Bank Holiday Plant Shopping

Its a bad idea to go to a garden centre on a Bank Holiday.

Actually, its a bad idea for me to go to garden centres on any day. This year I had promised myself a year off of frantic plant buying. As you do now and again. It didn’t help, therefore, that a week or so ago I popped in to a nearby … you can’t really call it a garden centre. A plant shop: Allington Garden Shop to be exact. Its next door to the rather wonderful Allington Farm Shop, just outside Chippenham.

What was I saying? Oh yes – I went in there and fell in love a bit with a ‘new’ type of Jacob’s Ladder. Polemonium yezoense var. hidakanum has clusters of blue-lilac flowers in early to mid summer, held on purple stems over deep bronze-purple foliage. Or so said the label, anyway. I decided not to purchase and then regretted it (non-buyer’s remorse). Today that was rectified!

Polemonium yezoense 'Bressingham Purple'
Polemonium yezoense ‘Bressingham Purple’

However, that was not the only plant purchased today. Why stop at one?

We also visited Whitehall Garden Centre, near Lacock (yes, that Lacock). Now, if I’m honest, this place can be a bit hit-or-miss at times with its selection of plants available. However, today it was on form, offering up a whole host of interesting bits and pieces. But remaining slightly on point (and on budget – ho hum) purchases were reduced to two: Tiarella cordifolia ‘Spring Symphony’ (not my choice, I have to say – I have a garden full of heucheras as it is!) …

Tiarella Spring Symphony
Tiarella Spring Symphony

… and a beautiful Centaurea montana ‘Amethyst on Ice’. I already have a very blue cornflower/knapweed in the ‘blue and white’ border, but thought this combination of white and deep royal purple would make a nice contrast.

Centaurea Amethyst on Ice
Centaurea Amethyst on Ice

Following the planting of these, I also tied up the sweet rocket (Hesperis matronalis) that had suffered in yesterday’s rain. Its not elegant, but it’ll do for now!

I also noticed that not only do I have a rogue viola flowering quite happily, but one of my Japanese anemone (Anemone × hybrida) is also coming into flower. Somehow its got out of kilter. I purchased it early last summer, along with another, and they were both flowering freely at the time (a warning sign, I suppose!). They soon stopped and seemed to be less than happy where I’d planted them – although I thought I’d picked a fairly good spot for them in the shady border – and died back to almost nothing. In an autumn revamp I moved them. One started shooting again but the other didn’t. Then last winter the one had started flowering – a little flower stem complete with bud appeared. It got frosted off, obviously, and it seemed to be happy.

Then … this happens:

Japanese anemone, April 2014
Japanese anemone, April 2014



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