News

13th June 2019

Fathers Day - Sunday 16th June 2019

Fathers Day - Sunday 16th June 2019

Fathers day is this weekend and we have lots of presents fror that special someone. From plants to tools or fish to tanks we have something for everyone. Come on in and have a browse and you are bound to find that special present. We also have a special Fathers day lunch menu in the cafe, but please book as spaces are filling up quickly or you can start the day off with a full english breakfast. Lovely.

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13th June 2019

Annual Dog Show

Annual Dog Show

With the success of our first dog show last year we have now made it an annual event!

This year it is on Sunday 23rd June from 12 noon until 4pm. The first class will judged from 12.30pm.

It is free to come along and watch and all money raised on the day from the entry fee for the classes will go to St Giles Animal Rescue Centre.

It will be by the cafe and tea room just by our lawn in the garden centre.

There are 9 classes with all the winners being able to take part in the 'Best in Show' at the end of the day.

It is great fun and you get a prize for winning the class with the runner-ups recieving a medal!

See you on the day!

(In case of extreme weather please check our facebook page on the day to make sure that rain hasn't stopped play)

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5th June 2019

What to do in the garden in June?

What to do in the garden in June?

June is a gorgeous month to be out in the garden. With the days at their longest, flowers are blooming everywhere you look, and it’s time to enjoy the first delicious taste of your own home-grown fruit and vegetables. To help you make the most of your garden, here’s our list of the top gardening jobs for June.

What to plant in June

It’s finally warm enough to plant out courgettes, sweetcorn, tomatoes and peppers. Tie cordon tomato plants to stakes for support, and pinch out the side shoots.

It’s also time to sow tender herbs like basil. Fill a pot with seed compost and scatter basil seeds lightly over the top. Cover with a thin sprinkling of compost or vermiculite, water well and place in a propagator to germinate (or cover with a clear plastic bag and place on a sunny windowsill).

Take advantage of the fabulous ranges of summer bedding available now and fill pots and hanging baskets with colour. Give all your container plants a fortnightly feed with a high-potash fertiliser (tomato feed is ideal) to encourage the development of flowers and fruit.

What to harvest in June

Early potatoes should be ready to harvest around 10 weeks after planting, once the flowers have opened, but do a little digging first to check – the potatoes should be the size of hens’ eggs.

Keep harvesting lettuce, and sow more every two weeks for a constant supply through the summer months.

And the arrival of summer means the start of the strawberry season, so net your plants to stop the birds getting to them before you do.

Top 10 June garden jobs

  1. Run a Dutch hoe over your beds to cut down annual weeds before they set seed. Ideally, do this on a dry day so that the weeds shrivel and dry up in the sun.
  2. Be waterwise – if you need to water, do it in the early morning or evening
  3. Mow your lawn once a week. During dry periods, mow on a higher setting.
  4. Watch out for aphids and slugs – remove them by hand if possible, and never spray plants that are in flower, as this could harm bees.
  5. Pinch out the growing tips of fuchsias to encourage bushy plants
  6. Stake tall plants
  7. Thin out overcrowded drifts of hardy annuals
  8. Cut back the leaves of spring bulbs like daffodils and tulips once they have turned yellow
  9. Deadhead roses and pick sweet peas to encourage them to keep flowering
  10. Clip privet, box and yew hedges (provided no birds are nesting in them)

Finally, if you haven’t had time to sow vegetable seeds or your beds are looking bare, don’t despair. Our garden centre is packed with seedlings ready to be planted out, so pop in now and stock up for summer. 

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9th May 2019

What to do in the garden in May?

What to do in the garden in May?

May’s a busy month in the garden. Summer’s just around the corner and everywhere you look, plants are flowering and bees are buzzing. When the sun shines, there’s nothing better than a garden in May, so here are a few tips to get your garden looking its best.

What to plant in May? 

By May, the weather should be warm enough for all those tender plants you’ve been nurturing on windowsills and in greenhouses. Tomatoes and peppers can be planted outdoors in May, but harden them off first by leaving them outside during the day and taking them indoors again at night for 10-14 days before planting out. Potted dahlias and cannas can also be hardened off now, but leave aubergine seedlings in the greenhouse until the end of May, unless the weather’s spectacularly good.

