SO MUCH MORE…
For a delightful day out why not pay a visit to So Plants, a traditional country nursery that features so much more than plants! Photography: Robin Lyndon
With spring in the air and Easter around the corner it’s the perfect time to visit So Plants – a magical nursery specialising in locally grown shrubs, trees and plants as well as featuring gardening accessories and delightful country-themed gifts.
Run by expert horticulturalist Michelle Unsworth, So Plants reflects the area’s rural heritage attracting visitors from throughout the region.
So Plants is perfectly located next to Michelle’s former family home Little Town Farm, which supplies milk and beef to the hugely popular Little Town Farm Shop next door.
“I am passionate about horticulture and I think So Plants reflects this,” says Michelle, who has personally developed the nursery from scratch, seeing it evolve into a joyful visitor experience for those who are equally enthusiastic about plants.
At the heart of So Plants is a plot of land where shrubs, trees, climbers, topiary trees, David Austin roses, fruit trees and berries are nurtured and a polytunnel where herbaceous plants are grown and hanging baskets and hayracks are filled with blooms in the spring and summer and where holly wreaths are crafted in winter.
Brought up on the farm next door, Michelle’s family ethos has always been ‘Buy British Buy Local’ so with that in mind, she buys as much British stock as possible, as she explains: “Eighty per cent of our stock is grown within 15 miles and we grow a lot ourselves and we are still evolving.”
As a specialist in rare plants too, Michelle can often be found giving advice to visitors: “I have followed my dream to become a horticulturalist so people often come to me for advice, that’s my forte.”
A gardener’s paradise, one of the on-site wooden huts houses a wonderful collection of gardening accessories including tools by Darlac and Burgon & Ball, bird food, lawn treatments, a wide range of composts, fertilisers and Apta pots with a 10-year guarantee.
In the other delightful wooden hut is a range of country gifts and accessories as well as work by local crafts people and artists, including sculptor John McLaughlin’s oak-carved birds.
Staying with the local theme, many of the beautiful gifts on display are made by Ribble Valley artisans like the diffusers, candles and AGA melts made By Meg. So Plants is also a stockist of the exclusive Alura diffusers and candles.
Vintage style decorative plant containers, gardener’s string and soap, bleached wooden signs with quirky messages and twinkling lights make this a lovely place to visit, whatever the season.
“While we are predominantly about plants, we do like to showcase what local people produce so we like to feature gifts that follow the countryside and horticultural theme.”
Little Town Farm Shop
Chipping Road, Thornley, Longridge PR3 2TB
Open seven days