Buy plants as small as you can – not only will you save money but your plant is more likely to survive in the long term.
Plants that are supplied to Garden Centres are treated like royalty – they have to look great to sell so they are given optimal growing conditions.
Unless you treat each new plant with the same attention it received in the Garden Centre it is likely to go into shock when it is placed into the ground.
Some species will stop growing for the first year while they just try to survive the harsher conditions of the domestic garden. Within a year that spindly little tube stock that cost a third of the price of the advanced stock is likely to have outgrown its royal neighbour.
Of course its great to have some taller and bushier plants to create an instant effect – however be selective when buying larger established plants.
If its a slow growing plant that is to be located near the backdoor and will get loads of attention- great.
If it is a fast growing plant save your money and allocate more of your design budget to the hard elements in your garden such as pots, decking, paving or wall art.
You will be suprised how much you will save.