The Nurseries Pt 2, and Getting Directions

Pepiniere de Labourdonnais

It’s set in the grounds of what was once a chateau.

Pros:

  • Good variety of fruit and nut trees
  • Large variety of other plants
  • A few potted herbs and vegetable seedlings
  • A beautiful jade vine covering a long walkway
  • You learn the names of plants as they’re written on the receipt

Cons:

  • A lot of pots have clover weed and it’s a bugger trying to remove all the bulbs before planting. Haven’t they heard of Roundup?
  • Most staff don’t speak English very well

Espace Maison

This is a large French hardware chain with a small selection of plants.

We will usually pop into the garden section on the way to Labourdonnais – not otherwise.

Pros:

  • Has fertilizers, and bags of soil and compost etc
  • Sells a wide range of glazed pots and other garden accessories (which we don’t buy so I don’t know why I’m including this)

Cons

  • Limited number and varieties of plants – not always healthy
  • Often hard to spot a staff member if you have a question
  • More expensive

Directions

Most streets don’t have street signs, so most people don’t know the name of their own street.

Hell of a job being a postman!

If you want something delivered from a shop, you have to draw a site plan showing the driver how to get there.

When you visit someone for the first time, you’ll follow directions that might go a little bit like this:

“Do you know the Police Station? Well, what about that shop with the dusty windows selling pre-WWII stock? The petrol station? OK, it’s easy then, drive up about 20 metres, turn right, then 2nd left, 4th right, right again, through the roundabout, keep going for, oh I don’t know 50 metres? Something like that. If you reach the mosque you need to turn around because you should have turned left before it. Anyway, our house is the third on the right. No, we don’t have a house number, but it’s the one with the lychee tree. See you tonight!”

Pepiniere Exotica

In Petit Raffray – ask a local for directions when you get there – it’s too hard for me to explain. Although, do you know that furniture shop? It’s up that road.

Pros:

  • Unusual and named varieties of certain plants eg hibiscus
  • Knowledgable and enthusiastic staff

Cons:

  • A bit more expensive than the others

Pepiniere de Grand Baie

Off Chemin Vingt Pieds heading towards Pereybere – marked by a hand-written sign (a piece of ply nailed to a tree) pointing down a dirt track.

If you reach the traffic lights at Oasis, you’ve missed it. Turn around – but there are no signs facing this way, so I don’t know how you’ll find it.

If you’re bad at reversing, park outside.

I once trapped my car between a big pot and a rack of plants. Thank you, Natalie, for getting us out, even if you nearly ran over your mother!

Pros:

  • The girl who always serves us is knowledgeable, asks the other staff if she doesn’t know something, and always has a smile for you. Could be because we always let her keep the change, but I’m sure that’s not it
  • Good range of plants – some unusual
  • Nice atmosphere – if they have the plant I’m after, I’d rather buy it here

Cons:

  • Parking (applies to bad drivers only)
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