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OPEN 9am-4pm (Nov' 1st - Jan' 31st)

Sustainability near Potters Bar

Making Changes.

Horticulture has come under close scrutiny over the last ten years with regards to operational practices & materials. The industry is working hard to impliment the changes that are required &, on the whole, are in agreement with most of the criticism it has recieved. There are four main areas where change has been recommended. Chemicals, Peat, Plastics & Water usage.

Here at Clockhouse Nursery we too understand that many of the changes required of us are indeed needed. We are undergoing a programme of changes in all four areas.

Chemicals: Commercially we have massively reduced our reliance on & usage of chemicals such as pesticides & fungicides. This change has been quite easy to effect as many of the chemicals concidered harmful to the environment have been withdrawn from use plus we now employ a strategy where spraying only occurs if absolutley necessary to save a crop from infestation & periodically, during peak growing seasons, as preventative measures against fungal infection. Previously a more rigorous routine was in place. Weedkillers are now rarely used on site instead we use a bark based mulch on the tops of our pots, hand weed regularly & when we have to spray, we use environmentally friendly, natural ingredient weedkillers. As far as retail chemicals are concerned we strive to advise people to use environmentally friendly choices but are also conscious of providing customers a maximum level of choice. Many of the retail chemicals considered harmful have also been withdrawn or have undergone recipe changes. Ultimately, we will never sell a publically available chemical unless it is perfectly legal to do so. As we see it, it is then up to the purchaser to regulate their usage in the same way that we have to with commercial chemicals.

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Peat: This is indeed a contentious issue with TV gardening celebrities putting their vues into the pot with environmentalists. For us, peat is an excellent growing medium & the impact of peat harvesting for use in retail horticulture is minimal compared to the level of harvesting that is currently undertaken for energy creation in peat fired power stations. This being said, we completely agree that any reduction in the destruction of peat fields across the world, is a good thing. With this in mind all of our commercial composts now contain 20% less peat than their original recipes & we are actively undergoing trials of completely peat free growing mediums. Early results look promising but it is likely to take a few years of experiments before we can make a confindent total change over. There has been significant improvement in retail composts with more & more peat free choices available at improving affordability. Major manufacturers are under intense pressure to reduce their peat footprints so we would expect this trend to continue. Similar to the chemical situation though, until the use of peat is outlawed, we will continue to stock it but try our best to steer people towards a peat free choice.

Sustainability 2

Plastics: The over use of ‘one use’ plastics has been in the spotlight for a few years now. Plastic is, without doubt, a marvellous material but humanity has become very complacent with regards to what happens with it when it is no longer needed. Recycling industries around the globe have fallen woefully behind with their ability to handle certain plastics, instead focussing on the most easy to recycle & most lucrative forms. There is a lot of plastic in horticulture. Until there are viable alternatives it will continue to be used. So how do we, in this industry make a change? It has begun. Most plastic pot manufacturers are now producing pots that are fully recyclable & made from high percentages of recycled plastics. The primary commercial pot colour worldwide used to be black, which recyclers say, is very difficult to process, so the whole industry is now shifting to taupe, grey or blue for their primary pots. There are still black pots in circulation as it would be even more wasteful to dump stocks of black pots without them fulfilling at least one round of use, but numbers are diminishing. We have very few of these black pots left on site for our own production use. If you see a plant in a black pot on the nursery, chances are it has come from another supplier who is working their way through their backlog. The vast majority of our pots now follow the industries example & are fully recyclable. Currently we use polystyrene trays for our pack grown bedding plants. Despite being recyclable, the amount of places that actually recycle this material in the UK is surprisingly few. This, coupled with the fact that polystyrene costs are escalating exponentially, means that we will be changing to a recyclable plastic pack in the near future. This will take considerable investment as much of our existing pack production processes will have to change. Our commercial waste is all hand sorted & picked through by the processor & all recyclable materials removed. These changes are not cost free but we have swallowed some of the extra expense because it is the right thing to do. Now it is your turn. Please make sure that you clean & recycle your plastics & if your local authority does not accept plastic plant pots, kick up a stink & complain to your MP. Many plant pots are now just the same as a yoghurt pot. We will gladly take back any pots that you have purchased from us but please do not bring back pots from other garden centres. Our waste bill is high enough without having to deal with other people recycling too.

