Perhaps naively I’ve been anticipating the arrival of spring, those brief skin tingling sun rays, the sight of a robin with a feather in his mouth, a splash of yellow from an early narcissus. My house once again has all south facing window sills adorned with trays, and pots, and toilet rolls (as shown in video). Seeds buried in warming moist soil. Germinating glints of green. Quickly towering forests of vibrant broad beans (Aquadulce Claudia) looking for a stray sunny beam. Wanting to grow more herbs this year I have set the pod exploding germination process going with Chives, Parsley, Tarragon and Basil and whilst the chives are already beginning to spindle their way through little black nodules, the rest of the seeds sit happy, closed, a chemical war occurring behind their innocuous surfaces. I’ve run out of room, but green fingeredness calls me on, my passion becoming a little out of control!
However, my plight to protecting my plants has been far from successful this year, with my lack of assertiveness once again losing many osteospermums and putting my echium webbii in clear and present peril. Though covered from the snow and frost for most the season, the impact of heavy snowfall has scorched my poor little gem, killing its leaves and leaving only sporadid green noticable through its dead, sad outlook. In a rather late bid to attempt resuscitation I have brought it inside for a little warmth but I wait with baited breath to see if a miraculous recovery can be achieved. The star of my garden, my horticultural prowess will be ruined if I’ve killed the thing in less than a year, and whilst I’m sowing, sowing, sowing in a bid to appease my guilt, my echium looks sadder by the day.
By the way. If suddenly, at 1am, you realise that your Echium Webbii and Osteospermum aren’t protected and a blizzard it crushing them under gentle deadly snowflakes, for the night a towel will do! My feet are cold, but my plants are now all cozy until I can save them in the morning
Every time Cruise Hill is even mentioned my heart quickens. A subtle hint in a sentence, a passing referral to this paradise, an out and out plan to visit this oasis, makes my credit card groan and my smile broaden. I just can’t help myself. The garden centre utopia known as Cruise Hill is always worth a visit and I rarely come away without spending a small fortune.
It all started with a trip to a bird centre in the vicinity. I am a bit of a boffin when it comes to birds, keeping and breeding them for many many years. I often find myself spending hundreds of pounds, pounds that I hadn’t intended on parting with. Its’ a finch here, a parakeet there, thankfully never a parrot…..yet. I must admit that I did return today with a tiny white zebrafinch hen. She was all alone, I had a single cock sitting in the avairy…it’s the perfect pairing.
But its in recent days that I’ve gone slightly plant crazy. Its not a want, its a physical need to fill my overflowing trolley with more and more plants. It’s the foliage, the smell, the overpowering need to keep buying thing’s that grow. I did well though, £40 later and I’d got an assortment of ferns, californian poppies, heucera’s, dahlia’s, osteospermums and ornamental grasses. I pushed the boat out on a stunning Echium Webbii. Also known as the “bee plant” it’s soaring spires of white flowers change to blue as the mature, attracting the buzzing of the friendly bee and filling the garden with an unusual and rare plant. I can’t believe I found one. It must be my favourite buy of the day! Along with Mary, and budding gardener Leone, we managed to spend £150 and fill the car to the brim!
Seeing out the back of the car could be difficult!
£40 got me this lot, I’m quite, quite happy. Good day out!