Last weekend the Socks went to Architectural Plants (above) near Horsham to try and find a replacement for the ghastly yucca in the front garden. It isn't really a garden being only about 8ft by 12ft and given over to gravel, grasses, succulents and stones. The Sock feels this design is a bit passé and overdone now but it was relatively innovative at the time of construction. In any event it is astonishingly sustainable being virtually no maintenance and zero irrigation and unlike Matthew Wilson's balcony does have quite a few plants in it.
Unfortunately the Sock took loads of pictures for her blog but was gutted to realised when she got home that she had forgotten to put the memory stick back in the camera so returned there today just to take pictures for you. It's a nice drive and an opportunity to listen to the Sock's favourite Betty Blue (music from the film) CD whilst driving. This always makes the Sock cry and true to form she missed the turn-off due to eyes misted with tears.
Architectural Plants is the best kind of a place and the best kind of people. The reception area is furnished with nice chairs and tables and coffee and drinks that you can help yourself to whilst planning your purchases. Or just to contemplate what you might buy when you win the lottery.
Either way there is no hassle. The Architectural Plants Helpometer spells it out. The Sock thought it was a speak your weight machine so was giving it a wide berth until curiousity got the better of her. You turn the dial and it lights up the various options of what Architectural Plants can do for you, from "a full design service" to "leave you alone to peruse in peace".
We went for the peruse in peace option and wandered into the first large greenhouses full of more tree ferns than you could shake a stick at.
The staff are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful and even the plant labels tell it like it is.
That having been said the Sock is sure that Chris Beardshaw could manage to advise how to kill it!
As we were wandering the Sock heard a little whine from the Bedsock - it is the same predictable little whine as we always get when visiting there "I've always wanted a black bamboo and I'm not allowed to have one". This is true - the Bedsock has been told every time that there isn't an appropriate place for one in our garden but somehow this is the Sock's fault!
In the end the Socks bought some sort of date palm (already lost the label) to replace the yucky yucca, a stripey agave which will replace a boring green one which manages to overwinter outside in the gravel garden and a colocasia 'black magic 'because the Sock saw them at Hampton Court Show and has wanted one ever since.
On the drive back the Sock listened to Gnarls Barkley and later changed the title of this post to one of his lyrics that made more sense!