Spring 2015 – what’s new?

If you haven’t requested your spring 2015 catalogue yet then you need to! This is one of our most exciting catalogues yet, bursting at the seams with new varieties, fragrant collections, competitions, offers and so much more.

So, what is new?

spring 2015Our Incredi-range®  is blooming marvellous! Our range includes;

Incredibloom®  – You can grow up to 4 times more flowers with this fertiliser. It is easy to use, cost-effective and long-lasting.

Incredicompost®  – Our premium reduced peat multi-purpose compost promotes strong flower and foliage growth. Incredicompost®  combines the benefits of professional-grade compost and the amazing plant-boosting qualities of incredibloom.

Incredicrop®  – Bring all the benefits of our incredibloom®  to your fruit and veg. Easy to use and slow release controlled feed for edibles.

What our customers think;

‘I cant believe how good this product is. I used it in all my pots and hanging baskets this year and the results are astonishing. Masses of blooms and really healthy looking annuals. Would highly recommend this and know for sure that I will purchase again’ Tracey Vick.

spring 2015

This is our must have for 2015! Boil’em, steam’em, mash’em and roast’em! There isn’t much that you cant do with our new mail order exclusive potato. Potato ‘Jazzy’ is a new generation early, bred to produce smaller spuds, bringing you higher yields. We have been truly amazed at the number of tubers from Jazzy, in both the field and containers. By simply adding Chempak potato fertiliser we saw a 76% yield increase, harvesting over 80 tubers from just one 8 litre grow bag!

spring 2015

This year we have also put a modern twist on a garden classic. Osteospermum ‘Blue Eyed Beauty’ is an easy to grow cape daisy offering real flower power with masses of shimmering butter-yellow blooms. This cape daisy is a stunning weather proof addition to your summer patio.

Wait, that isn’t all! We have the perfect shortcut to a beautiful garden with our growing garden ready plants. Simply plant, water and enjoy. If you are a fan of fuchsias then we have a surprise in store for you, so watch this space – or request your spring catalogue now!

Enjoy December’s garden

After a long year tending to our garden, December is the time for us to put our feet up with a spring catalogue and enjoy the winter’s tracery. During colder days we can sit back with a hot chocolate in hand, topped with toasty marshmallows and admire the lingering frost on summers faded perennial seed heads. I love nothing more than sitting indoors on a frosty day, looking out onto my garden, enjoying the winter silhouettes. Pure bliss!

In December, we can finally see the fruits of our years labour. Sprouts are ready to be picked and our parsnips are sitting patiently ready for Christmas dinner after being lovingly coaxed over summer and autumn. Holly is ready to be harvested, giving us berries for Christmas garlands and Christmas wreaths; you can stand them in a bucket of water until you’re ready to use them.

berries

If the ground isn’t frozen or cold and wet, you can still take the opportunity to plant tulip bulbs or shrubs for winter interest such as Sarcoccoca confusa. You can also plant winter containers with hardy cyclamen such as Cyclamen ‘hederifolium’ to add a dash of colour to your garden in the bleaker months.

December is the perfect time to prune fruit trees to maintain an open, balanced structure and encourage quality fruit production. However you should wait until the summer to prune plums, cherries and other stone fruits as winter pruning will make them susceptible to silver leaf fungus.

Whilst you are sitting back and enjoying your winter gardens, there is no need to be panicking about Christmas! Why not take the time to browse our Christmas gifts including our new gardening gifts range. You will find gifts for gardeners, gifts for him, gifts for her and even gifts for stocking fillers!

What do you enjoy most about your garden in winter?

To find out what you can do to in the garden in December take a look at our full guide here.

All is growing in the garden

Because March was so mild everything in the garden is moving on at long last, but because the soil is still quite wet and cold below, night frosts are still around so it is important to take great care.

So far on my allotment I have direct sowed onion sets, making sure I sow them into the driest soil. I followed with a sowing of radish seed. The radish germinated after 14 days, showing some warmth is finally getting into the soil. Other vegetable sowings will be made from April when the soil is warmer; sowing seeds into cold soil is pointless as germination will be erratic and poor. The first things sown will be parsnips, carrots, beetroot, peas and broad beans.

radish

Next month I will be planting my seed potatoes! I have already planted a few early-maturing potatoes such as Maris Bard in potato bags in the greenhouse. I also have a few pots of carrots growing in the greenhouse to ensure an early harvest until the ones sown next month are ready later in the year.

The plot is also harvesting a lovely crop of sprouting broccoli, especially over the last month but it is surprising how much you can harvest from only six plants. The rhubarb Fulton’s Strawberry Surprise is beginning to shoot, so it won’t be long before we can pull some sticks for a crumble.

Rhubarb

I have one batch of lettuces large enough to plant out under cloches, plus I may put a few in the polytunnel for an early crop, and the second batch is already pricked out. Talking salads, the first tomato seedlings have germinated and will require pricking out in a few days time. I also have spring onions germinating in multi-sown cell trays, for an early start.

