Webbs of Wychbold

ThatchI remember being taken to Webbs as a small child. Back then it was little more than a garden centre and was located in the thatched building around which the current centre is built.  Dating from the mid 1800s when Edward Webb first began trading, by the middle of the century Webbs had been appointed official Seed merchants to Queen Victoria (and remains that to Queen Elizabeth II).   Nowadays, under the control of  Edward’s great-great-grandson, it wins award after award and is one of the largest family-owned garden centres in the country and, like so many others, is a great deal more than just a garden centre.  I used to take my small children, and in recent years, my grandchildren here. For the price of an ice-cream, a couple of happy hours can be spent in the play area or ‘trying out’ the summerhouses and conservatories that are in abundance.

The pet department is pristine and the small animals appear to be well cared for. Unfortunately the rabbits, my favourites, were not coming out to play. Apart from one furry bottom, they were all hidden away. My grandsons are fascinated by the many fish and small lizard-type animals.

Riverside walk

The Riverside Walk is a tranquil and very pretty place for a summer picnic, as well as a showpiece for many of the plants and flowers that are for sale. In winter it holds a different kind of attraction. Beyond the fence you can just about see, is a deep marshy pond surrounded by bulrushes and a huge wild area which in early summer attracts all manner of wildlife.

The food hall is amazing though expensive, but it’s always good for finding a foodie gift. The enormous restaurant with a recently added gelateria is nice for a treat.

 

Of course, in a modern garden centre one could almost forget that they sell plants too. What a marvellous display of bromeliads.

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A trip to the magical Christmas department was, for my family of little ones, the start of Christmas; in those days we enjoyed the seasonal tableaus. Nowadays they offer fewer of these but have a huge selection of decorations and it’s still an enjoyable visit. Last year we were welcomed at the entrance by singing reindeer, this year by snowmen and penguins.

 

I love to look at the Christmas table settings:

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And the decorations are stunning

 

Children love to look at the large Victorian town scene. I wonder how many of these they sell. One would spend thousands putting together a good sized display

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One year I spent an hour driving a small granddaughter around the local estates looking at the outdoor house decorations which some favour. Perhaps they bought some of them at Webbs. Sometimes it’s nice to look even with no intention of buying

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Yes, I do consider it wanton consumerism and I have no desire for my home to look like any of this. But children find it magical and I wouldn’t deny them it. They’ll grow up all too soon to find that life’s not really like that.

 

 

18 comments

  1. Your garden centre looks fabulous. Our local one is also very well worth visiting. I used to take my sons to feed the fish and play with the Brio trainset in the café. My mum and MIL (both no longer with us) used to love going there as well. The part of this post that I love the most, is when I imagine you driving your granddaughter around to look at the decorations outside people’s houses. What a lovely thing to do!

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  2. I was at a store today and they had one aisle of Thanksgiving merchandise and two aisles of Christmas stuff out! I generally prefer to wait until Thanksgiving to start on Christmas, but, we are being told that there are fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, this year, so, we are being urged to start early!

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    • Christmas is a big celebratory time here whereas Thanksgiving is largely unknown in Britain, though I think it may slowly become more popular as people travel to the USA on holiday far more than they used to.

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  3. It was lovely to see all those Christmas decorations. In India, we don’t see these elaborate ones so often, though nearer Christmas, all the malls have large trees with ornaments .
    You’re right, it’s not something you’d like in your own home or garden but always nice to just look 😀
    Although we don’t celebrate Christmas in our home, I’m enjoying being a part of the festivities through your blog and some others that I read regularly 😊

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  4. How lovely that this has been family owned for so long. I love this fact!!!

    Who doesn’t like to look at Christmas displays? Even though not bringing any home. It brings out the child, in all of us. -smile-

    Oh my, looks like I have to fill out all the boxes again. In order to comment. -sigh- Wish there was an easy way, to not have to do it. If only all blogging places, would play-nicely-together…

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    • Yes it is specially nice that it’s family owned. Oh dear. No ‘save my details’ box then. I find I have to input my details on most blog’s.

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  5. We have those very same reindeer at our garden centre too.
    I haven’t been to Webbs for years. The last time I went it was when the Christmas displays were out and it really was magical. I wish our garden centre was still family owned. It’s part of a chain now and has lost the atmosphere it used to have.
    The village scenes are my most favourite display and I do have a couple of them which I have on my kitchen dresser at Christmas. They are huge in America and I have seen some beautiful set ups on You Tube.
    Hugs-x-.

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    • The reindeer were last year’s; the snowman and penguins are this years. Personally, I prefer the reindeer. I remember you posting pictures of them on your blog last year and I thought I’d leave it a few days but then forgot. I saved the photo for this year!

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  6. What a wonderful place, Eloise! It is lovely that what was once just a seed merchant (I say “just” but I don’t mean that in any derogatory sense) has now expanded so that it is a destination venue for so many things other than seeds and plants. We similarly have Fermoys here, between Newton Abbot and Totnes, but even that doesn’t look as wonderful as your Webbs, and also Otter Nursery in Ottery St Mary (the original Otter Nursery as there are several gardens centres now operating under that name that Otter Nursery has swallowed up). How lovely to have the riverside walk, there, so you can enjoy the food hall, then have lunch or an ice cream, and then go for a stroll, weather permitting. Yes, these garden centres really pull out all the stops at Christmas, and they’re lovely to look at even if we wouldn’t want our homes to look quite like that! And magical for little people, of course!
    Margaret P

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    • It is a lovely visit, Margaret. I could spend a small, make that large, fortune in there but rarely buy more than a few odds and ends as it is particularly pricey, but it’s always good for a gift or the occasional clothing item. There is also a Lakeland on site (kitchenware) and they hold farmers’ markets there too. We once took a couple of grandchildren for breakfast with Santa and that was fun.

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  7. I also enjoy wandering around Webb’s even without small children ! You appear to visit quite a few places I do. We must be in the same ‘ catchment area’. I hadn’t realised about the tree with the glass hangings at the Jinny ring. I shall look next time we go to hanbury hall ,we often have coffee and cake first at the Jinny ring less crowded.

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    • We are in North Worcs, Vivian. I like the cafe at the Jinney Ring better than the one at Webbs too. I find it a very confusing cafe there! Only someone who had been there would understand what I mean!!

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