Published: 10 July 2012
Urban & Rural Plants
In late May, the Gardening team had the opportunity to visit a nursery on the outskirts of Exeter in Devon.

Urban and Rural Plants is run by Lee Mckie and his business partner, Sam Rankin. 

These plants had just returned from the RHS Chelsea Flower show.
Lee made us welcome whilst we spent an enjoyable afternoon filming the selection of plants which had recently been on display at the RHS Chelsea flower show. It was one of those rare warm and dry days that we have enjoyed in the southwest this year, and the vibrant colours of the plants were showed off beautifully in the sunshine.
The many visitors to the nursery were taking full advantage of the chance to view and purchase some top quality specimens. Lee makes regular buying trips all over the world, to source many specialised plants and trees such as the large potted Olive trees, which he selects personally from growers in southern Europe. One that he had in stock when we visited was over 600 years old.

Open Weekends

The heat in the poly tunnel makes a perfect home for the more tender plants that Urban and Rural stock. On the particular day that we visited, there were several banana plants in full flower as well as a large selection of tropical Palms, Ferns and Cannas.


Exotic plants in the poly tunnel.

Lee is well known in the industry and as such many landscaping businesses around the country rely on him to supply the very best in terms of quality specimens, as well as the unusual.  Whilst Urban and Rural Plants, are mainly a trade nursery, they do have regular open weekends when the public are welcome to visit. One such weekend is this coming Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th, July 2012 where their latest range will be on view including:


·         Italian Cypress

·         Eucalyptus Trees & Bushes

·         Grape Vines (mature)

·         Pittosporum Tobira

·         Multi-headed Yucca Rostrata

·         Tall Olive Standards

·         Rosa Banksia (pink, yellow and white)

·         Large Leaf Ivy Climbers

·         Bird of Paradise

·         Lime Trees

·         Agave Mediopicta

·         Money Plants (Crassula)


The Olive Tree

Keep an eye on our magazine as The Gardening will be returning to the nursery at a later date to follow the movements of the large potted olive tree to its final destination.

For more information regarding open weekends at Urban & Rural, contact the nursery by telephone: 07921 221426, or visiting their website


Reported by Chris Thompson  

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