still be attractive rather than purely functional; go for strings of lights or a selection at different heights to provide interest. If you plan to sit but not eat outside, you may not need overhead lighting at all but go for mid-height lights instead. Of course, a firepit can provide light as well as heat and can be great for toasting marshmallows so you might want to incorporate one of those in your plan too.
Find your focal points – finally, when you’ve got your functional and entertaining lighting sorted, you can look at the rest of your garden and think about how you can create atmosphere and interest. Map the ‘dark spots’ left on your lighting plan and look for features that you could highlight; a soft uplighter trained on a feature plant or even in a water feature will provide depth, movement and interest around the rest of your garden.
There are so many types of garden lighting available today, with much of it solar powered too, that we are spoilt for choice. We would caution against buying the ‘cheap and cheerful’ lights that many of the bigger chains sell; they are largely made of plastics (bad for the environment) and are not made to last, so you’ll likely have to replace them next summer. It is probably a wiser spend to go for something a little more robust which will last you for many summers to come.
We’d also recommend ensuring that your lighting switches on and off easily. Turning all lighting off when you don’t need them will not only help to save your electricity bills but will ensure that any wildlife who visit your garden at night are not distracted. Light pollution is becoming a real issue across much of the western world but it is possible to enjoy your garden at night without contributing unnecessarily to it.
Even the most beautiful garden can be further enhanced with a carefully positioned sculpture or water feature, and we are pleased to offer a selection that we think will enhance every garden. Whether you need something small and tasteful or have the space for something much bolder, we can help. Please browse the selection of images of our current stock below for some inspiration. Of course, even things like ornament trellis or plant supports can have sculptural qualities so you might like to look at our selection of those too.
We stock a selection of outdoor sculptures and features made by a number of carefully chosen suppliers. All have been built to be displayed outside (although some may also look great indoors, of course) but please be aware that natural weathering is likely to occur. To keep your outdoor sculpture looking its best for longer, check what materials it is made from and treat accordingly: for example, a wooden sculpture may benefit from brushing off and treating with a wood preserver every few years, whereas a metal one may just need an occasional wash. Please check the packaging or speak to one of our team if you are in any doubt about how to care for your sculpture.
Whether you want to build a proper pond or simply find a feature that brings the gentle sounds of trickling water into your garden, we have everything you will need.
Many of our water features come as self-contained kits, making them easy to install without digging a reservoir (just ‘plug and play’!). Some are solar powered, so don’t require mains electricity, but others will require an outside socket. Again, please check the packaging or chat with our team if you need some advice on which water feature will suit you best.
A note about outside sockets
If you don’t already have power outside, we’d recommend you ask a qualified electrician to install one. There are a number of safety and building regulations to consider so a professional is best placed. Ensure that the socket itself is weather-proof and we’d strongly recommend having an RCD fitted, particularly if you plan to plug electric tools like lawnmowers or strimmers into your outside socket. An RCD – residual current device – is a fast-acting, safety trip switch that reduces the risk of a fatal electric shock.
Many of the products we stock would make excellent gifts. Whether your family and friends are enthusiastic gardeners or not, we think you will find something to delight them.
From a beautiful botanical umbrella (guaranteed to bring sunshine even on a rainy day!) to a cute animal pot hanger (suitable for indoor or outdoor use), we have a wide range of suitable items.
If you need some ideas, here are our top five gift ideas for gardeners.
Our selection of greetings cards feature – as you might expect – botanical themes but we also like to feature local artists and landmarks. Many are supplied as blank, to write your own greeting, making them suitable for anyone and any occasion. Browse the images below or pop in to the centre to look at our card stands near the till points.
Hambrooks are pleased to run a selection of events in centre so – for the person who has everything – why not by them the experience of one of our workshops? Browse what’s coming up here and do get in touch with us if you have any queries.
Have a keen gardener in your life but don’t know what to buy them? What do you buy for the gardener who has everything? A gift voucher! Give them the joy and excitement of choosing exactly what they need, whether that’s a giant bag of compost or a colourful umbrella!
Hambrooks are pleased to offer our own Hambrooks Garden Centre Gift vouchers. In units of £5, you can purchase our colourful vouchers to delight friends or family. Choose from one of four colourful designs and a brightly coloured envelope to make your gift perfect.
We also stock National Garden Gift vouchers, the UK’s longest-running promotion of gardening and gardening good causes. NG Gift vouchers can be spent in over 1,400 garden centres and nurseries in the UK, many of them independent businesses like us. The NG Gift voucher scheme is run by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), a not-for-profit organisation of which Hambrooks is a member. The HTA re-invests its proceeds from the scheme in supporting gardening and gardening good causes. Whenever you give or spend one of our vouchers, you’re supporting this work. At the moment these are some of the projects and causes we’re supporting.
We stock a range of decorative aggregates, from gravels to pebbles to sand and ballast and more, to help you create the garden of your dreams. For larger quantities (and if you need items delivered) we recommend browsing the website of our sister business, Hampshire Garden Supplies.
If you need advice, do chat with one of our experts in Centre.
Our Sandstone and Porcelain paving is currently at the best prices we can find locally! It starts at just £22.99 per square metre. Take a look at our display near the Garden Centre exit to see the choice of colours available.
For larger quantities (and if you need items delivered) we can arrange that for you through our sister business, Hampshire Garden Supplies.
If you need advice, do chat with one of our experts in Centre.
As a Garden Centre, you could argue that everything we sell is seasonal! However, there are some items that are particularly so.
Christmas trees – we stock a good selection of potted and cut trees from about the 20th November each year.
Turf – we take deliveries of rolls of turf weekly from about March to the end of October. (Larger quantities can be ordered from Hampshire Garden Supplies all year round.)
Bedding plants – we stock spring, summer and autumn bedding plants at the right times each year to plant them.