If you’re growing potatoes, increase your harvest by earthing up your plants. Once the shoots are about 20cm tall, mound up soil around them, covering the lower part of the stems and making a ridge around 15cm high. Keep doing this as the stems grow, until the ridge is around 30cm high.

Plant summer bedding in pots and borders for a splash of instant colour. Petunias and geraniums are ideal for sunny spots, and begonias and fuchsias flower in shade for weeks on end in summer and early autumn.

Netted StrawberriesWhat to prune and tidy in May

If the weather’s dry, water regularly, especially vegetables. Use a waterbutt to collect rainwater for watering if possible.

Lawns should be growing strongly by now, so reduce the cutting height on your mower. Feed your lawn to keep it looking lush, and sow seed to fill in any bare patches.

Set up supports now for climbing beans and for herbaceous perennials like asters and peonies, before the plants get big and start to sprawl. Early May’s a good time to divide herbaceous perennials, and also to lift and divide clumps of daffodils, giving you more plants for next spring. Deadhead tulips, but leave the foliage to die back.

Prune spring-flowering shrubs like Chaenomeles (Japanese quince), forsythia and Ribes sanguineum (flowering currant) now, cutting back flowered stems to strong leafy buds lower down.

Keeping pests and diseases under control

Keep an eye out for early signs of garden pests and diseases. If you can catch them early, they’re much easier to deal with.

  • Protect carrots from carrot fly by putting up netting barriers around their bed
  • Pinch out the growing tips of broad beans once the first beans start to appear, to reduce the risk of blackfly
  • Remove small aphid infestations by hand
  • Watch out for signs of black spot on roses and spray with fungicide
  • Net strawberries against birds.

If you’re looking for some garden inspiration, why not pay a visit to our garden centre? You’ll find everything you need for your garden, plus friendly staff to help and advise.

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18th April 2019

What to do in the garden in April?

What to do in the garden in April?

In April, it really looks like spring in the garden. Although there’s still a chance of late frosts, the days are definitely warmer and everything is starting to grow again. It’s time to grab your tools and get out there. Here’s our list of the most important jobs for you to do in your garden this April.

What to sow in April

It’s still slightly too early to sow half-hardy and tender plants outdoors, but definitely, time to sow them indoors in small pots or modules. If you’re new to vegetable growing, here are a few firm favourites to sow indoors now:

  • Tomatoes
  • Runner beans
  • French beans
  • Squash
  • Courgettes
  • Cucumber

You can sow some seeds outdoors now, including broad beans, wildflower seed mixes and hardy annuals such as cornflowers, love-in-the-mist and Californian poppies. You can even make a start on next winter’s dinners by sowing Brussels sprouts and parsnip seeds.

If you’ve already got tomato seedlings lining your windowsill or greenhouse shelves, pot them on into slightly larger pots, but don’t put them outside until the end of the month.

What to plant in April

April is the perfect time to plant herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses. It’s also a good time to lift and divide any of your existing perennials that are in need of a boost.

In the vegetable garden, plant early potatoes. If you remembered to chit them last month, give yourself a pat on the back, as this should give you a better harvest. But if you didn’t get round to chitting, plant your spuds anyway – potatoes are very forgiving plants. Plant onion sets and garlic cloves now too, for a late summer harvest.

Weeding, feeding and tidying

Pruning early flowering shrubs in AprilAs the plants start to grow, so do the weeds, so keep on top of them as they appear. A Dutch hoe is your best friend for dealing with annual weeds like chickweed and hairy bittercress, letting you cut them down at a swipe without spending hours on your knees. Sadly, perennial nasties like bindweed and dandelions will still need digging out by the roots with a hand fork.

Feed your roses and tie climbing and rambling roses back to supports. And don’t forget to mulch your borders with a 5cm (2in) thick layer of compost. Mulching is one of the best things you can do for your soil. It adds nutrients, improves the soil structure and helps retain moisture, meaning less watering needed in summer.

Prune early-flowering shrubs like Viburnum x bodnantense, forsythia and Chaenomeles (Japanese quince) once they’ve finished flowering. Now’s also the time to hard prune dogwoods (Cornus sibirica and Cornus alba) to encourage next winter’s crop of brightly coloured stems.

Give your garden a bit of attention now and you’ll reap the rewards all through summer. If you’re looking for inspiration for your garden this April, why not pop down to your local garden centre and see what’s in store?

