For everything there is a season…

I have a problem, it’s called “loving too many things and having no patience to keep going”. My collection of magazines gives a good explanation of the meaning of the first half the sentence: Grand Designs, Gardeners World, f2 freelance photographer, Mollie Makes, etc. The problem of the second half of the sentence shows itself best in gardening. For me, it’s just torturing to have to wait for everything to grow by season, little by little, with no guarantee they will not die.

After weeks and weeks of raining in October, my garden was an annoying mess. The roses got sicker and sicker, blackish leaves all over the place. Weeds never failed; they were the only things I didn’t need to wait for. The cherry tomatoes were all over the ground – every time we walked through, tomatoes got squashed under our feet, leaving black marks on the paving slabs. I just couldn’t face the tinying-up-for-winter giant! Even the Gardeners World magazine could not fan the flame of my love of gardening back.

To revive my passion, my husband decided to take me to our local Garden Centre Cowell’s for the last attempt. It was a sunny November Day and it woke me up!

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A brave little gem in the chilly air.

Cowells is big. It usually takes me a couple of hours just to walk through quickly. There are aisle and aisle of annuals, herbs, roses, perennials, hedging plants, maples and bamboos, shrubs and trees. There are lots of indoor plants too, with a little coffee corner, where you can buy hot drinks from a machine. Invaluable for cold winter days! My only complaint is the toilet. It disappears sometimes. And I’m usually too shy to ask. But a few hours visiting and metro journeys both ways without a toilet is really a problem. But I’m sure the friendly staff would find it for me if I asked.

One of my favourite areas is the Alpines. I always love their looks so different, as if from other planets. I know too little about them. But I’ve seen lovely wedding photos of succulent alpine plants as little wedding gifts for all the guests. Such a good idea! I’d be very happy if I was given one of these.

IMG_0785.jpg IMG_0784.jpg IMG_0787.jpg IMG_0788.jpg IMG_0789.jpgThe other favourite of mine is of course the Sales area! Monty Don once said something like, as a gardener, the advantage of being poor is that you can’t rush into buying everything you see; it forces you to slow down, watch your garden through the year, and choose plants more carefully. That’s true and I know it’s the right thing to do. But I have “plants lust” and I hate waiting! I have to sulk and wait most of the time. But at this time of year, I can spend the same amount of money but get twice number of plants! Plus Cowells offers delivery for a reasonable price, great for us metro/bike people.

(All the plants below were in the sale area. Can you believe it!? And hundreds time more!)

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We’ve never seen Wasabi plants before. So cool!

We bought a little holly and a tree peony in the end. The holly is going to be our Christmas tree this year. (“I want to go again, I want to go again!” “Next week, maybe next week…”)

IMG_0771.jpgThis is Cowell’s welcoming front door.

I contacted Cowell on Twitter for permission to take photos the day before we went. Their cheerful twitter man/woman replied me and asked me to show the message to Dylan. Hi Dylan if you’re reading, sorry I didn’t look for you on the day. I was too shy and I was too busy looking and wowing at all the plants! Hope you like the photos.

(All photos were taken by Rong Fu.)

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