Blogger Trish Burgess writes for the Free Press
A few weeks ago I was struggling to come up with an exciting 50th birthday present for my husband.
I really did try to think of something which had the wow factor, but he didn’t want a surprise or an experience like supercar driving or, perish the thought, skydiving.
However, mindful of this paper’s mission to get us to ‘Shop Local’ I decided to provide my lovely man with an assortment of gifts bought from retailers close to home: a new shirt from Robert Goddard, a couple of novels from Bookmark, DVDs from Tesco. I know, I spoiled him. I even gave him permission to buy some new clobber with his own money, generous wife that I am.
His favourite gift, however, was a Baytree Garden Centre gift voucher, bought by his colleagues at work. He became quite excited at the thought of having a browse through the tool section. Indeed, after a thorough search of the shop, he selected a quite beautiful 30m hose. Well, you don’t turn 50 every week do you?
With a little encouragement from me, he also bought a hand trowel, a cherry tree and, adding our own money to the voucher, an extremely comfortable swing chair. The main selling point of the lounger was that it was half-price. Unfortunately it is also a very unsubtle, lime-green colour and may need covering up with an artfully arranged sarong. Either that or it will work as a bird scarer, especially if I’m on it.
The chair comes flat-packed and, one week later, is still in its box. I reckon I may devote a whole column to the process of Dougie putting it together, although he assures me it is a ten-minute job. I have my doubts.
We have always been fans of Baytree Garden Centre since we moved to Spalding. They helped us decide what shrubs to plant in the garden of our first house in Holland Park. Over the years we have bought garden furniture, kids’ play equipment, plant pots and a lawnmower. When Rory was a toddler, Baytree was the ideal place for a trip out to see the bunnies and the goldfish. I recall countless visits to their Winter Wonderland: we now have quite a collection of different sized Christmas trees which began life in a small red package, handed over as a gift from Santa.
When Dougie turned 40, friends clubbed together to buy him a fantastic gas barbecue. Buying gifts from Baytree for his 50th is just following a family tradition.
To celebrate our purchases, we had lunch in the Baytree Coffee Lounge. Excellent coffee, chicken toasties and salad served on a piece of grey slate (very chic) and the most delicious cakes. I will have to think of more reasons to visit.
Ooh, just remembered – haven’t done our hanging baskets yet. Save me a slice of Victoria Sponge.
Follow Trish on Twitter @mumsgoneto and her blog at www.mumsgoneto.blogspot.com