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23rd March 2019

Mothers day is nearly here!

Mothers day is nearly here!

Mothers Day - Sunday 31st March

We have lots of gift ideas including plants that could be just right for your mum so why not head in store and take a peek...

Also if you haven't arranged going out for the actual day then why not book lunch in our cafe so you can sit back and relax and enjoy the day.

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8th March 2019

What to do in the garden in March?

What to do in the garden in March?

In March, you can practically feel life flooding back into the garden. Spring bulbs are flowering and buds are appearing on branches. It’s a glorious time to be out of doors, watching the new gardening year begin again, and here are a few jobs for you to be getting on with this month.

HelleboresWhat to prune in March

If you haven’t already pruned your bush roses, do it now, before they really start to grow. Cut back shrubby dogwoods and willows to encourage the growth of new stems for brilliant winter colour next year. While you’re busy pruning, it’s also time to tackle forsythia, provided its finished flowering, as well as fuchsias and mophead hydrangeas.

Cut the old leaves off hellebores so that the flowers can be seen better – this also reduces the spread of disease. And deadhead your daffodils as they start to fade, but leave the foliage to die back naturally, so that the plants can build up food stores for next year’s flowers.

What to plant in March

There’s plenty to do in the vegetable garden, with onion sets and first early potatoes to be planted. Indoors, there’s still time to sow tomato seeds, as well as chilli and beetroot. Outdoors, you can sow carrots, parsnips and radishes.

In the flower garden, it’s all about hardy annuals – sow them towards the end of March for a riot of colour in early summer. (Here’s a handy tip – once weed seeds start to germinate, it’s warm enough to sow your hardy annuals.) For late summer colour, plant gladioli and dahlia bulbs in pots and keep them in greenhouses until the frosts are over.

Five hardy annuals to sow in March:

  1. Love-in-the-mist (Nigella damascena)
  2. Californian poppies (Eschscholzia californica)
  3. English marigolds (Calendula officinalis)
  4. Cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus)
  5. Godetia (Clarkia amoena)

If you have large clumps of snowdrops in your garden, it’s a good idea to lift and divide them to stop them getting too congested. Using a spade, dig up the whole clump, then tease it apart by hand into smaller clumps for replanting.

Feeding and mulching

Weeding As your plants start to grow, they need to be fed. Feed roses with a balanced fertilizer now for extra-special flower power in summer, and top-dress containers by scraping off an inch or so of old compost and replacing it with fresh.

Hoe borders to get rid of any weeds, then apply a thick layer of compost as a mulch (make sure the soil is moist first). This will help suppress weeds, keep in soil moisture, add nutrients and improve drainage – what more could you ask?

As the garden comes back to life, it’s the ideal chance to spot any gaps that need filling, or just to give your garden a new look. Pop down to your local garden centre for ideas, inspiration and everything else you need for your garden this year.

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8th February 2019

What to do in the garden in February?

What to do in the garden in February?

It might be cold out there, but in February the first hints of spring are everywhere. The daylight lasts that little bit longer each day, snowdrops start to flower and clumps of cheerful daffodils reappear. When the sun shines, it’s time to get outdoors and get a head start on the gardening. And when that icy wind blows, there’s still plenty for gardeners to do indoors in February.

What to prune and plant In February

Prune your roses towards the end of the month, before they really start growing again. When pruning bush roses, first remove any spindly growth and any dead or crossing branches. Then prune the remaining stems down by half, cutting just above strong, outward-facing buds so that you end up with an open, vase-shaped shrub. It’s a good idea to cut the ends of the stems at an angle so that rainwater drains away from the growing buds.

Cut back last year’s wisteria shoots to within 3-4 buds of the main stems, to keep them tidy so that the gorgeous spring flowers will look their best, and prune evergreen hedges.

Provided the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged, February is also a good time to plant new shrubs and trees. Remember to stake young trees and water them in well once you’ve planted them.

Tidy up

Before the spring breezes start to blow, tie up any loose climbers and check stakes and tree ties. Pull up any weeds that have survived the winter, and clear away the last of the fallen leaves so slugs and snails can’t hide under them.

Seeds to sow in February

Tomato SeedlingsIf it's too cold to be outside, get started on sowing seeds indoors. Summer favourites like tomatoes and cucumbers need a long growing period, so now’s the perfect month to start them off. In late February, sow seeds in small pots and place them somewhere warm and bright like a greenhouse or just on a sunny windowsill to germinate.

