A Sight for Sore Eyes

June 27, 2021

You can keep your green list countries and your vaccination passports … if there’s anything I’m excited about as lockdown eases, it’s the return of village plant sales

Sign advertising plant sale

Nearest village has gone all out this year, after having to cancel last year, and although I was held up and couldn’t make it until it was almost over (and it turns out there’s nothing like the fear of being gazumped at the plant stall to give you wings for the climb up to Nearest Village), fortunately there were still plants (and, importantly, cakes) to be had.

Plant stall

With these events I’m limited only by the capacity of my bike basket and the ability of any purchases to withstand a few miles of bumpy roads. This is probably fortunate, given I’m still not caught up with the gardening (and the work I’d hoped was over has returned for a final hurrah).

plants and pots in bike basket

101 Uses for a Brompton: Plant Shopping

April 29, 2017

Coming into New Nearest Village was a sight to gladden any gardener’s eye …

Plant Sale sign

I’ve been feeling a bit bad that I haven’t really had a chance to attend any of the many events that seem to enliven the village scene – compared with Old Nearest Village, it’s a hotbed of activity, but it always seems to coincide with me having something else on. So when I realised I could get to the annual plant sale this weekend, I hopped on the Brompton with great excitement. I do love a village plant sale as they tend to combine randomness with cheapness, and you never quite know what you’re going to find.

Brompton basket with plants

The Brompton’s basket takes a nice number of plants, with a bit of creative packing, but also acts as a useful brake on my acquisitiveness. As it is, I’ve now got a couple of dozen nasturtium seedlings to prick out, in my ample spare time…

plant sale haul

In the end, it wasn’t a bad haul for £13 (plus a jar of strawberry jam tucked into my jacket pocket which I did think might have made for an interesting medical puzzle had I come off my bike …)


Most of the plants were ones I was looking out for anyway, but this (Roseroot, or Rhodiola rosea) was a new one to me and looks like it would be a nice funky addition to the garden. The internet suggests it can be used to treat mild depression, among other things, although to be honest there’s not really a huge amount of evidence behind it.

strawberry plants

If these strawberry plants come good, though, that will definitely serve to cheer us all up.

Fell off the Back of a Lorry

May 17, 2010

It was the village plant sale yesterday – a one-and-a-half hour gardeners’ feeding frenzy, with tray bakes afterwards for tea. I didn’t have anything to bring as my only spares, my squash seedlings, had succumbed to some sort of a wasting sickness. But as we walked up to the waterfall to check on Noticeboard Tree what time it started*, we noticed something strange in the river. Closer inspection showed that what looked like an enormous stack of planting seed trays was in fact exactly that. The other half nobly scrambled on boulders and retrieved about fifty of them, still in their parcel packaging, but unfortunately with no sort of a packing slip or delivery address that would allow us to track the owners down.

The river below the waterfall was also littered with seed trays so we ended up going back, getting our wellies and wading out to retrieve as many as we could. In the end we fetched more than a hundred of them out of the river. I’ve no idea how they might have got there – it’s been a long time since anyone delivered things of the sort of lorries something might genuinely have fallen out of the back of. My guess is that some courier got lost, or annoyed with his SatNav insisting that You. Have. Arrived. when he was miles away from anything that looked like a habitation (our postcodes cover quite a large area round here) just gave up and dumped them in the river. It’s the second time we’ve found something that looks like it was packaged for delivery in the same spot. I don’t understand it, but at least this time the fly tipping means I have ended up with a lifetime’s supply of plant trays. Indeed several lifetimes’.

So all that was left for me was to find some way of getting the surplus down to the village for everyone else.

A Three Bungee Problem

And then join in the mad rummage for goodies of my own.

Oh, and a top tip for anyone attending a village plant sale? Don’t bring a £20 note. You have to buy loads more plants than you can fit in a pannier to make it up to a non-embarrassing amount…

*This is important. Anyone rolling up half an hour after the start time would be left raking over the second rate stuff. In fact, anyone turning up at the start time would have been cutting it fine: the gardeners started baggsying the best plants twenty minutes early