The geranium cuttings are growing into good size plants and I have pinched their tops out to encourage more side shoots. The carnations and lobelia cuttings taken earlier in the year have been potted up. My fuchsia plants that were kept from last year have some good growth and are ready to have some cuttings taken, as are the chrysanthemum stools I kept, these have some nice shoots ideal for rooting shortly.

Spring is on its way

After all the horrendous rain, gales and floods I think I can at last say I believe spring is on its way. The heavy rains have stopped here in Bournemouth although we are still getting heavy showers, but in between we have had sunshine with reasonable temperatures. We have to repair a couple of panels that were damaged in one of the gales, but taking everything into account I consider myself very lucky that no other damage was done.

Spring is on its way

Cheery daffs

The daffodils are out in my garden, making it look very cheery, also many crocuses on the side of roads which makes a great difference to floods everywhere. I noticed today that several trees have their pink blossoms already – another sign that spring is here. My small acer trees, which are in containers, all have new shoots on them. I noticed also that some of my tree lilies are showing themselves – a little early.

Spring is on its way

New shoots on the acer

At last I have been able to get into the garden and cut back and feed my fuchsias and generally tidy up by sorting out the containers ready for the new season. Whilst doing that and getting some ready to be emptied I came across a window box, which at first looked as though it was full of weeds, only to discover that my strawberry plants from last year were just starting to shoot, so I tidied them up ready for the new season.

Spring is on its way

Early tree lily

On Sunday 23rd February part of the film that was made in my garden on 3rd September last year was on TV, I was watching whilst having my breakfast and there I was onscreen – I must say that it felt kind of funny watching myself!!!

Spring is on its way

The front garden in 2013

On 14th January I was presented with a cup for winning Gold First Best Container Garden 2013 in the Bournemouth in Bloom competition, and certificate for Gold Third Best Private Hanging Basket, I was thrilled as we are not told until called up to the stage.

Spring is on its way

Me being presented with the cup for Gold First Best Container Garden 2013

Looking forward to another busy season…

Spring spruce up begins in Church Lane

Customer trial panel member Caroline Broome has had a busy weekend, getting ready for spring.

At last we have had a fine weekend and I’ve been making the most of it in spades, literally! Everything is coming into leaf, notably tree peony Hong Xia, and some plants like bog sage never died down. How timely was our decision to get rid of our lawn last autumn in favour of Indian stone – it’s so much easier to access the borders now. A near neighbour’s massive ash tree, which has overshadowed our garden for years, has been hard pruned by half so I’m dying to see how much more sun we will get here. The spring spruce up begins!

Spring spruce up begins in Church Lane

Tree peony Hong Xia

Having compiled a ‘Things To Do’ list I went completely off plan by cutting back the clematis Montana by half! I know that it’s officially the wrong time to prune this clematis but it was smothering everything in its wake. Then I hard pruned the neighbouring choisya. Everything in that corner of the garden looks strangely bare, but a lot brighter.

Next I dug up congested patches of symphytum, white phlox and acanthus to make room for my new T&M trial plants: Wallflower Perfumed Collection & Digitalis Leopardskin plugs, which were overwintered in 9cm pots, now have healthy root systems poking through the bottom of their pots. Also ready for transplanting are barerooted brunnera ‘Starry Eyes’ which have been storming away in their temporary greenhouse holding beds. Can’t wait for the soil to dry out a bit so that I can plant them out. I can’t bear to throw away any potential plants so every time I lift perennials I end up with loads of divisions, which I pot up for sale at my NGS Open Day. It’s only February and I can’t move in the greenhouse for plants. Some of the plants from last autumn that died back naturally over winter are totally unidentifiable, so it’s a case of wait and see.

Spring spruce up begins in Church Lane

Digitalis and wallflowers

I planted Freesia ‘Patio Perfection’ bulbs into terracotta patio pots, but the Trumpet Lily Collection has been planted into plastic pots for sinking into the borders later. Daffodil Rainbow Butterflies Mixed is promising to put on a magnificent display; I planted dozens so I’m anticipating a show stopping display outside our sun room doors.

Spring spruce up begins in Church Lane

Daffodils and Jitterbug, the annoyed cat!

It’s a case of hope over experience with me when it comes to seed sowing, but always the optimist I have sown my Courgette Defender seeds already, along with some ‘Boogie’ peas and sweet peas ‘Old Spice Mixed’ for the allotment. Probably not my most sensible decision was to plant out the Charlotte and Maris Piper potatoes, but they were chitted and raring to go;  so now I am glued to the weather forecast, fleece in hand, in case of impending frost.

A friend made a beautiful raised wooden and aluminium herb planter for our Christmas present, which has been filled with perennial herbs like sage, thyme, chives and rosemary, and I have sown purple basil and coriander to fill in the gaps in summer.

Spring spruce up begins in Church Lane

Iris reticulata in its 3rd year

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