National Herb Centre Visit

I went to the National Herb Centre near Banbury the other day. It’s not too far from here and I wanted to pick up some white or pink flowered lavender and look for a statue for a small niche in the garden. I didn’t really think of it as a bloggable outing (when do I ever? Must work on that) but then an old work colleague asked me about it on Facebook and I realised I could quickly blog a review. So here goes…

National Herb Centre is really just a very good herb nursery/garden centre. First, the plants – I’ve been on several occasions and they always have a wide selection of herbs, in the broadest sense of the word, with lots of unusual ones. There’s a comprehensive plant list on their website to give you a good idea of the variety. This time I was particularly looking for some white or pink flowered lavender for the new courtyard garden (blog post coming up once it looks more established). I was spoilt for choice and came away with 6 Lodden Pinks which will go in some large terracotta pots, once I’ve grown them on for a year or two.

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I had bribed my daughter to come with me, with a promise of lunch – there’s a lovely cafe/restaurant there. Actually, I think they call it a Bistro. This is where it would be good if I planned ahead with this blogging malarky because I could have some pics of our yummy food. But as it is, you’ll just have to believe that it was scrumptious. I had a vege burger with lime yoghurt and some hot hot hot salsa, and Maddie had a beef burger. Both with a good portion of salad and some really chunky potato wedges. Recommended.

Another attraction of this place is the display gardens – there are 6 equally sized herb gardens. As ever with this kind of place, a bit more maintenance wouldn’t go amiss, but remember, it’s basically a shop and nursery, not a display garden on a par with the RHS. They’re a little old fashioned for my taste – but then most herb gardens are as it’s a very traditional way of doing things. Again, could have taken more pictures – will try and do this when I go again, but that could be a while. There are just these 2 pics, one with my daughter imitating the roman-esque statue:

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There’s also nature trails, but I’ve never taken the time to explore these, so can’t comment. I imagine they’re pretty idyllic as it’s a great setting with views across the three counties of Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire. I think it’s in Warwickshire, but I couldn’t be sure. But I did take a photo of the view, with my daughter in it!
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Then there’s the shop part. Outdoors (as well as the plants) there’s a small selection of statues – some rather twee, but I guess there’s a market. Anyway, I bought this Buddha for my garden. He’s in a small niche created by an overgrown gate between the woodland path and the naked garden. More hidden away than this image suggests – sort of laughing quietly in the hedgerow. The plinth he’s sat on is recycled floor tiles from my son’s house.

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They also have some very good value, large chunky garden furniture. This would be great in our garden as it’s in scale – not so good for a smaller plot.

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Finally, just a little about inside the shop – the usual garden centre tat, but not too much of it. I meant to pick up a lovely blue heart pendant, but forgot – and excuse to go back. Also, some lovely cards, Sativa bags and nice smellies.

So, a lovely day out and shopping experience for the plant-aholic who will spend hours amongst the plants. And a great way to spend a few hours on a sunny summer day, for almost everyone.

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About Home on the Hill

Organic gardening, chook keeping, permaculture, knitting, sewing, cooking, in lovely Warwickshire in the English midlands.
This entry was posted in Herbs, Organic gardening and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to National Herb Centre Visit

  1. Thanks for taking the time for blog on herb centre from the owner Nick

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