True to form I was not sure about the first plant I picked up so rummaged amongst the few other specimens for comparison purpose, whilst himself patiently stood on hand to offer his considered opinion. Back and forth I went until having satisfied myself after much dithering that I had picked the best specimen we made our way to the check out. Visions of a planting scheme to highlight my new purchase were floating around my head as we made our way home, which concluded in a petticoat of snowdrops and cyclamens. Back to base garden centre purchases (yes there were others) were removed from the car boot and lunch preparations took over.
It was only later in the afternoon when mindful that a hard frost was predicted that I realised the error of my ways. As I was about to place 'Anna's Red' under the shelter of the cold frame a close inspection of the label revealed that I had come home with the wrong plant! What I had was Anna's sister, helleborus 'Penny's Pink'. I went back inside to break the news to himself whose attention was focused on the television and a football match. His initial response was one of disbelief as to how this could have happened but an offer of a return trip to the garden centre the next day was eventually forthcoming. At times such as these being a non driver certainly has its disadvantages but I tried not to sulk or to think too much about the fact that there had not been a vast number of 'Anna's Red' for sale.
However my face must have registered as crestfallen because ten minutes or so a return journey to the garden centre became a now rather than tomorrow offer. Off we went again clutching a box containing 'Penny's Pink' (she's lovely but I already have her) and a receipt. The garden centre was much busier at this stage so it took some minutes to explain what had happened. On getting an affirmative that we could exchange plants himself volunteered to get a replacement from the back of beyond and legged it before I could protest. At this point I'm sure he was worrying whether we would get back home for the next football match. What can I say but the plant he bought back with him was not the best of the bunch but what could I say in this situation other than profess my heartfelt gratitude. I'm sure that it will flourish in the future though which is the main consideration.
I'm still pondering where to plant her. She might even be planted in a container as Michelle over at Veg Plotting is growing her 'Anna's Red'. Wherever she ends up though I'm sure I will remember both the excitement and trauma of her purchase. Have you ever come home with the wrong plant?
N.B. The moral of this tale must be always to check the label before you get to the till.
P.S. I've only just realised after taking a photo what a big label it was - I really did not have any excuse, did I?