Saturday, 27 January 2007

The allure of the Garden Centre.

Since we do not possess a trailer or a pick-up truck, our sole means of transporting the plants, shrubs, and even trees, from the Garden Centres to our home was by car. All four passenger seats were needed for our family, which left only the space in the boot and the roof rack. The journey itself took one hour each way. Travelling there was enjoyable as it was along a scenic route.

Once there, we were mesmerised by the seemingly infinite variety of plants on display, and often felt spoiled for choice. There were rows and rows of alpine and rockery plants, shelf after shelf of perennials and bedding plants in all shapes and sizes, and wonderful displays of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs, including old and new varieties of roses. There were also stands, with terracotta and ceramic pots of every shape and colour, catering for all tastes, as well as beautiful stone troughs.

For me, it always felt like looking in a sweet shop with my nose pressed against the window, eyeing up all the tempting things on offer. Some people enjoy browsing for hours in clothes shops, others prefer window-shopping in an arcade or a shopping mall in a town or city. But, for me, as for many a keen gardener, the attraction is a visit to a Garden Centre.

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