A visit to a plant fair that ends in successful mouse ears

Disclaimer:  no mice were hurt in the writing of this blog, no mice called Mickey will appear.

Last year I saw a Hosta called Mouse Ears, I have explained my general dislike of hostas, but as with many plant-dislikes I find some that I do like.  I do not have a lot in the garden, but there are more than there used to be.  Mouse Ears, clearly cross with me for not buying it when I first saw it last year, evaded me for the remainder of the year.  The wish to own it stayed with me and I vowed that as soon as I saw it this year I would buy it, no messing around, no shilly-shallying, it would be mine.
Act 1 - Plant Fair Planning
I love a good plant fair and the ones held at Swines Meadow Farm Nursery in Market Deeping are always worth a visit.  Last year for one reason and another I did not manage to get to visit this nursery so this year it was high on my list of things I must do.  So I kept an eye on when the date would be for the first plant fair there of the year which is run by the local Hardy Plant Society group, and made sure I would attend.

The day arrived and with trusty side-kick I set off eastwards.  I realised before I set off that the nursery has a National Collection of Hostas, and as I thought this the words 'mouse ears......' whispered through the trees.  Hmm, I thought, mouse ears.

Act 2 - Arrival
Market Deeping is a bit over an hour away from home, the sun was shining and it was a lovely day.  We had a good run out and got there happily not too long after the fair has opened.  The car parking area was quite full and the nursery was a-buzz with people.  Now there is a routine to plant fairs that has to be followed.  Firstly the stalls are inspected one at a time in a linear manner.  Apart from when you get to the HPS stall.  I would say that these stalls are often full of the best plants at a fair, but if I did then you might buy them before I get a chance to, so let's just say they are ok.......

Ok, ok, I bought three plants from the HPS stand.
I bought these two echium seedlings.  I have grown echiums from seed and they are always a plant that I just adore.  They are easy to grow from seed, but I struggle to keep them alive over winter.  Last year I successfully managed to get some to flower.  It was a happy, happy moment.  I have successfully overwintered a seedling from last year and that is now in the garden.  I will report back on how it does.  I said to myself as I planted it out that if I saw more echium seedlings this year I would just buy them.  So I did, at £1.50 each it was silly not to.
This little love also jumped into my hand.  It is a Haemanthus albiflos.  If I said I bought it because its two middle leaves made me think of a duck bill would you think me weird?  Well obviously I didn't as that would just be silly.

I moved on, circling the stalls, looking at this and that.  Then into the big glasshouse we went.  There, beckoning to me was this superb plant.
This is Asarum pulchellum.  The lime green of the leaves attracted me very much.
The shape of them, the colour of them, the pattern of the veins running through them.  I saw this plant and immediately fell in love with it.
and there is a promise of a flower, soon.  How could I resist?  (I've no idea, I didn't even try to).

Then the hosta glasshouse beckoned me over.  The trees whispered 'mouse ears....' to me again and the search commenced.

Up and down the glasshouse, looking at this, admiring that.  I found Blue Mouse Ears and picked it up, I did not really want the blue version but it was close, so close and then.....


there it was, waving at me.
it might not look that exciting at the moment but it will be, promise.  I picked it up quickly, despite the fact that there were plenty and there was only side-kick and myself in the glasshouse.  This one was mine, mine!

I went to pay and then....

yes I got distracted on the way to the till.
This is Hosta Stiletto.  It has 'put me in a pot and adore me' written all over it.
and this is Hosta Blue Mouse Ears, well it felt rude to leave it behind.

Before we left Colin Ward, owner of the nursery took us to look at his aspidistras.  What an amazing sight!

We packed our plants into the boot of the car and made our way homewards.  It was a day of friendship, bacon butties, cake and tea and plants.  A jolly good way of spending the day.

and the trees whispered 'Mouse Ears......'


  1. It's always such a good feeling to finally have a longed for plant. (Until the next one, of course!) I can see the duck bill too...
    Best wishes

  2. This is hilarious, I wonder if there will be a part two, like the revenge of......

  3. Love a plant fair. Enjoying your purchases is almost as good as buying my own. Not least because I don't have to worry about where to put them. I like a hosta, have several, but they are a bugger for the slugs and snails.

    Btw, first time you mention Market Deeping you called it Market Nursery.

    1. Thanks- and thanks for spotting the typo - now corrected. Doesn’t matter how often I check some silly mistake slips through sometimes


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