5 seeds to sow indoors in February:

  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Celeriac
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers

From mid-February onwards, start chitting early seed potatoes ready for planting in late March.  This is really easy to do and a great way to get kids interested in gardening. Simply place your potatoes somewhere cool but bright indoors, with most of their buds (called ‘eyes’) pointing upwards, and leave them to sprout shoots. They’ll be ready to plant in 4-6 weeks, once the shoots are about 2cm (1in) long.

There’s nothing like a bit of gardening to make you feel that spring’s on its way, so grab your tools and get on out there! We have everything you need to get your garden looking great this year. 

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18th January 2019

What to do in the garden in January?

What to do in the garden in January?

Are you wondering what to do in the garden during January? It can be a cold month with the worst of the Winter weather so when hibernating is top of the list, make sure you do it with plenty of seed catalogues, garden books and a hot chocolate. Build on your successes from the previous year, plan your crop rotations and make lists of all the plants you would like to grow in your garden. So make the most of January and get planning:

  • Garden and Flowers
  • Fruit and Vegetables
  • Wildlife

Garden and Flowers

As long as the ground isn't waterlogged or frozen, you can plant out bare root roses ensuring they are in a sunny position. Rose bushes can also be pruned now while they are dormant by cutting back to just above a bud and removing any diseased, crossing or dead stems. After the trimmings are taken down, don't let your Christmas tree go to waste. Keep an eye out for places to take your tree for recycling or alternatively, you can shred your tree and use it as mulch in the garden, add it to your compost heap or lay it over bare soil to suppress weeds.

Fruit and Vegetables

When you are ready to get your coat on and brave the January air, it’s time to prune your fruit trees, such as apple and pear. So if you have been wondering what to do in the garden during January, there is plenty! Gooseberries can also be pruned and autumn fruiting raspberries can be cut back. Perfect time to get some fresh air and prepare your fruit for the growing season ahead. If you have stored fruit, just as with any bulbs and plants, keep a weekly check on them to ensure they are all in good condition. If you spot any sign of rotting or diseased materials or fruit discard it as soon as possible to make sure it doesn't spread. Make sure trays of apples and bags of potatoes have good air circulation and are out of the reach of pests.

Wildlife Gardening

At this time of year, it is essential to supplement natural bird food. If the weather is particularly cold, you may even notice your garden birds becoming much braver in their search for food. Berries and fallen fruits are an important food source but also hang out food to help our feathered friends make it through the winter. If you have any piles of fallen branches, twigs and leaves make sure you leave them a little longer as they may be home to garden wildlife, even a hedgehog! You can gently rake grass cuttings and other fallen leaves or stems into the pile to make sure they have a nice warm environment. It will rot down over time naturally.

It may be Winter but with plenty to be planning for the year ahead, come in to visit us and start putting your plans into action! 

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12th January 2019

Seed Potatoes - Time to grow your own...

Seed Potatoes - Time to grow your own...

Now is the time to buy seed potatoes.

With over 50 varieties which include1st and 2nd earlies, Maincrop varieties and salad types. Now is the best time to buy as you have the biggest choice. We have 3 NEW varieties for 2019. The first is called 'Accord' that produces lots of potatoes.  It has a waxy texture and a medium level of dry matter. It makes good boiled potatoes served hot or cold. It has a very good resistance to both golden and white potato cyst nematode. It has good resistance to common scab and blight making it popular with gardeners. The second one is a Maincrop called 'Libertie' which produces big crops of attractive bright and uniformly shaped tubers. It has good resistance to Common and Powdery Scab which helps to maintain if naturally bright tubers. Boiled or bakes. Libertie has good cooking qualities.The third is another NEW Maincrop called 'Setanta', it is easy to grow and a great versatile variety in the kitchen too! This red skinned variety has been bred from the famous Rooster variety. Similar to Rooster in that it has a dry, fluffy texture making it ideal for making delicious mash, roasts and chips. What makes Setanta different is it has excellent blight resistance in particular tuber blight resistance and yields lots of similar sized baking potatoes.  It stores well so can be enjoyed for many months after harvest.

So that you don't miss out, you can reserve any of the varieties using our click and collect service. Browse during the evening and then collect the following day. You can almost smell them cooking...

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