Four garden centres, planting a new wisteria, repotting houseplants and a few tulips … a day in the life of –

A day of sunshine and showers and a trip down the M3 to Windlesham to visit Longacres and subsequently Wyevale and Hilliers. Three very different garden centres – one huge and sprawling, with everything (save many perennials), one very glum and one that has been extended and revamped beautifully – quite a treat.

Longacres is huge, and has everything, with acres of plants, pots, everything for the home and garden. I bought a couple of chunky bright pink zonal pelargoniums for the conservatory, some rose food from Growth Technology, tree fern food, a little mind-you-own-business houseplant, three trailing pelargoniums (deepest darkest red) and oh, a large Wisteria sinensis Prolific.

I’ve lived in this house for 1 years and really it should have been one of the first things I did – plant a wisteria – but better late than never. I have a Rosa banksiae, a double yellow, to plant out too and hope that they will compliment each other. There’s just enough sun, filtered through the street-planted weeping Silver Birch, to make it happy I think.

Wyevale at Windlesham is a desultory experience – with a dour, dark, damp shop and a confused plant area, despite all of the signage.

One the same road as Longacres and Hilliers, it really should up it’s game …

A mile or so further on, Hilliers – and obviously I haven’t been for a while as they have extended the site by at least the same footprint again, have landscaped much of it, added a new bedding plant area, a very swish cafe and a very capacious plant area it is. Lots of signage, quite helpful and in a site as big as this, not so intrusive – and some great plants. I didn’t make any purchases this time around (the wisteria was £20 more than at Longacres but no surprise there) but I will be back to spend some more time in the shrubbery there..

Thus, heading home – via Bunnings to pick up some indoor plant pots – no pics – and so many staff evident now and you don’t need a pound for the trolleys now – and home to repot my collection of houseplants and to look more closely at the tulips on the front path. The wisteria has been potted up with 120 litres of fresh compost into a vintage galvanised dustbin (to match one with a rose Ballerina standard) and I will have to put in vine eyes and wires to support it soon. Not ideal, in a pot, but the ground is impenetrable in the front garden sadly.

Street blossom … and my freshly potted houseplants. Are 38 too many for the kitchen and conservatory? Of course not!


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