Gardening

Tales From The Field: In Which I Explore An English Garden Shop

garden shop 3

Two years ago, in 2015, we spent a some time in England before going on to a business meeting my husband had in Bucharest, Romania ( you can read about my adventure there here). My main hobby is gardening. In England it’s a passion, to put it mildly. And one of the things I learned on our first trips there in the 1990s was about the GARDEN SHOPS. Oh my. We may have big garden centers in the US, but I’m pretty sure there are few, if any, that are anything like this typical one, Stewart’s Garden Centre, just outside of Christchurch.

I had a list of seeds I was looking for…

Garden Shop 2

This was one of about eight display racks from various companies. I managed to not limit out the credit card. I love the quintessential English wallflower. In the tiniest pocket garden in the front of an attached house, if there’s anything planted there it will probably be a wallflower. So I made it easy for myself and got a packet each of every color I could find. The English also love, love, love their peas, so this was the place to pick up some. It was late in the season and there weren’t a lot to choose from, so I got three and hit the jackpot with Hurst Green Shaft. The best pea we’ve ever eaten. Had plenty of seed left from last year so growing a bunch of it this year.

garden shop 4

But what really grabbed me, starting with the display of everything barnyard at the top,  plus gnomes, was the vast number of animal species available, many quite exotic. Really, have YOU ever seen garden statues of meerkats in four sizes available at Home Depot? Didn’t think so.

garden shop 5

Seriously, how cool is this?

garden shop 1

And of course there are plants. Lots of plants. Hibiscus. So very English.

garden shop 7

MUST have red geraniums, of course.

garden shop 14

Bedding plants. Petunias front and center.

garden shop

Part of one aisle, about halfway down. I think there were at least four, plus various side areas. And of course a place to get a cup of tea.

garden shop 8

But back to the animals. This juxtaposition of species stopped me in my tracks.

garden shop 11

It was a little overwhelming. Oh, look! a lion on plant pedestal. I think staff is having too much fun.

garden shop 12

This display is what the fine old English word “gallimauphry” was invented for. A nude, an eagle and a modern sculpture fountain thingie.

garden shop 9

The English do love their hedgehogs. And I know you want a closer look at this one.

garden shop 10

Finally, after all that one needed a good tipple. And it just so happened they had “Hairy Potter Beer”.

garden shop 15

“Well-seeded” we were finally done and ready to head north to Stonehenge. You can see more photos from the trip here.

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s