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Pan-Global Plants was set up and is run by Nick Macer since 1997. It is one of those places that you regret not having discovered earlier. 'Inspiring and indiosyncratic plants' says the cover of Nick's Plant Catalogue. The plants, a lot of them at least, are most certainly inspiring although the extent to which they are 'idiosyncratic' is not clear — just how many are 'odd', 'peculiar', 'kinky', 'offbeat' or even 'misbehaved'? Perhaps Amorphophallus konjak is one? Jokes aside, a visit to Pan-Global is always fun and rewarding. The quality of the plants is first-class and Nick's knowlege of them is no less. There is also a garden, best seen in mid-summer, stocked with Nick's favourites with some of Nick's enemies creeping in occasionally when he looks the other way.
Pan-Global relies heavily on its network of propagators and growers with Nick Macer concentrating on collecting, managing the display, and the sales. 'This is a plantsman's nursery' says Nick 'it's what I would enjoy seeing myself when looking for plants to buy'. No hanging baskets here, nor any rows of Busy Lizzies waiting to be bedded. How he makes a living out of all this God only knows. How he manages to run the place by himself is an even greater mystery.
Again, as with all good nurseries the main strength of Pan Global is its selection of plants followed surely by the enthusiasm of Nick himself who also manages to indulge in chasing after plants in distant lands (see PGP website for details) and running a plantsman's website. The flavour of the plant selection leans heavily towards foliage but with notable exceptions: magnolias, hydrangeas, salvias, crocosmias, ginger lilies and so on. But even these have good foliage. While many of the plants look exotic few are of the tender exotic type. Aloe polyphylla, Dahlia imperialis and Tibouchina organensis are about as near to tender exotics as Pan-Global gets. What this means is that almost all of the plants stocked stand a very good chance of overwintering successfully outside. Some of the plants are commonly found in garden centres and nurseries here in the UK while others are difficult to track down - all are worthwhile, quality garden plants. Like all serious collectors Nick codes his rare finds so that the 'advanced user' knows exactly what he is getting.
Do not expect to find a garden centre at Pan-Global - the only things for sale are plants. While it is true that some can be obtained more cheaply elsewhere it is also true that Nick's plants never look tired or neglected and that a journey made to Pan-Global Plants from even a great distance is never regretted. Is it in my top ten nurseries? Without any hesitation it is.
Nick has since informed me that while trying to do as much as possible himself he does have a little help - especially in the summer. Also, wagging his finger at me, he emphasises that Dahlia imperialis is is actually very hardy, with a good mulch. He knows someone who over-wintered one in Scotland down to -18°C with no problem!! Thanks for the info, Nick.
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