Where can I find a fantastic garden centre?
I think we have found the absolute ultimate garden centre! We have been to quite a few during our garden make-over (you can read all about that in our ‘how to make a garden’ posts), but one garden centre in particular stands out for all the right reasons. Coolings Garden Centre near Knockholt in Kent has absolutely every plant and every variety you could dream of. Their production nursery covers 4.5 acres, where they grow over 65% of their on plants which are then sold on over three acres of display area. This makes them one of the largest in the UK.
An amazing variety of plants and trees
As soon as we approached Coolings by car, we were impressed by the size of their car park. Not surprising though, considering how popular this garden centre is. But even on the busiest days, it doesn’t get so crowded that you can’t enjoy strolling around the vast display areas. The reason is the clever lay-out. The centre is divided into different areas.
There is a huge shop as you walk in that sells all manner of garden equipment and gifts.
Outside you will find the plant display areas, which are arranged in sections like shrubs, roses, climbers, conifers, etc. Everything is displayed in alphabetical order so whatever you’re looking for is easy to find. They have a separate bonsai department where you can buy but also learn all about bonsai from a specialist. Then there is the tree section, where you can find an enormous selection of fruit trees as well as trees for small, medium and large gardens.
And then there are the greenhouses, where you can find bedding, vegetables, herbs and so much more.
Beautiful display gardens
The other really clever thing about Coolings, which makes it stand out from other garden centres, is that they have lovely gardens to showcase the use of the plants and trees you can buy. Everything is labelled and it’s wonderful to see how the plants would look in a garden setting. The gardens are very accessible and it feels like you’re having a walk in a beautiful park. Coolings is also dog friendly and it’s a very nice touch to have a bowl of water provided for our little friends.
A great day out
Coolings Garden Centre makes for a great day out. There is lots to see and worth checking if any events are on before you go. There are regular fairs, craft shows and exhibitions, check out their events page online.
Just a short drive up the road is Coolings Green and Pleasant, where you can sample a delicious menu at the Blueberry Cafe and where you will find even more things to do with the family on their 6 acre Nature Trail. Of course if you’re spending time at Coolings Garden Centre (and I could spend all day there), you’ll be happy to know that their Restaurant, Arthur’s, have a lovely menu and very importantly, the most delicious cakes! You can sit indoors or out, either way you will have great views of the gardens.
We have spent quite a few Sunday mornings there, they do a delicious English breakfast in case you’re interested.
The best thing about Coolings is that there is always something new to see, new plants, new displays, new events. Who knew that a garden centre could provide so much entertainment! I’ll have the chocolate Guinness cake next time!
Coolings Nurseries Ltd.
*This post may contain affiliate links.