One of the best parts of my job, is that I get to go round Garden Centres and Nurseries, and buy things not just for my own garden, but for clients as well.
So after my morning stroll around the Show Gardens at Malvern on Friday, (missing loads by the look at photos from Ryan's Garden, The Constant Gardener, The Artists Garden, The Patient Gardener and Carrie from Grow your own) I got my shopping list out to get things not available at my local GC, and talk to some of the plant experts to make sure I was making the right choices for plants already planned for borders
First stop was Fernatix, who confirmed the overhead spray irrigation my landscaper had in mind for a project would work for Aspleniums and Blechnum (although at the end of the season the leaves may look a bit limescalley) They had yet more new types of Athyrium, but I didn't have them on my list, so I resisted.
I then checked with the Bougainvillea experts, so that I could report back to my exotic border client that - no there aren't any hardy Bougainvillea's in England, and the Southern California look that she wants will have to be thought over again.
My best plant find was a tray of Artemisia Schmitiana Nana, which I needed to finish a herb border planting, and which the local nurseries were having trouble sourcing, Here they are already planted up - (yes Nana means small, - the little silver foliage plants)
Nerines were next on my list, - all the local garden centres have sold out, but Malvern had 2 different stalls selling bulbs of Nerine Bowdenii, so i've now got enough to complete my planting plans
I then had to move out of the plants section, and onto the sundries. I've found in the past that this is where you can usually make the biggest savings.
Gripple clips which I used for the first time last year when I put up my Raspberry Supports. Watering Lances, Plant labels, and flexitie were all added to my rollalong trolley (yes I do have one!) during the afternoon, as well as my fab freebie book from Wiggly Wigglers and of course my contribution to the evening get together.
I actually managed to get home without a single plant for my own garden, maybe for next year, i'll have to use Lia's trick of letting people know in advance what you are looking for. Of course there's always Gardener's World Live, where i'll have DH to help carry things!