PLEASE NOTE: the Nursery & Gardens are currently CLOSED for the winter. We hope to reopen in March 2021 (exact date TBC).
“Thank you for the invaluable support you have given us over the past months. We look forward to opening as usual in mid–March. A bountiful new crop of plants is being made for you as I write. In the meantime, a window of opportunity beckons – find out about our early February Specialist Snowdrop Sale!”
“So at Marchants, the nursery drifts almost imperceptibly into Gough's rich, dramatic sweeps of herbaceous planting: sanguisorbas, daylilies, masses of grasses, achilleas, dark agapanthus etc.”
Anna Pavord. The Independent Magazine.
PLEASE NOTE: We hope to reopen Marchants Nursery & Gardens in March 2021 (exact date TBC). Meanwhile we will be ‘open’ for our annual and very popular Snowdrop Sale during February only. This will be under strict Collect or Mail Order guidelines detailed here – Specialist Snowdrop Sale
Snowdrops at Marchants – the beginnings: “Growing and collecting Snowdrops (Galanthus) goes back 40 years for me when I began working with Elizabeth Strangman at renowned Washfield Nursery, Kent. Hellebores were Elizabeth’s speciality and snowdrops made natural bedfellows for these winter harbingers. Invitations in February took us to some of the finest private snowdrop collections and parties in England. These were serious ‘heady’ gatherings where much bending and crawling took place to admire the infinite detail of these beautiful nodding plants.
Generous gifts were often made by their owners and slowly our collection grew. I worked the snowdrops at Washfield and if there were ‘leftovers’ after planting – that is tiny flowerless bulbs – these would be taken to my parent’s garden on the chalky Southdowns and nurtured. In time they flourished and when my wife Lucy and I moved to Laughton in 1998 it seemed appropriate that this rarefied collection should join us.
However, the move from chalk to impervious clay proved difficult and challenging at first and a number of Snowdrop varieties frustratingly began to dwindle on the poorly drained soil. Each February when ‘in the green’ drastic measures were taken, bulbs dug up and replanted with extra grit and spent compost in places which afforded better drainage.
Finding Snowdrops best suited to the soil was learnt through trial and error. Eventually our diverse collection came good and now consists of about 150 species and varieties. The number varies from year to year – not all Snowdrops are as easy and predictable to grow as they may look.”
Established by Graham Gough in 1998, Marchants is recognised as one of the UK’s leading small independent nurseries.
Graham has for 22 years devoted himself to raising plants and to breeding and selecting new varieties while also designing and developing the beautiful garden at Marchants. He knows his plants well, and has bred many Marchants own varieties. While too few places get to know the plants they sell, at Marchants almost everything is propagated from stock plants grown in the garden, hence Graham knows intimately both the provenance and preferences of all the plants sold on the Nursery.
Spring 2021: look out for Carol Klein presenting Channel 5’s new series of eight ‘Great British Gardens’ – we are lucky to be one of them. The programmes, an hour long, reveal each garden through the four seasons.
Photos below highlight just some of our beautiful Snowdrops, such a joy to behold as they kick start early spring. Our heavy soil is unfortunately too wet to make garden visits in winter possible, so ironically the fine collection of Snowdrops we have built up and which kick starts the gardening year through January/February is rarely seen in situ. Our small spring garden is home to a colourful tapestry of Hellebores, Snowflakes, Wood Anemones, Ferns, Lungworts and Snowdrops.