My idea of retail therapy is to head for a whole lot of garden centers and fill the car with plants and soil. Few things in life are more satisfying …
I can never understand how anyone can spend a few hours gazing at plants in garden centers and leave empty handed. I have neither the willpower nor the inclination to do so. For me, it seems perfectly logical to get something after spending all that time, petrol and toll just to get to there. With me, the main problem is to restrain myself from buying too much.
First up is the torenia. Its lovely pastel colours remind me of apricots, peaches and cream – like some fruity dessert. Needless to say, I promptly chose a couple. I just hope these set seeds as easily as those I have at home.
Then we checked out the rose garden behind one of the garden centers. After searching for 7-sisters and china doll and coming up with zilch, I turned my attention to other plants. There were huge bags of healthy chili and egg plants but these were not on my wish list.
Then I saw a group of diminutive wrightia religiosa standing between 4 to 5 inches tall. I had to kneel to take a closer look. It was the small leaved variety. But what held my attention was the fact that they were blooming and the flowers were double petalled.
I asked the worker how much the plants cost. “Not selling,” came the clipped reply. It must have been that injured look on my face that made him reconsider. I finally bought two after taking a good ten minutes to make my choice. These would look good in tiny bonsai pots.
Bonsais are not really my cup of tea, but they remind me of my gran. She loved them and would have bought more than a couple if she could.
And I saw a plant that reminded me of the ornithogalum. I’d never seen the plant before so I asked for help with the ID. My good friend Al found the answer for me – it’s Bulbine frutescens.
New plants always fascinate me and this was no exception. I figured it would look nice next to the lilac flowers of the thulbaghia violacea (society garlic). Let’s hope it turns out to be as tough as its new neighbour.