Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Shopping, Swapping, Building and Gardening

What a hectic weekend!

It was a bank holiday in the UK on Monday, so we were grateful for the extra day off from work! I sure could get used to three day weekends.

Our good friends Lucien and Laura had organised a get together for a group of like minded exotic gardening fans on Saturday. We started off meeting at Akamba Garden centre near Birmingham. Akamba genuinely is a Garden centre like no other, with so many accessories and statues, as well as exotic plants. As well as shopping we also had a plant swap in the car park.

The cafe transports you to somewhere a long way from Birmingham!
Heres looking at you! Giraffe with cute eyelashes.
I love the way the palm leaf looks like its hanging out of the statues mouth.
Fantastically crafted, but we found this head slightly disturbing.
We debated buying this fish to sit by our new pond, perhaps when the pond is finished,
it will find a home here!
King of the jungle!
As well as the metal animals, Akamba is home to lots of real ones too.

From Akamba we then headed down to Fibrex, which specialises in ferns, ivies and pelargoniums. Our interest was on the ferns and unusual ivies, and we soon had selected several plants.

Mark selecting from the variegated ivies
Fibrex is quite close to Bob Browns nursery, Cotswold Garden Flowers, which despite the rather cottagey sounding name, always delights with some unusual and rare plants.  CGF is always an interesting nursery to visit and this time was no exception.

Every nursery has a cat, and CGF is no exception!
As is often the case with plant expeditions we came home tired but quite pleased with our selection of plants!

So as is typical after a plant buying trip, the next day involved some sorting out, potting on and planting out. A couple of our purchases will be grown on before planting out, so these were potted on with fresh garden compost, and popped into the greenhouse.

With a better forecast on the Sunday we were able to get some more work done on our pond project, and have now finally finished laying the blocks. There's still some more work to do, but it was nice to reach that particular landmark.

Finishing off the last of the blockwork
With all the rain of late, and some sunshine the garden is coming together nicely for the coming season.

Hopefully the weather will improve some more soon, although it does look like we will have some more rain first, with any luck the sunshine will be here for the next bank holiday at the beginning of June.


  1. Yay for 3-day weekends, it seems like those are the ones that finally allow for fun and project time. I love getting to come along on your adventures, as well as the walks around your garden.

  2. I normally work bank holidays (don't get paid otherwise!) so it was a real treat to have a three day weekend - and do tax-type spreadsheets, sigh. I'm intrigued by 'that' sign: Caution Birds may bite .... something. What might they bite? We should be warned. D

  3. Thanks Loree! Three day weekends are fantastic, wish we had more of it here (if only!). First day is usually rest day and then you have two days to do projects and find you're extra productive :)

    Glad to hear you had time off that weekend too David :) Your comment made me laugh, yes be careful of the birds...

  4. Wow,your place is like a zoo! Gorgeous! Great taste. I am a new follower, I found you at my friend sunraygardens. Hello from Rome!

  5. What more shopping... that is what Bank Holidays are for, isn't it? And getting on with projects!

  6. Hi Francesca welcome to our blog, most of the photos above are from Akamba, a garden centre near Birmingham UK.We do have a small number of their metal statues in our garden - will hopefully get a few more one day!

    Hi Janet, if only we had more bank holidays!!

  7. That's a garden centre just designed for both of you, and it looks like the peacock took a shine to you. Is that a form of Celmisia which is flowering very early in your garden. Did you know that Wordpress has the ability to show the title of your plants just by placing your cursor over it.

  8. Hi Alistair, we love Akamba, great plants, accessories and friendly staff too. I hadn't seen that feature on Wordpress, sounds great, hopefully Blogger will adopt that too.

  9. OOOH, I want gorilla's in my garden too !!!!!!


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