Andrew's new job at Hopwood Kitchen Garden takes him to interesting places. Recently he was at Bowlee Nursery surrounded by poinsettias. Bowlee produce over three hundred thousand plants a year, that coolly exceeds the quarter of a million mark and their plant production doubled in some areas since last year. Sadly though they are the last true nursery left in the area, and we mean 'true nursery' in the sense that they grow most of their stock on site.
There is a sad truth in commercial growing that our choice is on the wane. Many large growers that supply garden centres across the country specialise in around twenty-five lines, that's one type of aster, one type of fuchsia, and one type of veg. Now, we're not against Nantes Carrot or Courgette Greenbush but variety for us is the spice of life and when many nurseries cease to grow their own they limit the marketplace. They become a tea and a wee, and nurseries become garden centres, and a level of plant knowledge is often lost. We can all memorise twenty-five plants, twenty-five names and twenty-five ways of growing. Look another red pelargonium but ask for a scented one and there may be a scratching of heads. It is garden centres who renamed pelargoniums geraniums and caused confusion for generations of gardeners. In the end, in an age of plenty, you have to wonder why we seem to be given limited choices.