What better way to spend a relaxing bank holiday weekend with the family than a garden centre browse?

To help you choose which to visit this weekend, here are some of our Facebook readers' favourite garden centres in south Essex, in no particular order.

1. Plant Perfections, Battlesbridge

The most popular among our readers on Facebook, Plant Perfections is a family-run business based in Beeches Road that supplies a wide variety of plants, garden products and floristry.

Handmade Wreaths by Helen said: "Plant Perfections Battlesbridge is the number one in Essex by far.

"Such friendly people and great prices on plants. The plants are such healthy, beautiful plants. I wouldn’t go anywhere else to purchase plants for my garden."

Peter Tindal added: "Plant Perfections is a family-run business who are always in attendance.

"Their knowledge is equal to their humour which you can catch on their Friday evening live walk about. Miss it and miss out.

"Special giveaways on their video and options to join their 10 per cent discount club."

2. Scott’s of Southend, Rochford

Open everyday in Sutton Road, Scott's is popular in the area, with recent visits from celebrities including Paloma Faith and Stacey Solomon. The centre has a great restaurant, a wide range of gardening products, plants and Meet the Farm Animals events for families.

Gary Howes commented: "Scott's of Southend in my opinion friendly and couldn’t be more helpful."

Verina Weaver says: "My go to is always Scott’s of Southend, service second to none throughout the centre, always great food and a welcome for our doggy."

3. Elm Farm, Crays Hill

Small but mighty, this plant centre in London Road was another hugely popular choice among our commenters. It stocks plenty of gorgeous summer plants to add a pop of colour to your garden, as well as décor, gifts, and accessories including jewellery, bags and scarves.

Janice Mitchell said: "They really are the best. Their pots and hanging baskets are beautiful and customer service are excellent. Definitely first class."

Linda Bottomley agreed: "Elm farm, Crays Hill. Smaller than the big ones but just perfect as everything is stocked that you could ever ask for."

4. Greenacres Little Market, Hockley

This family-run open air alternative to an everyday garden centre with a vintage feel, this Folly Chase business sells plants from their own onsite greenhouses with 60 years of generational growing experience.

Hannah White gushed: "Greenacres Little Market is such a beautiful garden centre and they are so helpful."

April Fenn said: "Greenacres Little Market, great selection of plants and knowledgeable and friendly staff."

5. Hockley Market Garden Centre

Specialising in Mediterranean plants, this family-run Lower Road garden centre was first established in 2011 and has become much-loved in the community. It is known for its huge variety of plants and pots, with great prices.

Lydia Garvey commented: "Price wise and variety, Hockley Market garden takes some beating."

Aladdin's Cave said: "Hockley Market garden centre for choice and price."

6. Four Acres Nursery, Rochford

Based in Brays Lane, most of the plants sold at this lovely family-run garden centre are grown on site.

Ann Brown declared the business her favourite, saying: "Four Acres every time!"

Kate Szukalski said: "I’ve actually found it to be one of the cheapest around and the plants are such good quality. Everyone always compliments my garden."

7. Little Lodge, Fobbing

This friendly and family-run garden centre in High Road is a popular choice for gardening and accessories. Every week the business sources and hand picks the best quality, fresh and healthiest plants from its growers up and down the country.

Lynn Moule commented: "Little Lodge garden centre in Fobbing, family-run, great staff, fabulous plants and unbelievable prices."

Vicki Nunn added: "Little Lodge [has a] great selection friendly staff."

8. Morley Nurseries, Great Wakering

Boasting on a 10-acre site in Southend Road, this family-run garden centre was established in 1966. The plants are grown on site  and the business offers a wide range of plants, outdoor decor, and pet products.

Shoppers can also enjoy a scone at the garden centre's tearoom.

Carole Wells says: "Morley's in Great Wakering. Plants in good condition, helpful staff and they are the only ones who sell Salpiglossis!"

Lynne Manley said: "Morley's is lovely."

9. Alton, Wickford

A large gardening and outdoor store off the A127 in Wickford, Alton Garden Centre sells an extensive range of plants. Plus shoppers can dine at the on-site restaurant during their visit.


Tessa Thowney said: "I like Summerhill and Alton garden centres."

Beryl Rigby added: "Alton’s is good, [on the] A127."

10. Summerhill, Billericay 

Last but certainly not least, this family-run centre off the A127 boasts an on-site plant nursery and outdoor furniture, plus pet supplies, a restaurant and even a butchers.

Sue Sawkins said: "Summerhill Garden Centre is the best and so are the staff."

Sally Cain added: "Summerhills have a great selection of plants, very helpful staff and a great restaurant."