Sustainability 3

Water: Water wastage is a problem across all areas of industry & every day life as populations expand. Water is a life giving resource that is taken for granted but it is under immense pressure. In our lifetimes water is set to become ever more expensive & sparse so we need to make sure that we are using it as effectively as possible. Here at Clockhouse we understand the wider issues as well as recognising that more efficient water usage will save us money & make more available for domestic consumption. We are fortunate that our nurseries water is supplied by a Victorian bore hole & water tower so only our emergency back up system runs on mains water. Thankfully this back up system is rarely used. Recently we invested significantly in restoration of our cast iron tank, bore hole pump plus the sinking of a secondary bore hole & pump. Coupled with a modern & efficient irrigation system this should ensure an effective supply for many years keeping us independent of mains water supplies. However this is not enough. In the coming years we hope to invest in a rain water capture & re-use system which, in the long term, will help reduce our reliance on pumped water & significantly impact our water bill. This is a challenging area for us as water is a primary requirement in growing plants so we need to use more than the average business. Couple this with new peat free composts that need more efficient moisture management & making the balance of correct usage over waste, is made even more tricky. Gardeners can do their bit in water conservation too. We try to encourage this whenever we can. Fitting water butts, irrigation systems, not tarmacing over every front garden & planting the right plants in the correct locations will all help gardeners to become less water wasteful.

Water 4

As you can see, we are not perfect but hopefully this page illustrates that we are aware of the issues that face us & that we are trying our level best to meet them head on. The challenge will be to instigate change at a pace that addresses the issues as quickly as possible but that doesnt bankrupt us in the process. We are comitted to continuing to provide you with affordable quality in the world of gardening. In general our costs & overheads continue to rise (as they do for all businesses) so meeting this commitment whilst remaining profitable becomes ever more difficult especially when you factor in some of the sustainability problems that we are striving to overcome. That is why we are constantly looking for areas where can save time & money. Our recent decision to move to cashless retail is an example. Time saved in not processing cash on a daily basis & implimenting security proceedures can be redirected into more efficient service & production time. Also investment into time saving machinery ensures that we are operating as efficiently as possible whilst maintaining the quality that you expect & deserve long into the future.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this page.

Shopping At Clockhouse

Garden retail like it used to be.

Here at Clockhouse Nursery we pride ourselves in providing reasonably priced plants & the products you need to grow them effectively.

That is all.

So, no need to wade through the tide of unnecessary paraphernalia that you will find in most modern garden centres.

No need to worry about parking either as we have over 150 spaces available.

Please Note !

We are a CASHLESS establishment. Accepted payment metohds: credit / debit cards (contctless or otherwise), Gift vouchers & voucher cards, Apple or Android Pay.

Site Plan

Finding your way around our site

Please note that, although this map is still relevant, we are now orerating under some covid19 distancing procedures which means that there are partial one-way systems in place. This restricts easy access between some areas.

Over recent years we have put a lot of effort into making our nursery as easilly accessible as possible. The entire sales area & car park have hard sufaces made from either concrete or tarmac. Outside pathways are wide and our sales beds are sturdy brickwork allowing customers to sit & take a rest if one of our benches is too far away or already occupied.

We feel that you will be able to navigate our nursery with ease, whether you are here for a leisurely browse or a calculated ‘in & out’ quick shop. Free copies of the nursery map (shown to the right) are available from our customer services desk, they also have a shop layout map on the back of them. Don’t forget, a member of staff will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

We hope that you enjoy your visit.

View site map

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Discounts

We offer discounts on purchases which are open to everyone.

Discounts do not apply to promotion items, special offer items, gift vouchers, delivery costs or compost.

You Spend Payment with cash or debit card
£250-£549 5% discount
£550-£849 7% discount
£850+ 10% discount
Gift Vouchers

The perfect gift for green fingered family and friends

If you have absolutely no idea what to buy for as a gardening gift but you do know that the recipient is a Clockhouse Nursery customer, we can offer you a Clockhouse Nursery specific gift card. Available in four designs & similar to many highstreet gift cards in size. Simply request one at the tills, choose your design & it can then be pre loaded with an amount of your choice. Once loaded the amount on the card can be used as part payment or in its entirety. Please don’t forget to mention to your family & friends that they can become part of the Clockhouse “Garden Gang” by signing up for our loyalty card too!

We also stock & accept “National Garden Gift Vouchers” which are accepted at over 2,000 leading UK garden centres, shops and nurseries. With National Garden Vouchers you have the choice of over 90,000 garden products from saplings to pagodas all gardeners will find something they’d like. A National Garden Gift Voucher is great for any special occasion, and whether the lucky recipient is an experienced gardener, or just starting out, they’ll be able to buy everything they need with the thoughtful gift. (Please note that we no longer sell the paper form of these vouchers however, we do continue to accept them as long as they are in date & validated by the retailer).

Plant guarantee & refund policy

We are committed to ensuring that we sell excellent quality plants at what we deem to be reasonable prices. Many of our plants are grown here on site which enables us to maintain quality control to a very high level. Other plants are supplied by trusted companies, many of which have been in business for decades. We are always available to advise customers on the correct care for plants pre-purchase.

