Earlier this year we set some wild flower seeds around the base of the tree outside and have been nurturing them ever since. They had just started to come in to their own and were attracting bees and the attention of passers by. But they met an unfortunate end this week when the street cleaning team came along and hacked them down, all that’s left now are some miserable looking withered stumps. Having subjected anyone that would listen to a rant about the plants being cut down, we decided we should try again with new plants, after all the bees need our help. Luckily, we didn’t have to go far to get replacements, because for the next few weeks the pop up shop on Hoe Street is home to Plant Nation.
The shop has far more plants in stock than I expected, and the air is rich with that earthy smell of just watered compost. I’ve always loved growing things and gardening so I tend to get kid in sweet shop syndrome when I’m buying plants. I pick them up and give my self all sorts of reasons why I should buy them, ignoring all the reasons why I shouldn’t. Within a minute of walking through the door I was clutching a plastic pot containing a Salvia, and was ready to give at least ten reasons why we really, really needed it to my other half. Happily, my choice of plant met no resistance, and we carried on browsing through the selection of ornamental plants and vegetables that line the wall of the shop.
Before long we started chatting with Ann-Marie who is running the pop up, and she told us about the other activities she is planning during her time in the shop. I particularly liked the idea of the free garden advice session taking place on the 27th May. The idea is that people drop in between 6:30pm – 9:30pm with photos of their garden and get 15 minutes to chat with a garden designer. There are also other events including a planting design class on the 29th and plant pot painting to keep kids occupied. Ann-Marie is clearly very passionate about plants and was really helpful when we visited, giving us the names of some plants we could try in a dry corner of the back garden. She also told us about her plans to encourage residents to start loving their front gardens, bringing green in to these often overlooked spaces. We came away from the shop with a couple of plants, a bucket load of advice and a renewed sense of gardening enthusiasm after talking to Ann-Marie.
Plant Nation is sharing the shop with another organisation called Plantastic, they weren’t around when we visited but they aim to promote community gardening, horticulture and conservation. Hopefully I’ll find out more about that when I go back to the shop for the free advice session on 27th. Hoe street central will be the home for Plant Nation and Plantastic until the 15th June, if you are passionate about plants it’s worth popping in for a look around. You can find out more about Plant Nation on their web site.