Issai made a very speedy journey from Naas to Waterford. Ordered on Monday, packed and readied for dispatch later that day, collected by a courier on Tuesday morning and delivered to Waterford early that afternoon. It wasn’t a long time to spend in the box though the care taken with the packaging ensured it was a comfortable and safe journey and that Issai arrived here in perfect condition.
I had spotted Issai – or to give the full name, Stachyurus praecox ‘Issai’ one day when I dropped in to Johnstown Garden Centre just off the M7 outside Naas. We didn’t have any Stachyurus in the garden at the time but had been admiring a group in flower in Mount Congreve gardens and wanted one. The dark stems and the pendulous flowers are very attractive and, with “Issai”, the flowers are noticeably larger and make a better display.
Once home I planted it in a sheltered spot, a spot occupied until then by a clump of Inula Magnifica, adding plenty of garden compost to the area, watering well during our dry April and yet “it died on me”. I considered it might have been hit by a late frost but the flowers on a nearby Magnolia x soulangeana were not touched so that seemed very unlikely. Its failure was a mystery and a loss so I contacted Johnstown Garden Centre in hopes they would still have some in stock. As luck would have it, they did and so “Issai” made its journey to Waterford and will replace its namesake in the garden today.
We have had a few such deliveries from Johnstown Garden Centre as to visit would entail a return journey of more than 250Km and we pass by only occasionally. The speed of the deliveries and the quality of the packaging has always impressed me – and the cost, really very good value – so using their online mail order service has great advantages for anyone living at a distance.
Over the past number of years many businesses previously seen as garden centres have changed to become “life-style centres” with ever larger indoor areas wafting of scented candles and scented soap, coffee and cakes but with less and less of a selection of plants. Johnstown Garden Centre, on the other hand, has embraced these changes, indeed probably now has the largest indoor sales area of any garden centre in the country but yet have continued to develop their plants area in tandem so that nowadays they are the premier garden centre, certainly within my striking distance, catering for the traditional gardener who wants the best of plants and the life-style shopper who enjoys the shopping experience and the catering.