This year I have been following with great interest VP's discussions on public planting and her campaign for us to record the different types of planting we see out on the streets. Now whenever I go out I can't help but look to see what is on display. Back in June I posted a few snaps of some very bright pink beds at my local garden centre in Wiltshire. So last week when I was visiting the main garden centre local to Tumbledown Farm I thought I would investigate what they had to offer.
Garden ornaments Lincolnshire style!
Baytree Nurseries is a place that is not easy to forget. Twenty years ago when I visited it at as a child it had 15ft papier mache animals sat at the front of the store, along with tanks, tractors and boats. They did not go in for subtlety. The papier mache cats and dogs are not so obvious these days (O.K. maybe I did spot one 10ft papier mache mother goose near the car park), but this garden centre is most definitely like no other I have ever visited. It is extremely quirky. It caters for everyone, and in South Lincolnshire the tastes are quite different to Wiltshire. For a start I have noticed that this farming community has a real love of tractors. A few months ago I would have giggled at a tractor under planted with winter pansies and cyclamen but having seen the front garden below on a local A-road Baytree's little bed is rather subtle in comparison.
Tractortastic! View of a front garden from the local A-road.
Whilst decorative tractors and annual bedding are not really to my taste they are popular and many visitors enjoy them. There are however, a number of area's of Baytree Nursery that I do like. One of them is this little raised bed with the bonsai in it. It has been there for as long as I can remember it is simple and rather beautiful in a very Zen way.
This very well established Rosa moyesii Geranium is another long term resident that is particularly striking, but perhaps not as stunning as the Bougainvillea below that was planted by the plantsman owner of Baytree Nurseries Reinhard Biehler more than 30 years ago.
I had to throw in a snap of some of the sparrows around the centre. There are hundreds of them and they are so non-fussed by the visitors that they don't even bother to shake a tail feather when you stop right next to them. In recent years the decilne of Britain's sparrow population has been well documented but here in Lincolnshire their numbers appear to be very strong; Tumbledown Farm in knee deep in them!
A running theme this summer across several of the beds on display including those on the roadside has been drought tolerant planting. This one comes complete with skull and wagon wheels!
One of the my favourite departments is the alpine department. They always have a wonderful display of planted troughs, railway sleepers, Wellington boots, pots and even breeze blocks. Their selection of plants as with the rest of the nursery is very good. Whatever your tastes, I challenge you not to find something of interest at Baytree. It is vast and I confess I visit it whenever I get restless and bored as there are so many areas I spot something different each time I visit. Prices are not bad either and bare roots plants are available a various points throughout the year.