The Garden Centre

Garden Centres need cars, so I booked one of the nearby Citiz cars. I chose a Yaris Hybrid. I could have had a Suzuki Swift, a Citroën C3 or C4 or a tiny Fiat 500. The Fiat 500s are great fun, but they're a tad small for garden centres, so the Yaris it was.

The Yaris in question has, as we say, "lived". In 53000km (about 30000 miles) it has had several close encounters of a damaging kind. Citiz puts little stickers on them to mark old war-wounds and enable them to identify any new ones you add!

The reason I choose the Yaris, if I can, is because it is a dream to drive. It's quiet, smooth and very easy. It glides around town but keeps up on the ring road. Also it's easy to fold the back seat down.

The garden centre is just off junction 18 of the rocade. We live near junction 21, so it was just a 15 minute trip including the jiggery pokery of getting the car and so on.

Garden Centres also need trolleys, and trolleys need a 1 euro piece to liberate them. Like the late Queen Mother, I do not carry money, so I was forced to scour the ranks until I found a massive trolley than was already liberated. Off I went to get my list.

Troughs, I mean jardinières on legs - three or four, drainage stuff and compost, seeds for dwarf cheery tomatoes and cut and come again lettuce, as well as for African marigolds (which repel mosquitos).

First hurdle - I couldn't find the troughs. When Pat and I did a recce last week the place was crawling with 'em. Anyway after some panicked headless chicken runs I located a pile of them available in fetching tones of anthracite or taupe. I returned to get my trolley and loaded it up.  I chose the wrong colour on principle and went to find the compost. This was when I realised that I had inadvertently misappropriated the wrong trolley. I hunted for my enormous wagon, but to no avail. I scrutinised round the store - nobody was looking for their lost trolley. The 1 euro coin was in fact a plastic token. I decided that "ce n'est pas grave" and "no pasa nada".

A young chap advised me on which compost to get and how much. Years ago people counselled the most expensive options, but since my beard went grey their advice has changed. (Gets me seats on the tram, too. And people feel good about helping the poor old codger.) 

Lettuce - cut and come again varieties are called "Laitue à couper" so I got a reddish one and a green one. Tomatoes were more of an issue. I hunted for red robin or tiny Tim, to no avail. In the end I ordered some seeds from Amazon. African marigolds - well here there's a vast array of oeillets, so I got some promising looking ones, as well as some trailing petunias, so that amidst the foodstuffs there may be beauty.

I gazed longingly at the figs. There are varieties that can do well in pots, but not at this garden centre.

Then home to park illegally briefly, get the key to the car park, take the car in, unload, return the car, then pot up our troughs jardinières. 



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