London (change)
08/05/2012 at 21:19

Has the cricket season started?

08/05/2012 at 22:00
@Wintersong - That hellebore is lovely. I really like them. My main border in the back garden is quite damp and shady so I reckon it would be perfect. There was a reduced H. Orientalis in Morrisons today but they still wanted ??7.50 because it was in a terracotta pot. Tried explaining that I wanted the plant not the pot but they were having none of it... @Gardeningfantic - Your garden looks like it would be lovely to stroll around. Very pretty.
08/05/2012 at 22:25


08/05/2012 at 22:26

@Rob Stevens,  Yeah, I fell instantly in love and my plant cost a tenner for 2lt pot.

I would normally balk at such a cost, but it is a heavy plant and read that they are slow from seed and I never resent a nurseryman his dues if its a plant that needs extra attention.

08/05/2012 at 22:31
sotongeoff wrote (see)

Has the cricket season started?

No... they prefer moths and flying insects, lol.

08/05/2012 at 22:38

We went down to our local Wyevale garden centre yesterday (yes, it was raining heavily again). (This is the one in Thornbury which got into trouble a few years ago for killing robins.)

BH and I are both absolutely staggered at the price of some of the perennials. £7.99 for small hostas!! £6.99 for small geraniums!! Kicking myself as I've been throwing better plants away! I cannot understand how they can justify these prices. Nor can I understand who pays them - these are very simple plants to propagate.

08/05/2012 at 22:55
@wintersong, for a beautiful plant like yours I totally agree, however for a Morrisons reduced section job that may or may not survive I thought it was extracting the urine somewhat... @Excitable Boy- Wow, that is steep! I'm quite lucky in that I've found a nice cheap independent nursery near us. Seems like nurseries are cheaper than actual garden centres - the one near us is also scandalously expensive.
08/05/2012 at 23:08

I think 3.99 is the most I have paid for a plant, I either get very small plants, reduced ones, seeds or scrounge cuttings from my parents. I think there is a group of people who just buy plants for instant effect. My neighbours bought 4 box balls at 30 quid each, planted them badly and I had to just watch them die. But these are the people keeping GC's in business.

You can see how poundland have become a sensible place to buy plants.

08/05/2012 at 23:26

B&Q are supplied by a company called Verve, its now on all their labels.

They do three tiers of plants, small job lots such as buy two 1Lt pots for £5, a middle 2Lt pot for £8-10 or the semi mature versions that cost £25-30 or upwards.

Over the last few years I've found actual garden centres to be the priciest places to shop, stocking worthy plants but with that plastic commercial smile I don't like. I would always support a local nursery purely because its a small business, likely to be family run and I've always found them to be honest and helpful. A few years back we bought some mature plants knocked down and even got free delivery!.

At the moment both the above are out of my walking distance to get to, so B&Q is my only supplier and whilst the advice is mind blowingly bad and the plants are mass produced with a bit of a gamble as to cultivars, I still find them okay. The plants are always healthy with a good variety to cater to most tastes. I think the prices are pretty reasonable especially if you go at the end of seasons when they are reducing plants that are going over. I love sniffing around the half price trolley!

My only complaint would be the labelling and not just missing labels like today, but the information they give you is poor.  Last year's purchase of Callistemon leavis is currently sitting in a pot cut back hard after it turned brown post snow. I dug it up with the intention of dumping it on the customer services desk because the label did not mention it being tender at all, only the base was not dead, only its top growth. so I cut it back hard (apparently they recover from this as its like a bushfire) and stuck it in a pot to look after it better, but if the label had warned me, I wouldn't have bought it in the first place.

09/05/2012 at 06:56

If you want to buy over priced plants-visit Wisley-there prices beat everyone elses but not in a good way.

Am going to B&Q this morning-it is 10% off day-does anybody want anything?

