The Socks weekend away continued after the RHS show with a nice lunch at Paul in Covent Garden. Paul is a french bakery with loads of outlets in France and now some in London as well. If there was one in Brighton the Sock would go there every day for daily bread - then wouldn't be able to resist the lovely patisseries so perhaps it's just as well there isn't one.
Then the Socks went to see 'Spamalot'. Although the Sock had heard good reviews of this musical based on 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' she wasn't sure whether the Python humour would be overly dated or just too silly. In the event it was more than too silly, it was absolutely ridiculous and the Socks laughed all the way through. The Sock believes that a morning of sunshine and afternoon of laughter have done more than the acupuncture in shaking off the damp induced virusy feeling that has pervaded the whole of August.
A few cocktails and a meal at Amaya Indian restaurant and the day was done leaving the Sock to feel that all that was needed was a bit of horticultural retail therapy to complete the weekend.
Sunday found the Socks at Petersham Nurseries near Richmond, a charming place with huge glasshouses full of an eclectic mix of distressed furniture (there must be a bad joke for the Black fingernail there) and artefacts and an extremely good cafe and restaurant as well as plants. The Sock had drooled over various heucheras at Solva's sweetie stand at the RHS show. Someone has been very clever in the naming of heucheras. Tastebud tickling names like chocolate ruffles, key lime pie, plum pudding and from Solva's show selection the eminently drinkable Southern Comfort ensure that they are objects of desire. Unable to purchase plants at the Show the Sock made up for it by buying a heucherella burnished bronze at Petersham.
But the best bit was the Sock found the treasure trove that contains Sarah Raven boots!
Look at that! More boots than you can shake a stick at and then more boots after that!
The Sock went into a happy panic vacillating between the joyful red, the alarming turquoise, the rather smart khaki, the discreet blue... until the Bedsock turned up and burst the bubble of pre-purchase euphoria by saying "And when do you think you are going to wear them?" Men!
Denied her boots on the grounds that she couldn't think of a good enough answer fast enough the Sock's continued their journey homewards via Wisley, or via Wisley shop to be more specific.
And this is where we return to the question asked by R. Pete Free regarding the Matthew Wilson caryopteris.
Those of you not suffering from short-term memory loss may remember that Matthew had left a label on one of his balcony plants (the said caryopteris) and that it appeared to have cost a mere £2.50. Notwithstanding the discount no-doubt offered to those big in the RHS this did seem remarkably cheap and the Sock remembered the badly photographed label as saying £9.50. At the Wisley shop something deep and subliminal drew the Sock to a display of caryopteris cland 'first choice' although this probably wasn't the same subliminal something that drew an astonishing number of bees to it. The upshot was that the Sock paid £9.50. for one which actually seems somewhat expensive and this is Matthew Wilson's fault too.
The Sock still hasn't watched the new Gardener's world 'hero' Toby Tumnus - how long can the awful moment be delayed?
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