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6 garden centres with cool cafes

Buy plants and fill your face at these bloomin’ brilliant garden centres in Dorset, Somerset & Bristol, where the cappuccinos look as good as the chrysanths

Groves Nurseries & Garden Centre, Bridport

The award-winning family-run garden centre and nursery dating back to 1866 and spread over three acres, sells all kinds of plants, including one of the largest selections of roses in the area, vegetable and bedding plants grown in their own nursery and everything else for the garden – from a watering can to a pizza oven. Events and workshops too.

Go for breakfast (very Full English, ‘pile me high’ waffles, granola, baps and more) and lunch (salads, sarnies and specials) at the glasshouse style Ivy House Kitchen. It’s licensed if you fancy a bevvie. There’s plenty of seating indoors, in the conservatory or outside on the terrace, patio or around a giant koi pond.

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White Post Nursery, Langford Budville, near Wellington

The family-run garden centre promises unusual and unique plants (for indoors and out) as well as old faves. Hardy perennials, roses, fuchsia, geraniums, bedding, container and patio plants, shrubs, trees, grasses, alpines, succulents, lavender, herbs and veg, fruit bushes – even bonsai.

Take in the gorgeous views over the Blackdown Hill from the White Post Cafe as you tuck into a ‘build your breakfast’ (toasted sourdough with eggs + herby tomatoes + wilted spinach + grilled halloumi + …); lunch (like potato & feta pancakes with red cabbage remoulade) or brunch (Turkish-style eggs; poached eggs with spinach, feta, yoghurt & chilli oil).

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Stewarts Garden Centre, Christchurch

This bunch have been growing plants since 1742. You’ll find everything needed to create the garden of your dreams, from a packet of grass seeds to a life-sized metal statue of a highland cow to put on the lawn when it’s grown, and some stonking garden furniture sets.

Everything in the cafe is cooked or baked on the premises and their scones are legendary. The cakes aren’t too shabby either. Come for breakfast, lunch or coffee and cake all day long.

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Brimsmore Gardens, Yeovil

Located on the road out to Tintinhull, there’s a wide range of good quality plants for inside and out, veg, garden tools and equipment, gardening-related gifts and more.

Nosh on generous portions of Taste of the West award-winning home-cooked grub – hearty breakfasts, brunch, seasonal specials, Sunday roasts and homemade cakes – at The Apple Tree Restaurant and take home some goodies from the farm shop.

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Cranborne Garden Centre, near Wimborne

There are over 300 varieties of rose and 350+ varieties of herbaceous perennials as well as summer bedding/veg plants, shrubs, trees and everything needed to grow them, in the former kitchen garden of Cranborne Manor. Garden benches, lanterns and other gardenalia, too. Go on a Wednesday to get some inspiration from the Manor’s own gardens. The brocante, aka junk, in the Vintage Barn is worth a gander.

The cut above cafe has rather good breakfasts (smashed avo on toast, eggs Benedict, toasted crumpets), hot and cold lunches (grilled peach, feta and parma ham, garlic potato rosti, Clark’s ham, egg and triple cooked chips), homemade cakes and afternoon teas.

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Riverside Garden Centre, Southville, Bristol

Tear your eyes away from the views of the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, docks and the Bristol skyline, and concentrate on the array of plants at Bristol’s largest independent garden centre.

The super friendly veggie and vegan cafe has a seasonally changing menu of salads, soups. sarnies and more, plus yummy home made cakes, organic and Fairtrade coffees, teas and fruit juices. Seating inside and out; the kids’ll be happy – there’s a children’s play area.

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