I shall be of course be wearing the beige to blend in

09/05/2012 at 07:54
I'm lucky enough to have an excellent nursery ( about 4 miles away, which is wonderful, inspiring and well priced. Would thoroughly recommend a visit if any of you ever venture down this way. There's also an agricultural store and seed merchants right in town, which does plants and veg seedlings as well, huge selection of seeds. Both places have very knowledgable and helpful staff, Hillhouse even has a very well-thumbed copy of the RHS A-Z of plants so you can check on cultivation requirements. Just up the road there's a semi-wholesale nursery - which is like a sort of plant battery farm, but very well priced and the condemned section is irresistible, especially if you're looking for a lot of bedding plants. I got a 2l thyme, 2x 2l sages and 3x 1l thymes for ??16 there a couple of months ago Last time I went to B&Q was to get some guttering for seed sowing, had a wander through the plant section and didn't see anything I was remotely interested in.
09/05/2012 at 08:46

You will be relieved to hear that I managed to leave Dubai and am now in Melbourne at last.  I was so keen not to miss the flight this time that I went and sat outside the departure gate an hour before it opened.  There is a tram stop outside my hotel but I quite like the distant dinging noise they make, it's like the sound you hear from boats moored in a harbour,

Getting back to gardening.......I usually grow runner beans and french beans.  Each year I toy with the idea of giving up on runners because they have loads of flowers which don't turn into beans whereas every french bean flower turns into a bean.  It is nice to have both though.

This year I am growing a variety of dwarf french bean with purple flowers for a change but can't remember what they are.

We've got a large number of GC's just around where I live for some reason.  I only buy plants in Wyevale from the reduced section.  There is a lovely local independent nursery which has plants at a much better price.  They also have a v nice cafe with home cooked food which is always well worth a visit.

09/05/2012 at 08:56
Sounds like you might have a pollination problem with your runners- they're insect pollinated, French beans aren't. But not much you can do about that right now! I'm sure the weather's better for you than the ongoing miserable stuff here, though we have had a couple of reasonable days recently.
09/05/2012 at 09:31

I know I 'm going on about this but my wife liked the look of their bedding ("dwarf") dahlias. A snip at £3.99 each!! Even worse is the fact that they were in flower, so anyone taking them home and planting them straight out would have dead or dying plants within the week. A packet of 60 seeds costs, what, £2 - £3? And again, dead easy to grow.

You can probably tell I don't go to Garden Centres much!!

We've been given some tickets for Malvern on Saturday - I may have a stroke!

09/05/2012 at 10:51

KG so relieved to hear you have arrived safely, we have been worried.

figrat you seem to have a good selection of GCs etc in your area, I can get to at least 8 different ones within 10 minutes, so many rescue sections to check out

Excitable Boy great news about the tickets, hope it is dry on Saturday. I agree about the seeds, as I mainly grow from seeds, but last summer I found some of those dahlias in the reduced section for £1 and I succumbed

Very damp here today so it may be ironing and packing. Geoff can you pick me up a roof rack and bin the beige, be bold wear pink even fuchsia.

09/05/2012 at 11:15

Back from the beige day

Got the wood I went for and did that fateful thing of looking at the plants and the reduced section bought 2 packs of 12 petunias-one down to a £1 the other down to £1.50 less the 10%and another 25p off--now will have to sort them into the sick-bay.

Kate-your request came to late-and also I have to blend in-in hindsight I should have gone back to the fuschia

09/05/2012 at 12:13

What will you do with the wood?

09/05/2012 at 12:20

It was just some lengths to prop up the cover over the chicken pen-not that interesting but useful.

It is still raining

09/05/2012 at 13:23
joslow wrote (see)

Sorry to butt in, but what are the flowers in the photo with prurple and white flowers and pink drumsticks?

do you mea this large plant pale lilac colour is called "cupids dart," the  the bees love it.. hard to get rid of thou once you have it.. i have dug this up and moved it several times.. it keeps coming back.. very deep tuber root.. easy to grow from seed.

it sounds like thin paper in the wind.. lovely plant.

09/05/2012 at 13:25

the drums sticks are alllum drumsticks... very nice loved by bees and butterflies to.