Monday, 19 October 2015

Visiting a garden centre? Make sure to take these five tips with you

A Sunday spent at the garden centre is a Sunday well-spent. But it is easy to be led astray and return home without a clue as to what you’ve spent your money on. These five tips will make sure you get everything you want from a garden shop, enjoy the trip and keep a hold of the purse strings.

1. Make a list. As with any shopping visit, write a list of everything you want to get for your garden. Feel free to have a browse at the garden centre, just ensure you have some items in mind for your trip.

2. Call around. Now you have a list, you can call around local garden centres to check whether they have what you want in stock. It also gives you the chance to ask about offers and check on directions. If you don’t fancy the phone call, many garden centres have good websites, too.

3. Check the weather forecast. No-one wants to spend the day wandering around a rainy, muddy garden centre. If the garden centre has most of its produce outdoors with no overhead protection, take a gander at the forecast.

4. Find good specimens. Keep an eye out for yellowing or dying leaves, limp or discoloured stems and pests. You do not want to introduce any new pests to your garden – it may prove catastrophic. If the soil is bone dry, limpness may be due to dehydration. However, good garden centres often make the effort to ensure all their plants are watered regularly.

5. Have a maximum budget in mind. ‘Ideal budgets’ never work with me on a garden trip. Maximum budgets, on the other hand, do. How much money would you be disappointed to have spent? Sometimes we can go overboard and end up asking ourselves whether we really needed to buy the organic-farmed, linseed marinated, gold-lined dibber. Have a realistic figure in mind and go home pleased with your finds!

Do you have any other tips? Pop them in the comments below!

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