For some time now, I have been desperate to visit Stone House Cottage, a garden and nursery not far from us. A free, bank holiday weekend and the time was right!
I had compiled a shopping list, and was keen to shop! But they have wonderful gardens there too. So interesting – full of follies, and rare and unusual plants, in particular, many scented shrubs and climbers. A Plantlover’s paradise! You can imagine I would be in my element!
This was not to be my first visit. I had been a few times before – a couple of times in early spring, and once in high summer. I was hoping to see it again at a different time of year. Alas, this was not to be! Time constraints meant we couldn’t spend long there, and I had to console myself with the shopping list.
I was desperate to replace an Azara microphylla I had lost in a cold spell, a couple of years ago. It’s an evergreen shrub, often grown as a wall shrub, with small, shiny, dark green leaves. The insignificant looking yellow flowers appear in February/March, and though tiny, they emit a huge vanilla perfume, making the whole area smell like a bake-off – all cake and custard! I couldn’t be without it. Shopping list, tick 1!
Next on the list, after reading an earlier post by a fellow blogger,(thank you Chloris!) I was keen to find Ypsilandra thibetica and had tracked it down to here. Luckily they had that in stock as well. Shopping list, tick 2!
Then came the impulse buy! While wandering around, I was stopped in my tracks by the most amazing perfume. I found where it was coming from – an Elaeagnus umbellata. This plant was a new one to me. Even Mr. Chef was drawn to it and he admits himself that he has a weak sense of smell. So it was easy to persuade him to bring it home with us as well!
This is the shrub sat on the seat in the picture. It is a sprawling shrub with silvery green leaves, and tiny cream flowers – the guilty party! Apparently, it can grow quite large (oops!), though it can be pruned back easily, and I had no place earmarked for it when I bought it. I’d worry about that later! A definite impulse!
I had enough time to spot a few more plants on my wish list, so hopefully there will be another visit soon, with more time to spare next time. I want to revisit the garden, complete with camera!
If you can’t wait for my photos, you can have a peek at their website. You will be jealous!
If there’s one thing I’m good at it’s impulse buys! In fact, I’ve perfected the art of the impulse buy. My garden is full of them. It’s good too that you’ve crossed a couple from your wish list – I hope they all do well in your garden.
I’ve become more disciplined over the years, but I do miss impulse buys. I tend to work out in advance, what I want for where, hence the shopping/wish list. So I’m chuffed I threw caution to the wind. I can always balance it out with my other “planned” purchases!
I must look up the eleagnus, they do well for me here and I love the perfume of them all.
I hope you find one. The scent is incredible! With its common name of Oleaster and Autumn Olive, you would imagine it doing well in the Med.
I like the garden at Stone House Cottage (full of phlox and monarda when we went) – we called there en route to south Wales one year but even so it was a bit of a detour. I was thinking you lived a little further north than that. Glad that you found things from your list there, and things not on your list too!
Such a shame it’s so far for you! I was going to recommend it in spring – so many unusual spring flowering shrubs and perennials, which I’m sure you would love!
Your garden must smell wonderful, you are so good at nosing out fragrant plants. Impulse buys are part of the fun of going to a nursery. I know from experience that if you don’ t give in to the impulse you regret it. You go home and brood.
Is Eleagnus umbellata similar to Eleagnus angustifolia which looks like an olive and smells divine?
This nursery sounds fantastic.
Ha ha! Thank you! What is a garden without scent? I certainly don’t regret this impulse buy! Come to think of it, I never do! Yes, I do have both and they do look similar. However, angustifolia hasn’t flowered yet, so not sure about the scent. Wish you could visit the nursery – you’d love it!