Gardens Illustrated
Garden centres to remain open over lockdown
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Are garden centres open in second lockdown?

Published: November 5, 2020 at 11:23 am

Here's what you need to know about garden centres in lockdown and the COVID tier system

In March, as the first lockdown in England began, garden centres, nurseries and many gardens were forced to close in order to comply with the government's coronavirus regulations. Many struggled throughout this period, and many turned to mail order in order to keep their businesses afloat.


As the country emerges from a second lockdown, and into a new tier system, the rules are slightly different. While in second lockdown non-essential shops, pubs, restaurants and gyms all closed, garden centres were able to remain open along with schools, universities and colleges.

For the second lockdown, official government guidance read: 'Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, hardware stores, building merchants and off-licences' will remain open.'

It was good news for garden centres, and good news for the public, whose focus on nature, plants and gardening was of paramount importance to health and wellbeing over the first lockdown. And many garden centres are suffering from the knock-on effects of being closed down during the first lockdown, so many need as much support as possible.

Now the COVID tier lockdown is approaching, there are different rules according to which tier you are in. With 21 local authority areas in tier 3, many are in an extended lockdown.

Here are a list of a few of those continuing to open and a few that are doing mail order only as well as COVID tier rules for gardens and garden centres in tiers 1, 2 and 3. For more lockdown garden inspiration, why not head to our piece on 12 virtual garden tours. 

Always check with individual garden centres and nurseries before you travel to visit. 


COVID Tier 1 rules for hospitality and outdoor spaces

  • You must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of 6’.

COVID Tier 2 rules for hospitality and outdoor spaces

  • You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
  • You must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of 6’.
  • Hospitality venues are allowed to stay open until 11pm, with last orders at 10pm, as long as they serve substantial meals.

COVID Tier 3 rules for hospitality and outdoor spaces

  • You must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues.
  • You must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility – this is called the ‘rule of 6’.
  • Cafes are closed, but they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
  • Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, biomes or greenhouses, landmarks including observation decks and viewing platforms must close.

Read more about the local tier restrictions here

Edibleculture, Kent

Open fully over the lockdown period, including delivery and click and collect.

Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants

Check opening times before you visit, open Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm but closed at weekends. Mail order also available.

© Andrew Montgomery

Delfand Nurseries, Cambridgeshire

Check opening times before you visit.

Great Dixter, Northiam Rye

The garden and shop is closed from 5 November, although the nursery will remain open.

Hortus Loci, Hampshire

The Plant Centre is open, in line with government guidelines.

Ashwood Nurseries, West Midlands

Open during lockdown, complete with takeaway tea service.

Knoll Gardens, Wimborne

The nursery and garden is still open, Tuesdays to Saturdays 10am to 4pm. Mail order also available.

Langford Garden Centre, Bedfordshire

Now open to the public, seven days a week.

Hertfordshire Garden Centre

The garden centre will remain open during the November lockdown.

The Plantsman's Preference, Norfolk

Remain open but by appointment only on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, mail order is also still available.

Fibrex Nurseries, Stratford-upon-Avon

Continues to be open, Monday to Friday after its last weekend open (7 and 8 November) and for mail order too.

Hoyland Plant Centre, South Yorkshire

Open by appointment, and still open for online business for nerines, agapanthus and more.

Lancasters Garden Centre, Walthamstow, London

Still open seven days a week.

Burncoose Nursery, Cornwall

The nursery is still open to the public. although the gardens and cafe remain closed.


Primrose Hall Peonies, Bedforshire

Still shipping peonies. All parcel operations are working as normal and peonies are almost grown and ready to be delivered. The nursery is open by appointment only.

Bluebell Cottage Nursery, Warrington

Closed to the public, but taking orders online.

Jekkas Herb Farm, Bristol

Jekkas is offering mail order seeds, seed kits via the online shop.

RHS Plants

The RHS's plant shop is experiencing high demand, which is likely to cause slight delays.


Continues to send orders, but delivery times are expected to be longer than normal.

Woottens of Wenhaston, Suffolk

Mail order service is continuing as normal. Their couriers are continuing to deliver nationwide.

Sarah Raven 

Plants and bulbs are continuing to be delivered.

Blooming Wild Nursery, Somerset

The nursery is now closed for the year, but delivery is still available.

Farmyard Nurseries, Camarthenshire

Closed over the Welsh Fire Break lockdown, but still delivering.

Dalefoot Composts, Cumbria

Remains open for online and telephone compost sales as normal.

Todd's Botanics, Essex

Mail orders still available of everything from the website.

Mandy Plants

Still available for online orders from this specialist producer of species Mandevilla.

Avon Bulbs, Somerset

Mail order is continuing as usual, with an end of season sale now on.

Letham Plants, Lothian

Astrantia, Dicentra unusual hardy plants and bulbs still available online.

Claire Austin Hardy Plants, Wales

Mail order is currently available.

Beth Chatto's Plants and Gardens, Colchester

The gardens and nursery is now closed for visitors, but plants are available online.

Crug Farm Plants, Wales

Continues to offer mail order.

Kristy Ramage's choice for a Spring wild-like pot
© Andrew Montgomery

Thompson and Morgan

Still doing online mail order.

Norwell Nurseries, Nottinghamshire

The nursery and garden centre is now closed, but mail order continues.

Pepperpot Nursery, Hampshire

Herbs and more available for mail order.

Burnham Nursery 

Closed to visitors but mail order orchids by online sales and over the phone.

Shrubland Nurseries, Ipswich

The nursery is not open, but click and collect is available.

Johnson's Sweet Peas, Essex

Plants are now sold out, although seed sales are continuing online.

Habitat Aid, Somerset

Deliveries continuing as usual.

Victoriana Nursery, Kent

The nursery is closed but they are still offering mail order.

Hedges Online

Still continuing to dispatch plants.

Tissington Nursery, Derbyshire

Closed for the season, but mail order is still happening.

Jemima's Garden 

Still processing and sending plant orders.

Posh Plants, Suffolk

Offering a house plant subscription club as well as mail order on plants from the nursery.

Otter Farm

Not currently open to visitors, but sales continue online.

Langthorns Plantery, Near Chelmsford

The organisation is still open for mail order, phone or use the website to contact.

Hopes Grove Nursery


Specialises in hedging plants. Open for mail order.


Daisy Bowie-Sell is digital editor of Gardens Illustrated. She has previously worked as a journalist for publications including the Daily Telegraph, WhatsOnStage and Time Out London


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