A Workshop and Cream Tea

I popped into our local Hilliers Garden Centre on Tuesday just for a ‘wander around’. Ha! Ha! Of course we all know it goes without saying it is almost, no correct that, it is impossible to go to a garden centre and not buy anything!

I just had to buy a tray of these beautiful violas, called ‘Honey Bee’. I wish I had bought more because apparently they sold out by the end of the day and I was told they wouldn’t be getting any more.

The above sign caught my eye and although I’ve planted up hanging baskets and containers for very many years, you can always learn something new. I paid £45 and was booked on the workshop for the next morning (yesterday). Originally the workshops were just in the afternoons, but they added extra ones in the morning due to popularity. We still had scones and cream with our morning coffee!

There were six of us and we made our hanging baskets first, with a choice of four plants from the shelves behind.

  • The baskets were half lined with sphagnum moss, something I’ve not used before when making up baskets.
  • We placed a small plastic saucer, for water drainage, at the bottom – a new idea to me.
  • We half filled the basket with compost and placed our five lobelia on the sides (not my choice of plant but this is what we were given).
  • Then we built up the sides with moss and added a middle plant for height – fuchsias or geraniums. I selected a lavender geranium.
  • After that we added our other choices. Mine were purple verbena, white petunia and white calibrachoa.

No prizes to guess the colour scheme.

After our mid morning cream tea break we returned to plant up our containers. Much to our delight we had a choice of RHS glazed pots in white or green. We had to select 5 plants, again from the same shelves. I chose a white Fuchsia (lost the label already!) a white verbena and two white violas. I had chosen a second verbena but when we were shown an idea of stones and a mini terracotta pot to add interest, I ditched it to make room for the mini pot.

We could decide if we wanted to plant two baskets, two containers or one of each. We all agreed had we known we would have the RHS pots as containers, we probably would have gone for two containers!

We all felt that for the price of £45 we had our monies worth and came away with our planted baskets and containers very happy ladies. The cream tea was a big bonus.

Today I found a small piece of training ivy so planted it in the mini terracotta pot which just finished it off. The little yellow bee lost its stick so I tucked it in behind the plants.

If you have a couple of hours free, and get the opportunity, I thoroughly recommend garden centre workshops – I bet not only will you find you have learned something new, you also come away with what you have made. It’s a great sense of satisfaction.


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