The best gardening websites

From wild flowers to wormeries, tips to trowels – there's a website out there for every gardening query. So log on, dig in, and learn more about our green spaces

rhs.org.uk

Extensive and authoritative, the Royal Horticultural Society's (RHS) website is packed with green-fingered gen for the energetic gardener. It includes a plant finder, help-and-advice section, online shop and gardening calendar. The top 10 jobs you should be engaged on instead of reading this include: hoe borders, pinch out side-shoots on tomatoes, harvest lettuce, cut lawn once a week...



greatbritishgardens.co.uk

A prodigious resource for the garden visitor, this site provides maps for 10 parts of the UK, each with 30 or more gardens. Click on the garden you fancy and you geta page of information including photo and link to the website. Most popular pages include RHS Wisley, Great Dixter, Harewood House... Also includes section on great garden designers and directory of gardening websites.



heligan.com

This flashy website (twittering birds, clever animation) on the Lost Gardens of Heligan at St Austell, Cornwall, attempts to be simultaneously languorous and vigorously commercial. It includes slightly vertiginous virtual tours (the melon yard, vegetable garden, Italian garden and sundial) as well as an extensive online shop (crafts, toiletries, beeswax products etc.). There is also a timeline of Heligan and live webcams.



ngs.org.uk

Information on the National Gardens Scheme (NGS), more commonly known as the "Yellow Book", which enables plant lovers and the plain curious to enter 3,600 mainly private gardens for a charitable donation. The NGS has raised £22 million in the last decade. Tap in your postcode and you'll find open gardens within 5 to 50 miles of home. The Scottish equivalent can be found at gardensofscotland.org





davidaustinroses.com

Currently offering 800 varieties of bare-root roses for delivery between November and April, the David Austin website also offers advice on which to buy for various locations in the garden and (surely most important of all) fragrance. Gertrude Jekyll, Charles Darwin and Jude the Obscure are among treats for the nose.



kew.org

If you haven't visited the new 18-metre-high Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop Walkway, you can experience a virtual peep on the Kew website. Other features include web pages of Kew's 19 science teams (the Madagascar page is worth visiting for the baobab trees), details of the 70,000 plant specimens in spirit and Decimus Burton's 4,880-sq-metre Temperate House from 1860.



thompson-morgan.com

Founded over 150 years ago, Thompson & Morgan offer a dizzying range of mail-order seeds from abutilon to zucchini. Current top sellers include the polychrome sweet pea Flying the Flag, the spinach Bordeaux and the aubergine Calliope, but some of us are tempted by The Spice Boys range of basils (cinnamon, Greek, lemon, lettuce basil etc.): 1,500 seeds for £3.99.



bbc.co.uk/gardening

Experienced gardeners may find the style a little patronising, but there's no denying the extraordinary range of the BBC's online garden. Informative features include planning a vegetable garden, gardening for wildlife, gardening with children and a gruesome A-Z of pests and diseases, including powdery mildew, two spot spider mite and the fearsome-sounding thrips.



greatdixter.co.uk

The website of Great Dixter, a riot of colour created in East Sussex by gardening iconoclast Christopher Lloyd, gets the pixels



of your computer in a right old tizzy. Displays of orange, red, purple and white erupt like fireworks. This would be among the most beautiful of all gardening websites if the captions were to one side rather than overlaying the photos. You need to visit the garden to get the full picture.



jekkasherbfarm.co.uk

Doyenne of the herb world, Jekka McVicar won her 11th consecutive gold medal at Chelsea this summer. Her prodigious online catalogue boasts 48 pages of organic plants and seeds, including such wonders as banana mint ("peppermint with a hint of banana") and the ginkgo tree ("grows up to 40 metres") used in the treatment of asthma.



thegardeningwebsite.co.uk

This impressive guide covers every aspect, from garden centres and specialist nurseries (there are 22 listed under "bamboo") to outdoor furniture and garden designers. If you want topsoil, a hammock, an artificial lawn, a hot tub, humane animal deterrents or information about gardens to visit in Jamaica, this is the place to look.



wigglywigglers.co.uk

These relentlessly jolly eco capitalists have expanded from the Can-O-Worms compost wormery (£101) to heritage seed potatoes, a vast range of wild flower seeds, Duchy of Cornwall hand tools and "vintage" clay pots. You can download a Wiggly podcast too.



bethchatto.co.uk

Her rambling gardens – gravel, scree, water and woodland – richly merit a visit if you're within reach of Elmstead Market, Essex, but Beth Chatto also has over 2,000 different types of plants for sale, mostly herbaceous perennials, on her website. Minimum plant order £20, no delivery before September.



downderry-nursery.co.uk

All who saw Downderry's gold medal-winning lavender display at Chelsea will have been bowled over by the beauty, aroma and astonishing variety of this most appealing plant. You can download a catalogue from the website or make online purchases. The 16 frost-hardy lavenders sold by this Kent garden include the impressive Fathead, a cultivar introduced by Downderry in 1997.

stapeleywg.com

Stapeley Water Gardens near Crewe is a mecca for those who like their gardens to be on the (very) damp side. Items on the website range from a 218cm tiered fountain (£2,999.99) to ramshorn snails (£5 for 10) that "rasp algae" from leaves. Water lilies are available in all five colours – white, red, pink, yellow and copper (12 cultivars in white).



claireaustin-hardyplants.co.uk

Impressively lucid website with excellent range of hardy plants for sale by mail order, including 250 different types of bearded and 160 herbaceous peonies. Austin's comments are impressive for their honesty; one member of the "somewhat invasive" valerian family is described as "a true thug, especially in damp soils".



avonbulbs.com

The gorgeous website of this Chelsea gold medal winner includes summer-planting bulbs, such as autumn-flowering crocus (from £3) and five types of amaryllis, plus 350 cultivars for autumn planting. The page of growing tips from these Somerset experts will help expunge the possibility of the dud bulb.

rareplants.co.uk

Offering 3,500 plants and bulbs, this impressive online shop has, for example, four pages of alliums and three pages of narcissi and tulips. The photographs are exemplary and accompanied by growing notes of admirable objectivity: "Trillium... are long-lived and trouble-free but a good display is for the patient gardener."



clematis.hull.ac.uk

Containing details of 3,230 varieties (1,400 of them illustrated), this clematis site from the University of Hull is a fabulous resource about these exuberant climbers. It also carries information about pruning, diseases and clematis gardens, though some may feel that 24 web pages on clematis devotees borders on the obsessive.



theurbangarden.co.uk

This website is aimed at the less horny-handed end of the gardening spectrum – they need to be well-heeled if they're going to snap up such "best sellers" as a Padre set of garden furniture in artificial stone (£949) – and you'll need six people on hand to help the driver unload it.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there