Plug plants may be just the thing to brighten the garden

Plenty of plug choice.
Plenty of plug choice.

There was a time when buying the full range of young plug plants was only possible within the trade but now that they’re universally available, the newspapers and magazines are awash with offers.

The original BOGOF has spawned several variations including; buy two get the third free, buy X get another X free, postage free, etc. Given the diversity of gardeners’ tastes in plants, there’s bound to be something of interest to us at a knockdown price if we keep searching.

Last week’s Garden News magazine carried an offer from Unwins (www.unwins.co.uk or call 0844 573 8366) relating to geranium plugs. Twenty four young plants, plus another 24 free, measuring two to three inches from root to tip would arrive in late March, the cost being £6.95 plus £2.95 p&p. Forty eight geraniums, mixed colours, to grow on in pots for summer tubs, baskets or beds, is bound to appeal to somebody.

Woolmans (www.woolmans.com) are difficult to beat for chrysanthemums, and their catalogue always makes for pleasant browsing.

Although my old garden spray stools are boxed-up in compost and beginning to offer stem cuttings, I’m always looking to add variety to the mix. So a collection of five cultivars, two plants of each, for £13.90 looks tempting. In the same catalogue there is a group of five different coloured garden pinks for £8.95. They too will offer numerous plants for the future via stem cuttings, and that is value for money.

More mature gardeners will remember when garden peas and beans were bought by the pint. This allowed for successional sowings, one large crop or sharing them with friends. The well-established fruit and vegetable firm D.T.Brown (www.dtbrownseeds.co.uk) are offering a return to those days by selling enough peas or beans to fill a pint beer glass, in what they say will be a money-saving purchase.

They are offering pea Early Onward by the half kilo for £5.45. This is a good old variety I grow every year from a single packet of 260 seeds (just sown) at a cost of £2.79 (Suttons). In retrospect, I should have filled a pint glass with peas, counted them and checked this claim before buying!