Friday, 11 December 2009

Advent Countdown - December 11th

Oh dear, another little flying Beardibum disappears as time also quickly flits away.

Yesterday the Sock met up with her friend the Mysterious Ms. B.  for a wonderful day out at Wisley or Wizzers as we are pleased to call it.  By some astonishing chance we had picked the first day of warmth and sunshine for what seems like forever and the exposure to the light and good company hauled the Sock out of her winter sloth for a while.

No sooner had the Sock alighted from the Sockmobile than she was accosted by Ms B in her new hattiewat!  It is a very nice hat indeed (if you want to see it you will have to go over to Ms. B's blog and beg her to post a picture of it).  After spending some time doubled up with laughter over the new hat (not because the hat is funny but rather the fact that Ms B. is slightly out of her comfort zone being only recently introduced to the joys of hat wearing) we set off for a quick wander around the garden before going for the full Wizzers shopping experience.

To celebrate the festive season Wisley has a Christmas tree walk with  loads of trees decorated by schoolkids along the side of the pathway.

These really were very jolly and in some cases extremely innovative in their 're-cycled' Xmas decorations.  This one was decorated with CDs and plastic bottles.

Wisley has a Celebration of Light  running and the walkways are lit up at dusk which should be well worth a visit. (Late night shopping at Wisley closes tomorrow!!!!!!!)

So on to the real purpose of the visit - the shops! As with last years Wizzers visit in the company of Fat Rascal, the Sock bought herself plenty of pre-Chrimbo prezzies.  The garden centre was decked out with all sorts of lovely, lovely, decorations to buy and not a sign of a Santa's grotto - thank the Lord - and no piped jingling musac either.  

The Sock bought herself a couple of nice Whichford pots (note to Whichford we didn't like the ones with your name emblazoned all over them - the Sock doesn't like ostentatious designer labels), a charming little Hellebore, some attractive autumnal looking decorations and last but not least another heuchera because you can't have too many!!

Next on to the large Rural Crafts marquee presently at Wisley.  This contained a fair amount of tat, a curry sauce stall (good but not exactly what the Sock thinks of as a 'rural craft'), several rather nice rural pie stands, a stall selling 'rural' baklava (which had clearly been set up with the sole intention of attracting Matthew Wilson back to the RHS) and several hat stalls.

The Sock would have published a photo of a rather entertaining and colourful hat stall at this point but the rather savage lady running it gave her a right telling-off for taking a photo and demanded that the Sock erase the picture from her camera!!!  Instead the Sock bought a new hattiewat from a stall selling rural alpaca products and was then persuaded by the ganging up of the stallholder and Ms B., to buy a matching scarf.

With energy and credit card limit rapidly dwindling we finally made it to the fabulous RHS bookshop, a true Aladdin's cave bursting with a cornucopia of gorgeous gardening books.  This is how it should be - not, as the Sock blogged last weekend, the miserable two bays given over to them by Waterstones.  There was display after display of all our favourite horticultural heroes books, 'Grow your own veg' by Carol Klein, 'Grow your own fruit' by Carol Klein, 'Cook your Own Veg' by Carol Klein - can you guess what will be next in the series boys and girls?  There were books on the South African fynbos that the Sock has deferred the pleasure of buying until nearer her holiday, books dedicated to the love of Heucheras (which is only right) and lo and behold! there in the middle was the book we have all been waiting for!!!!!!!!! 'Making a Garden' by Landscape Man, Matthew Wilson himself!  (OOOOOH! There is a little video by Matthew on the Amazon site!!!!!!!). Obviously one of these immediately made it's way into the Sock's basket but she does question the title 'Landscape Man - as seen on Channel 4'!!!!!  Not yet it isn't.   Landscape Man is beautiful - and that is just the cover picture of Matthew, the Sock will be deferring the pleasure of reading it until Christmas.

All in all, a lovely, lovely day.  The Sock hopes that next year Fat Rascal will come down off her French mountain again and join in the fun!


Fat Rascal said...

Reading your account was almost like being there..

Did you make Ms B carry your shopping basket this time?

Arabella Sock said...

No - she did offer but after she had been caught dismantling displays in the Garden shop I thought it better to carry my own.

Yan said...

Lovely, lovely. What a satisfying retail experience, what was the Heuchera?

I'm glad to see that the Hot New Talent retains his look of shocked amazement at your doings. I love the way he seems aghast at everything. Will anyone ever live up to his expectations, I wonder.

Carrie said...

Wow, what a lovely day. I envy you so much that a place like Wizzers (if I may call it so) is there on your step. For me it would be a drive, a flight and a drive = no money for shopping!!!

Arabella Sock said...

Hi Yan - the heuchera was 'Petite Marbled Burgundy' which is very compact and only grows 6-8" so it will fill a space nicely on my mini-rockery. It says on the label burgundy-green leaves suffused bronze but I would say they were just a pleasant shade of green really!

You may certainly call it Wizzers, Carrie. Unfortunately my 70 minute(ish) drive to it involves part of the ghastly M25 but in lighter weather the longer drive across country is really rather pleasant.

the cycling gardener said...

OMG. I’m totally envious; you have a copy of ‘The Book’. As a glutton for all things landscapey I'm also eagerly awaiting ‘The Series’ and will definitely buy the T shirt and 'Music from the Series' CD. So far I’ve only glimpsed the book’s cover and am very taken with Matthew’s gorgeous leather jacket. I’d like to think he has excellent taste and chose it himself but suspect a stylist was involved. Now I must whiz over to Amazon and check out the video…

Arabella Sock said...

Now just to be a teensyweensy little bit critical - the Sock would say that gorgeous though Matthew is, the brown shirt in the video really isn't his colour. Drop dead gorgeous in the leather jacket though. Perhaps the stylist could recommend a shirt for him! Or perhaps we could all post pictures of the kind of shirt we think would suit him.

easygardener said...

I did contemplate taking a picture inside the 'rural crafts' tent but I'm glad I didn't. Can't stand confrontation - especially inappropriate during the season of goodwill!
I bought a couple of fiendish wooden puzzles to give as Christmas gifts (but will remove the answers before handing them over).
Unfortunately any money I saved on country crafts went on the half price bulb sale!

Ms B said...

Indeed, Wizzers was wizzard! I confess I did think Ms Sock WAS laughing at my hattiewat when I greeted her: I'm still not sure!

Luckily I am only about 35 minutes away from the place so I frequent frequently, But not usually in such august company.

I also took the opportunity to purchase some 1/2 price bulbs including 3 Fritillaria imperialis which are so expensive.

As for 'Landscape Man' I have a vision of him in a pair of green underpants on over brown tights & a T shirt with a big 'L'& something like a spade on the front of it.

Victoria said...

I haven't been to Wizzers for ages. I meant to go on Tuesday, but thought it might be too crowded. After reading your post, I think I might have to go next week.