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It is such a purposeful activity, too, isn't it? A way of creating and enjoying beauty and the natural forces of the earth recreating itelf. Crumbs, I'd better go and calm down!
Like others on here I don't really have a choice. I do not drive. We have a family car but my OH loathes GCs (well shopping at all really....supermarket shopping is about his limit tbh) and will chose routes that avoid GCs...sounds worse than he is achully he's generally a sweetie and has done a lot of structural work for me in the garden. He's taken me before but he's so impatient it's not worth it...
I go to GCs with family members sometimes, but obviously as I'm being taken I am not at liberty to request particular nurseries...my sisters in particular choose GCs on the basis of the standard of their restaurants. Most of these tend to be humungous 'lifestyle centres' where plants and gardening products form a tiny percentage of the merchandise. I know that these places have to attract as many people as possible to compete in the marketplace, but that is scant comfort when one is looking for a particular plant.
These huge GCs seem to offer a pretty limited number of (often poorly cared for) plants. Occasionally I will purchase something that I know that I can't grow from seed, but on the whole I prefer to wait until I can get along to garden shows in the spring and summer. A local company puts on a coach and it means that I have access to many specialist nurseries in one place, I can usually see what the plants are going to look like (in theory) often the growers are around to chat to and generally the prices are not bad.
Seeds I do buy online, and I have had excellent service from companies like Nicky's Nurseries, Chiltern Seeds, D T Browns and Nuts n'Cones amongst others. Quality Control has been excellent and on the rare occasion that I've encountered problems the customer service has been prompt and effective.
I hesitate to comment on behalf of the disabled or those older members of society who find it hard to get about but some of the larger GCs seem to be rocking with their presence. Clearly they are doing more than just gardening...but find them great places to eat (often several times a week), meet friends and have social contacts, be taken by their many carers for a day out, keep warm in cold weather' window shop in comfort and under cover, and not least enjoy the myriad of flowers and plants and perhaps live again their gardening memories, successes and failures. So it's all a bit more complex than praising the internet for this group, and believing that GCs are for the able bodied. It's actually the reverse...online is for fit busy people, and GCs are a boon to the less mobile.
Good point, WW. But it isn't even as simple as that. For those who can get to GCs, they are a great meeting place - for the senior citizen, for the ladies who lunch, for couples to get a quiet coffee together. They are also a place to get among living things, to see beautiful plants, to learn, to spend money. Great! There are people who can't get to them and there are people who haven't time to go. There are knowledgeable gardeners who want rarer plants and busy gardeners who want to choose and order their plants during odd corners of the day. There are lovely private garden centres and plant breeders who could not survive without the internet.
So what does all this prove? We need and are entitled to enjoy BOTH.
I do so agree GG...I hope that we will keep and enjoy the best of both worlds.
Me, too, WW.
Come on someone say something controversial... this thread is too much sweetness and light. Anyway the clocks go forward in an hour or two and it's time to go to bed!!
I have ME/CFS, so fall into the 'disabled' category. On a good day I could drive myself to the GC, but have no guarantee that I will have the energy to drive myself back! So I mainly rely on the internet for most things. When I do manage to get to a GC, it's mainly for the coffee & cakes, as lots of the things I see on the internet aren't available at the local GC. So I suppose the internet has spoilt me, really. Also, as I don't work, money is tight (OH works, but doesn't really earn enough for us to have lots of luxuries - like plants), so rely on some of the 'freebies' and bargains that can be had on the interweb.
I would love to be back how I was - I used to do aerobics, swim a mile twice a week, go mountain biking at the weekend with my husband and his friends (who tried to break me), and was learning to ride horses. Then I got ME/CFS. It took a while to accept, and you go through a mourning process for the life you had, then accept that things will never be the same, and try to do what you can, when you can, and accept you'll have good days, when things are nearly normal, and bad days, when you feel so tired it's hard to string a sentence together. So definitely no GC on days like that!
Its great to read about all of you and how you do your garden shopping and how the garden enriches your life no matter how well or otherwise you are. Do you also, like me sometimes buy plants at the supermarket when you do your weekly shop. I went to do my Easter grocery shop at a local supermarket last Friday morning and purchased along with food etc, two pots each containing 3 hyacinths about 2 inches tall looking strong and healthy. I could not resist them and now they will sit in my conservatory so that I can enjoy them when they bloom. Then they will go into the border to keep flowering year after year. I have done this in previous years and when I bravely ventured out into the garden a few days ago, looking like an Eskimo with all the clothes I had on, I saw some hyacinths in bloom which I planted a few years ago. What a lovely surprise, it made my day. There are so many ways you can buy your garden supplies and we should make use of them all, whichever suits us best.
