I’ve been looking for plants to grow in one of our redesigned borders. As this is under a crab apple tree I decided to have a blue and white colour theme to try and lighten things up a little.
I must admit to straying from the colour constraints a little by planting an acer as it’s a plant we have both always fancied having in our garden and until now didn’t really have a good position for one.
I also wanted another shrub to balance the acer and add a bit of structure. Browsing the Internet I came across what I thought would be an ideal plant - hydrangea quercifolia. Like the acer it is supposed to have striking autumn colour and also white flowers in late summer. After hearing Janet at Plantilicious praising the one she has in her garden I made up my mind to have one.
There were some for sale on the Internet but when you just want one plant postage is quite expensive in relation to the cost of the plant. I decided that would be my fall back option if I couldn’t find a plant locally. Searching garden centres over summer I did come across a batch but they looked very drawn and straggly so they were left on the shelf!
As a last resort before I bought one online I asked at a local nursery whether they ever had any for sale. Now bear in mind this is a ‘proper’ nursery than just sells plants and gardening stuff not a garden centre that is more like a department store with plants! I call it a local nursery which isn’t very true but it is local to where I was brought up and we have been visiting for years.
Anyway back to the hydrangea - the answer was that they didn’t usually get hydrangea quercifolia in, but they would ask their supplier if they could get one for me. They took my phone number and promised to be in touch if they managed to source one for me.
Time passed and I didn’t hear and wondered whether the note made on a little pad had been lost so when I visited the nursery I asked whether they had forgotten me. They hadn’t and my request was taped to the till with the message that a plant would be available in November. Then I had a call to say a plant was ready for me to collect. When we arrived we had a choice of four plants and I was even given a discount as they hadn’t had time to pot on the plants before I arrived.
The plant is now in its permanent planting position so I hope it realises the trouble we went to to find it and that it repays us by growing well.
As for Swillington Nurseries thank you for remaining a ‘proper’ nursery when most of the ones around you have been seduced by the desire to become all things to all people.