For me Spring has really arrived when Franks Plants starts up for their Spring/Summer season. These plant sales alternate each weekend between 2 primary schools on either side of town. They've started a little earlier than usual owing to the early Easter and should continue until mid June. Their second stint will go from August Bank Holiday weekend until the end of October. It's a great place to go for basic annuals (grown locally), perennials and shrubs at much cheaper prices and better quality than the local DIY stores and garden centres. Each week there's usually something a bit more unusual - this time it was large box topiary balls and pyramids, plus standard olive trees. See if you can spot them - you may need to enlarge the picture ;)
This week I bought some sweet peas (having forgotten to sow them last Autumn) to grow up one of the arches on the allotment, 3 Helenium autumnale 'Helena Gold', and 3 Camelot foxgloves - a relatively new perennial variety, for less than a tenner the lot. I resisted all the plants for hanging baskets as my cold frames are still full with overwintering plants, so there's no room to harden anything off at the moment. Sadly the original Frank of Franks Plants retired last year - I wish I'd known as I would have loved to have bought the business instead of the young couple who've taken it on.
The sales are extremely popular, so I was a little surprised at the pictured scene yesterday morning at 10am. I was expecting to queue for half an hour to pay for my plants - I think most people in Chippenham must have forgotten about the clocks going forward and were still having a lie in!