• 21st Century Plantagenets

    29th July 2015Places to VisitStephanie Donaldson

    grave garden at Plantagenet Plants

    Seventeen years ago a pair of BBC reporters, Bella and David Gordon, gave up their London life and moved to a small village in the Loire Valley where they established a specialist plant nursery growing the dry-garden plants that the French didn’t realise they needed until the serious droughts of 2003-2005. At that point the chateaux, communes and municipalities started to give up their thirsty annuals and turned to Plantagenet Plants for the perennials that would transform the public gardens, parks and even the roundabouts of France.

    resilient plants gravel bed at Plantagenet Plants Plantagenet Plants perennials

    Their own garden is the testing ground for many of the plants they sell. Nothing is pampered and each plant must prove itself resilient to the heat of summer and the cold of winter.

    echinacea purpurea lillies in flower at the chateau

    Today the wholesale nursery (not open to the public except for an open weekend at the end of September) supplies their plants to designers and communities throughout France producing 100,000 plants a year. Quite an operation for a couple who started with nothing more than some plants from their London garden. I will be telling the full story in the June 2016 issue of Country Living.