Because of this confidence in our product we do not offer a plant guarantee. However should you experience a problem with your plant within six months of purchase we will consider either replacement, credit note or advise you on a course of action to take to resolve the issue. Should the plant need to be returned it must be accompanied with valid proof of purchase (till receipt). We do NOT accept responsibility for plants damaged by weather conditions ( i.e. frost or extreme heat), or poor aftercare. A plant is a perishable good reliant on correct level of aftercare for survival. As such, after six months we relinquish responsibility for its nurturing & hand that duty 100% to the purchaser.

Refunds and exchanges

Should you change your mind about a ‘non plant’ product after purchase you may return it to us proving that the packaging has not been opened, the product has not been used, the product is still in saleable condition, with a valid receipt, within 28 days of purchase. Also, should the product be found to be faulty, it should be returned to us inside of 28 days with valid proof of purchase. Return or refund outside of 28 days may also be considered if the product meets the previous requirements stated. Plant returns should be within 5 working days. The plant will need to be in exactly the same condition as it was at the time of purchase and accompanied with a valid receipt. You will be offered credit note, cost equivalent exchange, or refund to the method of payment.This will be at the discretion of management.

If a product had been delivered by us its return is soley the responsibility of the purchaser. We will not offer a pick up service unless extreme circustances dictate that there is no other option. In such a case the purchaser may be liable for the cost of pick up. This will be at the discretion of management.

All refunds will be credited in the same fashion as initially received, i.e. if you paid by card, the refund will need to be issued to the same card.

We do not offer refunds or guarantees on any sale or stock clearance items.

Please keep your receipt as proof of purchase.

This does not affect your statutory rights.

Visit Us

In the Spring and Summer we’re open 9am - 5pm, 7 Days a week, including Bank Holidays!

We are a CASHLESS retailer. Accepted payment metohds: credit / debit cards (contctless or otherwise), Gift vouchers & voucher cards, Apple or Android Pay.

https://youtu.be/QWnP9sn6qvk

Here is a calender showing roughly what times of year different plants are available.

Our Autumn and Winter times are 9am - 4pm, 7 days a week.
(Nov 1st - Jan 31st)

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Established in 1928

Not many Garden Centres can boast over ninety years of history, and yes, we have seen many changes over that period. Indeed change will continue as we strive always to supply the best in plants and facilities. One thing, however, will never change:

The core philosophy first introduced by Archibald John Mills way back in 1928 remains - the philosophy that built the company’s reputation, sustains it now, and will guide it in the future:

The best way to keep gardeners happy is to offer them plants of the highest quality, sold at reasonable prices.

Read more

Horticultural Trades Association.

We are proud members of the HTA, the Horticultural Trades Association, which is ‘the’ UK’s garden trades association. The HTA has, for over 100 years, promoted the interests of its members and the industry at large.

Being a member offers us various benefits and for you, the customer, the membership should provide you with some reassurance that we are an establishment of quality that takes its responsibilities to its customers seriously.

It also enables us to offer you access to HTA backed schemes such as the national gift vouchers which are redeemable at other HTA partner businesses across the country.

Perennial GRBS

We are also proud to say that our chosen charity is Perennial GRBS (Gardeners Royal Benevolent Society). We are a Perennial Partner which means that we make an annual contribution to this worthy cause whose sole aim is to help people in many branches of horticulture including arboriculture, farming, professional gardening etc during their hours of need. Occasionally we will attach a donate button to our Facebook posts which will enable you to donate directly to this charity should you feel so inclined. Our industry is enternally thankful to those who are able to donate even the smallest amount. To find out more about their work please feel free to visit their website https://perennial.org.uk/

Dog Friendly.

We are a dog friendly establishment. We are listed with www.dogfriendly.co.uk who’s aim is to provide a directory of dog welcoming businesses accross the UK. All that we ask of you as a dog owner is that your four legged friend is kept on a lead at all times whilst wandering around the Nursery and that you clean up after them should the enivitable ‘accident’ occur.

You may access all areas of the Nursery with your pet but we ask that on busy days, you avoid queing at the tills with them especially if they are not very good around strangers. This area can feel a little confined & we feel that for anxious dogs it is best avoided. Most of the time however, you are welcome to queue & pooch may even get a dog treat if they are allowed.

One thing that we frown upon severly is the leaving of dogs in cars whilst owners are shopping. There is no excuse for this here & we have been known to release pets from boiling hot vehicles by all means at our disposal.

Get in Touch

Please feel free to send us a message or ask a question directly via this e-mail form.