We have a select range of perennial plants available at our Hemel Food Garden plant nursery. Open Monday to Saturday, 10 until 3pm. Hemel Food Garden – Sunnyside Rural Trust
Many of the plants are drought-tolerant and have been grown in the UK from seed, cuttings or mini plugs by Sunnyside Rural Trust charity and social enterprise offering training and work experience for vulnerable people with learning disabilities.
‘In flower’ plants are displayed next to our Sunnyside Up Farm shop & Café.
3 small pots are £10 (£4 each if bought singly) and £8 for large ones or 3 for £20.
Our Sunnyside Up Farm shop is open Monday to Saturday, 10 until 3pm and the Café at Hemel Food Garden has a menu which includes homemade vegetarian and vegan options as well as barista coffees. Please note that we have limited parking available. Also, available to buy:
- Bags of Peat free compost at £5 for 40L
- Tomorite £3.49 500ml, £5.49 1.3L
- A selection of herbs including thyme, rosemary and chives and some more unusual ones.
- Plus, we have a small selection of indoor plants available from our farm shop.
Pop along between 10 and 3pm, Monday to Saturday, to add to your garden displays
” Seeing the difference that Sunnyside Rural Trust makes, it is so obvious to me that every community should have a place like this at its heart, where nurturing people and nurturing a place come together” -TOM STUART-SMITH, Landscape Designer www.tomstuartsmith.co.uk
“We were delighted to see such a good availability list with many of our favourites, and a few new varieties to try. The collection went well, with all plants well cared for and in great condition. Sunnyside are very friendly and helpful and share our passion for plants. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them and look forward to ordering again soon.” – SARAH JARMAN, JarmanMurphy
We grow peat free
We pot on our small plant plugs into peat free compost. Over the last year we have worked to eliminate the use of peat in our plant growing activities and we can now happily say we grow peat free! It’s important that we do this and as important that we encourage others to as well.
So, it’s good to give it up. At Sunnyside we use about 25 tons of compost a year, for potting our bedding plants, growing our perennials, and sowing our flower and vegetable seeds. So, it’s a considerable achievement to say we are growing peat free and are environmental green champions.
We grow drought tolerant plants
It’s a year since 7000 of our perennial plants were used in Tom Stuart-Smiths Iconic Horticultural Hero Garden at the RHS Hampton Court Garden festival. All the plants were drought tolerant with a focus on pollinator friendly varieties and many are still on our stock list. Climate-resilient and adapted to hot and fairly dry conditions, a lot of the plants we grow are suited to this type of environment, that has become increasingly commonplace each year.
Growing perennial plants helps provide a sustainable source of income for our charity and it offers vital training and employment opportunities for some of most vulnerable young people and adults, with the additional therapeutic benefit of horticulture.
We grow pollinator friendly plants – we care for the environment and for others
We keep bees and grow perennial plants that are pollinator friendly – attracting butterflies, bees and hover flies alike. We have a number of beehives across our sites that encourage healthy bee populations in our community. From our beehives we take some of the honey to sell in our farm shops.
Our Social Enterprises – helping our community grow.
And now customers, can buy high-quality plants and are able to make a difference to the community in a sustainable and meaningful way.
“Growing perennial plants represents a sustainable source of income for our charity, which is needed now more than ever; it offers vital training and employment opportunities for some of most vulnerable young people and adults, with the therapeutic benefits of horticulture. For our customers, not only can you buy high-quality plants but the chance to make a difference to your community in a sustainable and meaningful way.” – KEELY SIDDIQUI-CHARLICK, CEO, SUNNYSIDE RURAL TRUST
We also grew perennial plants for the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival in 2021
A range of perennial plants, ideal for the drier garden, were grown for the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival and selected by renowned landscape designer @tomstuartsmith.
In the video below, Tom talks about the climate-resilient planting of meadow perennials which feature in his 2021 RHS garden , working with a team of apprentices at @sunnysideruraltrustcharity, the charity offering training and work experience to vulnerable people, who are helping to grow the herbaceous plants for the garden.
Tom also takes you on a tour of his own garden and shares how using contrast between structure and biodiverse, colourful planting has influenced his designs for @rhsbridgewater – the 5th RHS garden which opened in 2021.