Garden Talk


The World's Best Nurseries Series: No 1.

Posted by Catharine on August 14th 2010
Whenever I go plant shopping, lingering time is built in.  The notebook, pencil and camera tag along.  There is nothing quite like a good nursery to give ideas for planting combinations. Or to offer up a completely new herbaceous ingredient.   Experimental candidates in pots make it into the car boot to take home and trial.  Compulsive plant buying, kept at bay for a decade, is on the upsurge.  But now as a designer, it becomes duty. There are nurseries out there that I could waste days in and so now starts an occasional posting on such places.  To me, they are the delicatessens of the horticultural world.  A twist of sumach, a sliver of chorizio or however that translates into roots and shoots. My number one favourite is Woottens of Wenhaston, in the far-flung Suffolk, not far off the road to Southwold.  Woottens operates out of a sleek black shack, clock-topped by a sythe wielding mannikin.  I think he sends down a hoseful of water on the hour.  That might be a dream though.  And there is a busy packing station right there in the back for their on-line business.  Copious quantities of starch potato chips are used. The owner, Mike Loftus, will give you snippets of wisdom - what goes with what.  These are tasting menu suggestions that are worth savouring. Parking up, visitors  find themselves in a nursery jam brimful of  pots - there is pretty much always a rainbow display in staging, colours chosen to be set off by the black background.   The grass collection and variety of hardy geraniums are good - Mike has  fields of daylilies and bearded irises which are wonderful for a visit in season.  There is a polytunnel of pelargoniums (geraniums of the pot type to you and me).  The rest of the site is laid out for shade and sun.  A handy piece of guidance this. scuttelaria incana Never an empty-handed visit, Scuttelaria incana made it away with me last week, Mikes words "it looks good with Echinacea purpurea Ruby Giant' echoing  in my ears.
The World's Best Nurseries Series:  No 1.