It is around this time of year when the B&Q fliers appear and you venture out to the garden to sort the stray outdoor toys that have gotten thrown about during high winds and pushing back bits of fence being held up by rockery stones and washing line, that we get the idea to take a trip to the garden centre.
Locally there are many places to go for plants, but in Cheshire (compared to back in NI where I am from) the Garden Centre is a whole different ball game. For me it turns from looking at some shrubs to farm shop goodie shopping.
I have three favourites, Bridgemere (outside Nantwich) and The Hollies at Budworth and Lowes in Byley. Bridgemere is more for your day out, it is huge! Other shops to wander round too, and a great farm shop to stock up on your goodies. They also have kids events like this half term they have days to make bird boxes, feeders, paint pot decorating etc. The coffee shop isn’t bad either with a little soft play section so that the little ones can tire themselves out some more.
The Hollies, is a different kettle of fish. The coffee shop is more restaurant, the farm shop is extensive and expensive, but fantastic (I confess to buying a five bird roast at Christmas and it was amazing!) and as for plants, well I haven’t bought a single one, do they sell any? Who cares, go have coffee while the kids are at school or send them to granny on a Saturday afternoon! The gift barn holds some lovely ideas for presents (including fabulous rhubarb gin) and at Christmas it was quite spectacular so it will be nice to see what they do for the Spring time events.
However if it is simply a good farm shop you want with good produce and not too far from Middlewich you cannot beat Lowes Farm Shop in Byley. Easy enough to get to so you could go regularly for fresh veg and meat, but they also keep the lovely treats of chutneys and cheeses, pies, cakes and bread. If you need some nice plants you can pick up things for hanging baskets and they have some lovely arrangements ready to just put outside the front door!
So if your ‘to do’ list is like mine for the fence and the garden, pack the men folk off to B&Q, send the kids to Bridgemere with granny and go get the girls and set off for wine and lunch at The Hollies and nip into Lowes of the way home for great priced goodies! Job done!