Brownthwaite Hardy Plants
Knowing that I am sucker for a project, the Minx has suggested that we visit all of the garden centres in the area, thereby piquing my interest in this whole horticultural business.
Today, we decided to visit Brownthwaite, which I've never been to previously but which I've assumed is fairly near where I live as I've seen their brown signs on the A65 at the turning for the old railway station. In fact, I guessed that they must be based somewhere near the station because after that there's nothing else along that road for miles apart from Casterton and Barbon. However, as we turned left off the A65, the sign said one and a half miles.
I must admit, I was completely perplexed. I run along that road - just above and following the old railway line - and there are no gardening centres along there. Still, we followed the signs and, somewhere just north of Casterton, there was a small brown sign indicating that we ought to turn right up a single lane road, marked as a dead end.
Still dubious, I turned the car up that way and after a few hundred yards we reached a turning into a small courtyard, amongst some old buildings. And it was indeed a garden centre!
I have to say that I loved it almost immediately although it took me a while to work out why. Tucked away in a fold of the hillside, the spaces between the old stone buildings were packed with flowers, greenhouses, and wooden constructions. Old panes of glass and window frames had been conscripted into service here and there. It was that aspect of it perhaps more than any other that made me think of my grandad's garden.
While the Minx looked at plants and Abi and the miniMinx entertained themselves, I wandered up and down the rows, enjoying the scents coming off the plants on this surprisingly sunny day. I found myself feeling mildly anxious on the owners' behalf: how did they get any custom? Yet while we were there, four or five other people arrived to buy plants.
And so I was able to relax and enjoy the nostalgic thoughts of sunny days in my grandad's back garden. If there was one thing lacking, it was a tearoom; I would happily have sat there for ages.
(I don't normally post extra photos but I thought I would on this occasion.)