Hidden away from any through traffic, hides the small nursery at Little Heath Lane, Potten End. This is one of those increasingly rare places, that seem to be as you would imagine it to have been, perhaps fifty years ago. It is a little bit shabby around the edges, wild in others especially where plants have been allowed to settle at their chosen spot and yet, on closer inspection, a system of order is in place.First glance, a riot of plants.
There are paths under there, somewhere.
The nursery was started in the 1970’s (so not at all 1950’s) and is run by a husband and wife team. They grow a collection of alpines, hardy perennials as well as ferns and trees. Some of these are the more unusual varieties. The nursery regularly attends Farmers markets in St Albans, Berkhamsted and Harpenden as well as various plant fairs. The people working there, and I am reluctant to call them staff as they seem to be such a small team, are extremely knowledgeable about their stock and will help if asked. And that is the great thing about the nursery, it is as if you have stumbled into someones cottage garden and the owner can see you are there but is happy to let you wander around. At this time of year the place is alive with wildlife, birds and butterflies abound, a veritable haven, they are watched and recorded in list form on their blog.
Anyway I enjoy the place immensely and as if to assist, there is always an arrangement of plants in season, to entice you to part with your cash:
a table top of pink and white
Should you really not need any more plants, or if gardening is not your thing, there is another reason to visit and that is the tea house. Tea and coffee is served in a hotch potch collection of china, some would say vintage darling, available with a selection of homemade cakes. In fair weather you can find yourself a bench under the vine or under the trees, enjoy your refreshments and pretend you are in that cottage garden. Bliss.