Monday, 8 June 2015

Giant shop of horrors

I went up to Plantarama in Massey and it was like a gardener's nightmare. I nearly missed the turn off and when I turned up at the drive all I could see was pots. All piled on top of each other. There was a long gravel drive which led to yet more pots. There didn't seem to be any kind of carpark or even any shop. I couldn't turn around and had to keep going, and everywhere I looked was plants, plants and more plants all in those black plastic pots and grow far as the eye could see.

There were no clear labels and didn't seem to be any prices or helpful sales assistants, and I couldn't even stop to get out as on either side of me was wall to wall plants. Growing like no tomorrow in big thickets and all weedy and looking worse for wear.

The website seemed benign enough, I thought it would be like Kings or Palmers but more specialised and bigger..and cheaper prices, but...the state of the grounds?? It was like a graveyard for unloved plants. You couldn't even walk amongst them to pick out the best ones. The drive carried on with several pot holes and then a few makeshift signs saying plants $20. I couldn't tell which ones. Then plants $4. And then I reached a dead end because a truck was parked on the driveway, luckily there was another drive leading off just before like a junction so I could turn around, worst nightmare would be to be stuck there and have to reverse hundreds of metres of windy gravel path back to the main highway.

I quickly hightailed it out of there and thanked God there was a Palmers near Westgate and it was open. I had skipped Kings as there was nothing much there and hoping to bag a bargain from Plantarama. I think if I took anything nobody would even notice as there was so much stock.

So I went to Palmer's Planet and parked right next door to the entrance. Yea for tarmac! And automatic sliding doors! And customer service! It looked like they were having some gardening seminar workshop things later in the week and I'm thinking could be a good thing to go to. There's always something to learn.

I was not after plants this time but pots as I had pulled out two box bushes that were growing in the wrong place in my garden beds and decided they would look good in pots and as topiary. The kind sales lady showed me the different pots they had but I thought I would just buy plastic ones for now and then later decide if want to invest in more permanent ones, that I can easily slip the plastic ones inside. The plastic pots were a bit pricy even for plain black ones but I was there and couldn't be bothered seeing if mitre 10 or Warehouse had any bargains, so I bought sheep pellets and a bag of container mix. It came to about $40.

I also chatted with a chap about bulbs and he told me some tips about growing irises. I asked him if he had the bearded ones that grow from rhizomes but you need to get those from a specialist nursery.
The tip is to fork them and lift them up as they don't like being buried too deep.

I wonder if I apply for a job come spring would they take me? I wouldn't mind working there a while.  Although Kings is much closer, but it seems Palmers people really know their plants. Many times I've asked for certain plants at Kings and they have no idea what I'm on about.