The Garden Centre! Oh, the Garden Centre!
Mr B says not to hurry, I should take my time. You are doubtless thinking that
this is very thoughtful of him but the truth is he is watching England playing Ireland at cricket and would appreciate being able to watch in peace. As in, without me wittering on every so often about Matters Unconnected With Cricket.
I had intended to visit the Garden Centre yesterday but Mr B was at Newmarket. Apart from when he was at Goodwood. He wasn't actually at either racing venue, except virtually, but
he was enjoying himself selecting runners and riders, taking advice (or, sometimes, ignoring advice) from the racing pundits in his Daily Mail. The trouble was, he needed me to put his bets on for him as I was the one who set up our on-line Betfair account
on Grand National day. Obviously this required me to remember how to get into our account, failing to remember and consequently having to reset the password, after which I had to remember exactly how to place a bet. This, you can imagine, was scary stuff as
you wouldn't want to be me, now would you, if I placed his money on the wrong nag?
By the time he had satisfied his Inner Gambler (he ended up £10 up, which
can't be bad for an afternoon's entertainment) it was too late to drive to the Garden Centre before it closed. I was, therefore, doubly keen to make it today.
trouble with me and the Garden Centre is that I can never make up my mind. I do not have a clear enough idea of what I need to buy in order to satisfy my desire for All Year Round Colour in my garden. As I wander about the A - Z of shrubs, I wonder if I would
fare better were Mr B accompanying me - then I remember my fella's modus operandi where shopping is concerned.
"Clematis might look lovely, trained against
the fence?" I might ponder. Almost before the words left my lips, Mr B would be loading clematis plants into our trolley and heading off to the check-out desk with a broad smile of self-satisfaction on his face faster than I can mutter "Wisteria?" Mr B has
no truck with Dithering. I, on the other hand, am a Ditherer of the First Order; I need to wander round the Outdoor Plants at least four times before making a tentative selection and, even then, if I happen to see a particularly attractive plant in someone
else's trolley while I am indulging in a small Americano and a toasted tea cake in the Café, I may well hot-foot it back outside to rethink my choices.
other trouble with the Garden Centre is that I always spend more money than I intended. I need to remember that SYO (Sowing Your Own) is the way to go. It is far cheaper and, ultimately, much more satisfying. You will be delighted (or possibly not in the least
bit bothered) to hear that I am planning to plant another Sunflower Wall this year. The seeds I planted a fortnight ago are springing up like weeds - forty-five seedlings at my last count.
Even allowing for selection of the four sturdiest seedlings to participate in the Annual Sunflower Competition between Mr B and me and the gifting of others to any members of the Nomination Whist group who wish to compete
with us - I should still have a fair number for my "wall." And all for the princely sum of £2.50. That equates to, well, not a lot per flower...
One of my
favourite bushes in our back garden has died. I feel bereft - this was one of the shrubs which was already in our garden when we moved here over thirty years ago. I have kept watching it, willing it to start to bud - but no, it is definitely gone. To console
myself and to soften the blow of removing the Unfortunate One, I buy a replacement. I wasn't planning to do so but, on my indecisive wanderings, all of a sudden it seemed exactly the right thing to do.
The Youngest of the Darling Daughters, coincidentally, has also been to her local Garden Centre. We talk on the phone and, when we finish talking, we send each other photos of Plants We Have Bought. She comments, in particular,
on my new bright pink gardening gloves.
I have promised her some sunflowers. I'm sure I will have some to spare.
When it comes to spreading a little happiness, few things can beat a packet of Sunflower seeds.