Yesterday I had a day off. Yesterday I went to a garden centre. I was just going for the craic, some 6-inch terracotta pots, and some coloured plant labels. I didn’t get the latter, had plenty of the former (many thanks to Janet – Plantaliscious – and Karen – Artist’s Garden – for that) and did indeed buy some 6-inch terracotta pots.
Somehow I bought a few other things:
See those pots? They’re mine. Some of that greenery is Karen’s. And – cough – some of it is mine.
Not much, natch:
Well, I had this voucher – £4 off if you spend over £40. It would have been rude not to have used it, wouldn’t it? I wouldn’t want Fron Goch, the best garden centre for miles even if it does mean an hour’s drive, to go out of business, would I?
So what did I get? The first thing I fell for was a Physocarpus, Little Devil. I love the colour of Physocarpus leaves, and this one immediately attracted me because the leaves are small and delicate. A bit unusual – as was the stunning Rudbeckia lacinata ‘Goldquelle’:
Sedum ‘Dark Knight’ found its way into my trolley (that’s going to be split with Karen), followed by another Actaea (you can never have enough Actaeas), this time one called ‘Black Negligée’. Where on earth that name came from I have no idea – it’s rather substantial for a plant called black negligée, but I don’t suppose a name like ‘big black elasticated pants’ would have much consumer appeal. Anyway, it will contrast nicely with the much more feathery and negilgée-like Actaea that I’ve already got.
By this stage my trolley was looking rather black – but as I had said when arranging to meet, I would undoubtedly be wearing black myself on the ‘once a Goth, always a Goth’ principle. Extending this to my plant choice was completely unintentional, and more than a little surprising (to me, though possibly not to anybody else). Time for a change, and I turned round and immediately fell in love:
It’s a small pine, Pinus strobus, and will grow to about 60cm in ten years, so it’s heading for a container. But it wasn’t just that, or the fact that it was soooo tactile that appealed: it’s called ‘sea urchin’, and this time the name was apposite; it does look like one (a living one, that is, not the rather sad bleached shells). Silly really; I don’t need a pine, I had no thoughts of a pine, but I couldn’t leave it there. It lives here now.
Of course, there were other things on my route to reaching voucherisation, as it were: a Gillenia trifoliata, which was actually in my plant list, and a Persicaria vaccinifolia
which was not on my plant list but should have been.
And I bought some tree stakes (always useful; reduced price), and cake and coffee. And on the way home we stopped at a newly revamped small garden centre, just to see what it was like, you understand, and I bought a rather nice Festuca glauca…
which looks just right with the sedum. Must remember that. Hey, it was only £2.99…and let’s just say that I reached my voucher target. Um. Plus.
On balance, I think it’s just as well that garden centres are somewhat scattered in Snowdonia. But it was a great day… and thanks to Janet and Karen for being delightful company. Otherwise known as ‘enablers’. (Mutual enablers all round, really.)