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I have never been terribly interested in on-line shopping. I could never imagine how you could choose anything without first seeing or feeling it; how would I know if it will fit, how would I know if it’s the real thing. I do of course make use of that website which shall remain nameless here, for books and music and I do feel almost ashamed of that as I know too well that it is putting bookshops and record shops out of business.  Oh and I find that family retailer/ department store, you know the one where all staff are partners, provides a great service in that I can order and they will deliver free of charge almost next day. Well reader I have changed my mind, I can now see the merits of on-line shopping, for PLANTS!

I took delivery of three David Austin Roses, The Lark Ascending which were sent as a gift from my now Canadian resident chum. They were packaged really well and looked good strong specimens.  They were planted a few weeks ago and they are going so well that I have ordered some more: 6 x Gertrude Jekyll and 3 A Shropshire Lad as bare root plants direct from David Austin. This was so much better than trawling round garden centres to see if they are in stock and then paying a full price for the fact that they are in shop which has a cafe and ornaments for sale.

Then I decided I wanted to have a Gunnera manicata for planting by the ditch. Having never seen one for sale, although that is probably because I was not looking, however, none the less, I decided to look on-line.
This little beauty was from EBay!


It arrived this morning in a self made cardboard box and wrapped in newspaper. It is fresh and healthy and I hope it will like its new home enough to grow and grow and grow into one of those enormous prehistoric beauties I once saw at the wonderful and inspiring damp garden of The Beth Chatto gardens, http://www.bethchatto.co.uk  If you have never been to visit the garden at Elmstead Market near Colchester, I recommend it as a ‘must-see’.

I will keep you posted on progress of the Gunn. Any tips, do let me know.  I would also really like to hear if you have had any great on-line garden/ plant purchases.