OOTS & Things in Unusual Places #6: Bedding

After the flowery loos and chickens roaming the plant centre, I was delighted to find that Dobbies garden centre in Shepton Mallet is also drawing on our rich heritage of carpet bedding and large floral objects. I soon found out why when I started chatting to cheerful Carl, the first assistant I found after spotting this marvellous bed. It turned out that he not only hailed from my home city, he'd trained at King's Heath, the park next door to my old school. I used to pass the horticulture students trundling out their wheelbarrows on most days during term time. He's most enthusiastic about trying to do something more unusual with garden centre layouts, hence the bed on display. It was getting a great reaction and smiling faces from all the customers as soon as they spotted it.

I thought the newly planted bedding in and around the garden centre, plus the use of garden sculpture were a much better standard to those I've seen at others. I hope to return to show them to you once they've filled out a bit more.
A few weeks ago we went there with my niece and nephew on the way back from a day out in Midsomer Norton. They were most reluctant to go at first, but after experiencing the loos, chickens, the planted bed and the carnivorous/sensitive plant displays, their grumpiness turned into giggles. I'm hoping I've sown the seeds of a love of gardening in them :)

It seems that I'm destined for a great deal of coincidence when I visit and write about this place. As well as bumping into Carl, the day after I received an email from Dobbies' webmaster to tell me I was included in their article on favourite blogs. I'd just finished the first draft on this piece last Friday when Karen emailed me to tell me I'm now their Blog of the Week :)


  1. Wonderful that the kids are seeing the fun in gardens! My grandchildren like to run out and pick a leaf from "the root beer plant" (Agastache) when they visit here. All their grandparents have gardens and special features to engage them.

    This post put a morning smile on my face!

  2. Love the bed. Somewhere I'd seen lawn couches! :)

  3. Hope that your niece and nephew follow in their aunt's footsteps:)

  4. (lol) - i love this bed, thanks for posting about it - this is the kind of thing that I miss living around here.

  5. Now you can easily grow your own TickleMe Plant sometimes know as the sensitive plant. Just go to htt://www.ticklemeplant.com
    See the video they make it easy to grow in the TickleMe Plant Greenhouse. They really move fast when Tickled

  6. Never been there - must add to list. What a fun idea.

  7. I love this - so clever. It made me smile just looking at it.

  8. Daffodil Planter - I was hoping to bring smiles. As for engaging kids, my niece always goes off to find all the whimsical animals I've 'hidden' in the borders! She likes my scented plants too.

    Monica - I've seen lawn couches and seats too, but only on the telly so far. It seems to be a popular thing to do for garden shows.

    Anna - so do I :)

    Karen - isn't it fun? It certainly cheered everyone up at the garden centre.

    Anonymous - you're an advert aren't you?

    Tatyana - now there's a thought. I wonder if they used herbs to aid sleep, what might happen?

    Hermes - it's a fun place. A little out of our way, but worth going to if you're in the area.

    Elizabethm - it makes me smile too. Carl gave me the name of the supplier, must do some research on them for OOTS.

  9. Puts a whole new dimension to bedding plants.

  10. Love the bed. I'm trying to thing of something smaller that I could use in stead. I need a bigger garden!

  11. Hi, VP -- Your OOTS meme gave me just the impetus to do this "big ideas for small gardens" post that's been percolating for a while. Here's a link to it:


  12. Hi VP! What a great idea...it looks absolutely wonderful! Just came to check out OOTS after seeing Frances' post. I loved it!

    Congrats on being nominated "Blog Of The Week". Rightly deserved. I'll be checking out the other OOTS posts.

  13. Joanne - and a massive smile on your face too I hope :)

    EG - how about a seat or stool using sedums etc to make a cushion? I think it would look really good. Hmm, must see what freecycle has on offer...

    Helen - thanks for following and your fabulous post :)

    Kanak - I'm so glad you like what you see! I hope you might have something for OOTS to show us? It would be wonderful to get a tropical perspective on things.

  14. Nice Blog !! Spacify has Bedding, and more in a wide range of styles and colors.

  15. Henry - I don't think you've read my blog, otherwise you'd know that your advert is not quite the bedding I'm going on about!


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