Recently we travelled down to Garstang for a party and on the way I spotted a sign for Barton Grange nursery. I had never visited before and somehow managed to persuade my long suffering husband to pull in so I could take a quick look around just before it closed.
I soon realised that it is a little bit more than a simple plant nursery. Like many large nurseries it has grown into a glorified gift shop, but sometimes that isn’t such a bad thing. While you may not find any plant bargains, sometimes it is refreshing to be hit by the corporate image stick and find an immaculate, well-thought out shop staffed by people who appear to be on happy pills – they were genuinely very friendly.
Even more surprisingly I found that their plant sales area wasn’t just full of the same old varieties that everyone stocks. I could have spent a fortune but settled on a wonderful new double-flowered Bergenia called ‘Dragonfly Sakura’ with bright sugary pink flowers (above). At £10 it was a little steep but I don’t mind paying for something a little different.
I didn’t think I’d leave with a Bergenia as the older varieties of this much-used plant aren’t the most exciting, and if you don’t remove the older leaves they can look messy, but this one is worth looking after. I’m going to plant it in my ‘spring garden’ near the back door (above). They make excellent ground cover and depending on the variety their leaves change colour from green to maroon or bright red.
I think that future trips down south will necessitate a slight detour to Barton Grange!
Since I last wrote about my garden it has come on leaps and bounds. I should be finishing a watercolour painting, but I simply cannot be inside on a sunny day and every day we have been blessed with sunshine I have been out with my fork, turning over the ground and finally planting out my daffodil collection. I think they will enjoy stretching their roots out! I’ve added grit to each planting hole and a little soil conditioner (below).
I have also planted a Chaenomeles Geisha Girl, three beautiful David Austin roses and various other perennials, but when the daffs die down it’s still going to look very bare. Luckily I am visiting Harrogate Spring Flower Show in a couple of weeks on the 21st April! It’s my birthday the same week so I will be treating myself to plenty of plants to fill the gaps. I know as well as anyone, however, that a garden takes years to come together and I’m looking forward to growing several perennials from seed rather than just paying for fully grown plants which is a very expensive way of doing it!
Hope to see you again soon!