I personaly feel for you MMP I suffer with ME along with Haemochromatosis, Lupus and Osteoarthritis. Its funny that people can look at you and make sweeping assumptions about your health. I know I shouldn't but it annoys me when a perfectly healthy woman with a baby on board badge who has been pregnant about 5 mins demands your seat. I would of course try to offer it or move if she was struggling or more heavily pregnant. My mother is also dissabled (wheelchair bound) she looks fairly healthy and still quite beautifull (my dad on the other hand looks bloody awfull - prematurely aged due to looking after my mum I think, lol). My point is, yes there may be people who can appear to be quite well to look at but just because they do you shouldn't assume that they are.
I would much rather visit a garden, a garden centre, a nursery, you can't beat that hands on experience. It can take such alot of time just planning a visit and theres no guarantee that one of my friends would be available to take me (not that I expect it - its not their job). In these cases the internet is a lifeline.
Oh, we're into naughty words, are we? Ok. 'Darn it!!'
Gardening Grandma wrote (see)
Oh, we're into naughty words, are we? Ok. 'Darn it!!'
Oh, we're into naughty words, are we? Ok. 'Darn it!!'
Steady on GG...getting caried away now
If nothing else the GC is handy when it's precipitating down in Scotland!! MMP you're the proof that the 'interweb' (as we like to call it at work) has been a huge boon for so many people, and yes, GCs are often so full of the other things that the plants tend to be a bit limited in variety so the internet's very useful if you're looking for something specific or unusual. I did my shopping on Fri and bought some seeds not realising it was 3 packs for £4, so the sweet peas were basically free.
I'm going to have to go on GG's rant thread Ddave- car parking spaces- don't get me going !! Parent and child - why do they need to be next to the door-can 3 yr olds not walk any more??
Parent and child spaces should be the furthest away from the shop, since these mums (and Dads sometimes) are by definition the fitest in society. They are always young and they are healthy enough to have had a family. The small children should also be encouraged to walk from the nether regions of the car park to get them started on a healthy lifestyle too. No, the spaces should be allocated on the basis of ability to walk under your own steam. Disabled spaces nearest, then spaces reserved for OAPs and then the rest for the younger elements. Controversial enough? Argue against that... the logic is impecable.
Whoa! I am apparently not disabled enough (even when I was in a wheelchair) to have a blue badge. I went through hell and high water during both pregnancies, all down to my ME/CFS, morning noon and night sickness, and with my 1st also had gestational diabetes to cope with. However, I now have two beautiful healty children. We do need wider spaces than other car-park users, as we have to get children out of baby seats (or booster seats - legal requirement upto age 12), and sometimes one or the other can throw a strop - not often, as they've been bought up how my parents bought me up, and understand bad behaviour has consequences, but the littlest one (who will be a proper little madam when she grows up) is just starting the terrible twos, pushing the boundaries to see how far she can get.
All this is fairly academic though, as it's well worth the £3.50 to £5 for the ASDA man to deliver my main monthly shop, so I don't really need to drag the kids round and fill the two trolleys I need to feed my family for a month, I get the nice ASDA bloke to do it, then all I need to do is dash out for bread, milk, fruit and veg once a week. So even though we might look fit, some Mums are anything but. A friend of mine had cancer (oesophagus and stomach), she's regularly in hospital as she gets stomach acid in her lungs and gets lots of lung infections.
The thing that really annoys me, having been a wheelchair user, and pushing my late Father-in-Law in a wheelchair around Tescos (when I was well), is the bone idle folk who just use the space nearest the door cos they're popping in for fags or a lottery ticket. It doesn't matter to them that there are people that really need these spaces, as they are so selfish. My only consolation is if they're popping in for fags, they'll end up in a wheelchair with an oxygen bottle on board later on in life.
Don't get me started on the bone idle parents who live 5 minutes from the school, but insist on dropping off their little darlings in the car. Even with my ME/CFS I ALWAYS walk to school with the little ones, my son on foot, my daughter in the pushchair (it's something to lean on sometimes!) I know of parents that have bugger all wrong with them, who live nearer to school than me, who put their little darlings into school, meaning I have to take my life into my hands crossing the road with the pushchair, as they all expect to park on the school doorstep to let their offspring out. Sorry, but if you have to drive your kids to school, then they're at the wrong school, they should be at their nearest primary.
There's another hot issue for the rants thread -cars and schools. There's a scrum at schools morning and evening - teachers' cars, parents' cars, school buses and, at secondary schools, sixth formers' cars. There are yellow lines to prevent parents from obstructing the way into the school but they park there anyway. Often, parents drive their kids to school because they believe that it is dangerous for them to walk, or simply because it is raining. It is dangerous to have so many cars, even with the usual 30 mph limit near a school. But it is another sign of the times - people are busy and they want to do things the fastest way. Really, schools should be built with space for parental parking and also for school buses to pick up the children in safety. It is too expensive, or the school building is from another era.
My Son's school is down a tiny side road - so the yellow markings are down there. None on the road in the estate that I have to cross over with the pushchair, think it will be a matter of time before someone's child gets knocked over there. Just hope it's not me, or more likely the pushchair - I try to pop my head out before I cross, but it's such a scrum there in the morning.