We've been wanting to replace James' poor dead Bonsai tree for a while, but it turned out that the only good stockist we knew of, in Bluewater, had since gone out of business! We've seen a few in garden centres and supermarkets since then, but nothing special, and not much choice, so we've given it a miss until now.
This morning though, James saw the Bonsai section in the local garden centre, and decided he missed his tree and wanted a new one today! They didn't really have anything good there though, so we set off for Architectural Plants in Nuthurst, the most awesome garden centre ever, as we thought if anywhere would have them, they would. Sadly, we forgot that Architectural Plants specialises in HUGE, fully grown trees!! We tried asking at the desk, and they were a little taken aback.. err, but they're tiny little trees aren't they?! They did give us a good pointer though, and sent us off in the direction of Leonardslee Nursery, next door to Leonardslee Gardens. It's a lovely little place, specialising in camelias, and azaleas - sadly, they didn't have any Bonsai trees either, but the guy who ran the place was really helpful! We honked as we arrived, at the request of the sign in the car park, and the owner came out to greet us. When he heard what we were after, he said he knew a place, and took us into his office to google it. Hoorah! He found us the post code of a place called Herons Bonsai near East Grinstead, which sounded promising, and off we went (stopping to admire his camelia collection on our way)! I think we'll be going back there next time we want any of those!
So, we plugged the post code into our SatNav, and 10 minutes later arrived at Herons Bonsai! This place is amazing! It turns out this is pretty much the best place in the UK to buy Bonsai trees, what a lucky find!! They have literally thousands of trees of all sizes and varieties, it really is amazing just to walk around and have a look! They have large outdoor evergreen Bonsai trees, which are just beautiful, right the way down to little indoor ones. The interesting thing is, although they have some extremely expensive ones, the standard ikkle indoor ones are a really good price! You can get them from £5 upwards, and there's just so much choice. I think the one James bought today was about half the price of the one I bought from Bluewater! I would definitely recommend going there, I think we'll be going back in the summer to see all the trees in full bloom, it looks brilliant on their website. I think you could spend a nice while wandering around their Japanese gardens in the summer too. Now, to save up for one of those big outdoor ones, and possibly some Japanese garden ornaments too!