Grown in England Shire Plants 1

Shire Plants





  • Ornamental Plants
  • A Ornamental Plants (Various)
  • Native Plants
  • Plants to Encourage Wildlife
  • Plantsmans Plants
  • Unusual Plants
  • Woodland Perennials



Telephone 01280 817800





Shire Plants is a traditional plant nursery set in the rural Buckinghamshire countryside, established in 2018. Everything we sell is grown ourselves and we use traditional methods, employed by plant nurseries for generations. Of course, we have introduced some modern concepts too, and offer an easy online ordering and home delivery service. We are proud to be able to list the Royal Horticultural Society, the National Trust, several large private estates and even a celebrity chef among our valued customers.

 The nursery is run by Matt, helped by his family. After leaving school, Matt worked for 9 years in a specialist plant nursery before an interest in computers and the emerging internet lured him down a different career path. Ten years later, the call of Horticulture and the need to get his hands dirty again became too great and he took an evening course to gain the RHS Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture.


Matt started Shire Plants after becoming tired of seeing the same limited range of modern plants in all the garden centres, and a lot of nurseries too. While there is nothing inherently wrong with those plants, he feels people should be given the option to buy plants which aren’t already in all their neighbours’ gardens. He also believes that a lot of the ‘old fashioned’ and ‘heirloom’ varieties still have a great deal to offer, because they are tried and tested in our environment and, in many cases, have graced our gardens for centuries.

Most Garden Centres are now large, out of town affairs, corporately owned, where plants are a relatively small percentage of what’s on offer. The typical Garden Centre has a range of just 400 different plants, which may sound a lot but includes bulbs, herbaceous plants, shrubs, climbers and trees. The range is identical across the chain, regardless of where they are in the country. The majority of the floor space is made over to thousands of candles, books, furniture, clothing etc., and of course, the obligatory coffee shop. All of this is fine if you are just looking for an impulse purchase of something that’s looking good now, but it is not a place for a serious gardener to find something interesting to plant in that difficult area at the bottom of the garden where nothing grows.


Shire Plants’ objective is to offer a different range of plants, from old favourites to newly discovered varieties, with a few previously lost or forgotten gems thrown in too. This doesn’t mean we don’t sell anything that is available in your local garden centre, but it means you should be able to find lots that isn’t. We are also interested in rescuing old varieties of plants which have become endangered. Please see our ‘Plants Wanted’ page for more details.

Unlike a lot of the big Dutch growers, which is where most garden centres and supermarkets buy their stock from, we don’t have miles of heated greenhouses, complete with artificial light and clever life-support machinery. Consequently, our plants may not look overly lush and covered with flowers (at the wrong time of the year!) when you buy them, but you can be assured that they have not been molly-coddled so they are tough and will thrive when planted in your own garden. We propagate and grow everything we sell ourselves and cannot just buy more stock when levels are low, so there may be times when certain varieties are unavailable until the next batch has grown on. Some of our plants will only be available in small numbers. Others only at certain times of the year. 

All of our plants are sold in 9x10cm pots, or bigger. Unlike some mail order nurseries, we do not send out ‘plug plants’, which require care and growing on before you can plant them. Our plants are garden-ready and can be planted immediately.

We hope you enjoy browsing our site. 

The nursery is currently open to the public by appointment, for the collection of orders. If you are planning on visiting us to collect an order, take a look at the ‘Visit Us’ page for ideas of other local attractions to visit while you are in the area.


Growing to order: If you require a large number of plants and are not in a desperate hurry, we may be able to grow them especially for you. Please enquire.


Heritage Plants Wanted

As with clothes and hair cuts, plant fashion changes over time and sadly we’ve seen many lovely old varieties of plants disappear from nurseries and garden centres and often, from gardens too. Breeders are able to register and protect new varieties so they can earn more money from breeding new strains of old varieties and are therefore incentivised to promote these over the older varieties. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, it does mean that we are in danger of losing some real gems from our gardens. 

As a nursery, we’ve taken the decision to try to rescue and protect as many old varieties as we can. These are often plants you’ll find mentioned in literature dating back hundreds of years and we feel are worth looking after and preserving for future generations to enjoy.

As these plants are no longer generally available, we need your help. If you have an old variety of any identifiable plant in your garden we would love to be able to propagate from it. This would usually mean just taking a few cuttings or collecting seed from it. We would be happy to swap your contribution with a plant from our range.

One of our big passions is Old Fashioned Pinks (Dianthus), many of which have been lost or are in danger of dying out. We have been scouring the country to find these plants and have managed to collect about 140 old and more modern cultivars (not all are available to buy yet, but we have over 100 in regular production), but there are many more which may now only exist in private gardens. One particular old pink we are currently worried about is ‘Old Spice’, which was listed in a handful of nurseries until very recently but is now no longer available.

We are very grateful to have received plants including old cultivars of Dianthus, Campanulas and Chrysanthemums from generous customers.

Among (but not limited to), the plants we are looking for are violets (Violas), old fashioned Pinks (Dianthus) and perennial wallflowers (Erysimum).

Please contact us for more information.


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