We are proud to be a family run, independent, working nursery.
Established in 1988, we have been offering a warm welcome to our customers on our current site for over 20 years.

The Nursery Shop


 Our Beginnings 

Our nursery had a rather modest beginning, with Rosy Hardy and her husband Rob hitting on the idea of growing and selling plants from their own back garden at local car boot sales.  That was back in 1988, when they both had a lot more hair.  Since then, Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants has grown from strength to strength, attracting many loyal customers and winning hundreds of awards.  We are now recognised as one of the UK’s leading independent nurseries for herbaceous perennials.  

Still very much a family-run nursery, we believe we offer an unrivalled selection of 1,200 varieties of herbaceous perennials, from proven garden favourites to the more unusual and noteworthy.  These are all grown outside in peat free compost, at our 13 acre site in the beautiful Hampshire village of Freefolk.  You should come and see our stunning views over the Test Valley.  

As dedicated plantaholics, we really enjoy growing an exciting range of high quality plants that will thrive in your garden, whatever its situation or conditions, and make you smile.

Rosy Hardy holding Guara Rosy Shimmers
But we do not just grow plants, we also breed and propagate our own varieties, including our well known range of Oenothora (Gaura) , plus launch new introductions from other breeders.  ( Here's Rosy pictured with OENOTHORA (GAURA) 'Rosy Shimmers' )

If that was not enough, Rosy and Rob are kept busy on the road, exhibiting our home-grown plants at numerous flower shows and events throughout the year. Together with the team back at the nursery, they have achieved many awards over the years including an outstanding 24 RHS Chelsea Gold Medals. 

Find an event near you
Dogs are welcome at the nursery

Come visit us

Everyone is very welcome to come and visit our nursery in Freefolk.  Our knowledgeable, horticulturally trained staff are very approachable, down to earth and eager to help you find your perfect plants. They nurture each plant, from the start of its life at the nursery, all the way into the boot of your car.  And boy, are they skilled at packing plants safely into the back of a car!

During the winter we are still open and welcome visitors.  To keep you warm our staff are very willing to make you a hot drink to hold as you browse.  If it turns cold, windy or wet, they are also very happy to seek out and fetch your plants while you seek cover.  

Here at the nursery, we hold a variety of events including a very popular series of talks and propagation workshops run by Rosy herself, plus throughout the year exciting guest speakers from the horticultural world join us to speak about their specialist subject too.

We offer  "Behind the scenes tours"  for enthusiastic plants people and gardening groups throughout the growing season, if you think your Garden Club may be interested please follow > this link to find out more. 

We also host an annual Charity Open Day to raise money for our local young people and children's hospice Naomi House and Jacksplace.  Come along and join us - it is always great fun and fantastic bargains are to be had.


 We supply our very own Hardy's Gift Vouchers which can be redeemed at the nursery against the cost of plants or a place on one of our popular talks -you can either order them via our website OR  please email or ring us for more information.
Our opening hours & how to find us

Right plant for the right place

Our aim is for you to go home happy with the right plant for a particular spot in your garden.  

To make it easier for you to look at and select from our plants, they are all displayed on raised benches.  Colourful displays are also created around the Sales Shed to inspire and showcase combinations of plants that look stunning at that particular time in the year.

New for this year is our demonstration area, where we can lay out your plants as if in your garden.  It makes choosing plants so much easier and a lot of fun.

Plants in our sales area are displayed in the different sections below, to help you find and put together your own plant combinations: 

  • Colour benches reflecting all the main floral colours, loaded with examples of all our currently looking good blooms

  • Foliage tables for both sunny and shady conditions 

  • Shade loving plants, separated into spring, summer and autumn

  • Sun loving plants, again grouped into spring, summer and autumn

  • Moisture loving plants, which thrive in damp or boggy conditions

  • Specialist tables displaying groups of plants such as alpines and herbs 

  • Specific plant genus tables for Paeonie, Geranium and Penstemon

  • Shrubs which we particularly like and know will thrive in a garden 

If you know your botancial plant names, we also have an A-Z plant list available on request, which will help guide you to their location quickly.

If you cannot find the plant that you are looking for, please do not hesitate to ask a member of staff, who will check our stock areas, or let you know when the plant will be available.

If you are travelling from afar, please email or phone before your visit, to check that we have the plant that you are seeking in stock.

As well as providing plants to the public, we have worked with many Professional Gardeners, Garden Designers and Landscape Contractors over the years and warmly welcome any trade enquiries. For further details ....

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