Late season

Some lines are finished. For instance, we’ve run out of Lobelia (I promise I’ll grow more next year)- but nevertheless, there is still lots to look at, and lots to plant.

I tend to buy in from our enterprising Dutch counterparts at this time of year- not to replace our annual home-grown stock, (because honestly, imports are never as good) but rather to supplement our own stock with end of season perennial colour, such as Lupins, Foxgloves, Agapanthus etc. Рin short, plants which I trust to move through the Alsmeer and Westland auctions unscathed by excess handling and transport.

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Both blue and white Agapanthus are in bud and looking great right now.

Towards the end of the month we’ll begin to run out even further, so make sure you get here in good time, as I’d hate for anyone to miss out on bedding-out their gardens, or filling those empty containers and baskets.

In July I’ll be potting for the Autumn, so expect an update about that in due course.

In the meantime, enjoy your summer ūüôā

 

 

 

Bedding Plant Season

For me, the most exciting time of the year has arrived. Who doesn’t love spring? It also marks the busiest few months of our calendar at the nursery, and so I probably won’t post again until late June.

The list of plants we grow and stock is too exhaustive to list here, but suffice to say that both Watton and Bengeo nursery are now restocking on an almost daily basis.

You’ll be pleased to know that the core prices are the same as ever. A bedding plant is still 30 pence (when taken as a multiple), and so on. I still don’t think you’ll find a better selection of Geraniums in a 1 litre pot anywhere in Hertfordshire. What’s more, I¬†don’t think you’ll find them at a better price, a very reasonable ¬£1.50

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Or ‘Pelargonium’ more correctly, but let’s not be fussy.

I’ll be at Bengeo nursery this year, so feel free to pop by and say Hi- there’s a good chance you’ll meet one of my sons, busy ‘helping.’ I can’t wait to see the seasonal colour, and can only hope for a sunny few months of gardening!

See you all soon!

Max.

 

 

 

 

Starting the year

Things are moving quickly at the nursery now. We’re busy at our growing site, planting the first of the plugs, and it wont be long before they look like this:

petunias

Not only that, but new stock will arrive any day now. A short, but not exhaustive list includes:

1ltr. Perennials

Roses

Large nursery stock (Acers/Viburnum/Magnolia) etc.

Laurels

Primulas!

Bedding Primulas are £6.00 for 15 plants, and are looking great now. They wont be on sale much further than early April, so get them whilst you can.

Lot’s to do, so I must dash.

Looking forward to seeing you.

 

Off-season

Christmas season at the nursery has been fun. Every year in December, usually the first or second Saturday, I like to light our half-oil-drum BBQ and¬†put some sausages down next to a warming pan of mulled wine. If you didn’t catch it this year, I’ll be giving away food and drink next time around and who knows? You might catch it then.

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Some of our pot-grown trees

We’ll be closing the nursery on Monday (21/12/15) and re-opening on the 3rd of January.

We plan on some structural changes for the coming season. Some of you will already have noticed an increase in the size of our car-park. In addition, we’ll be moving the perennial section adjacent to the glasshouse (should be signposted by the time we’re open…), and adding a re-fill/potting bench next t the till area.

Come see us in January for bare-root hedging, the first of the prims, or a chat… because until February there wont be much else!

In the meantime, Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn/Winter bedding, and oh yes… Christmas!

We grew more pansies and violas this season, and I’ve got to say they’ve been a pleasure to grow and sell.

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Here’s a selection of our violas for sale. If you’re yet to plant for Autumn and Winter, there’s still time. We’ve grown a late crop, and they are still looking very good- and will do until probably mid-late November. (Any time after that, and¬†I can’t promise they wont be a little stretched, or a little dusted with mildew), so make haste!

Cyclamen, heather, hellebore- all still looking good. Another of my favourites is still on the nursery too- Skimmia ‘Magic Marlot

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It’s one of those rarities- a variegated form that seems to perform better than the type. I have it in my own garden, trialed in slightly acidic, and also simple garden compost. It performs equally well in both, holding flower bud even through some pretty harsh winters. I cannot recommend this small shrub strongly enough- Good for a planter centre-piece, or as a compact addition to any border.

I’ll likely add a festive post later on, but I should mention now anyway- We’ve grown lots of spruce this year. They are true ‘pot grown’ trees, and not the seasonal ‘pot grown’ rubbish you might find elsewhere (Read: torn out of the ground and shoved into any container). We’ve had them on the nursery for over twelve months now. Not only are they cheaper than cut trees (I know! We’re saving the planet!) But they also look great with the splash of lime-green new growth in spring.

Environmental credentials aside, we will stock Abies Nordmanniana –¬†The popular non-drop cut Christmas trees.

We also make our own, hugely popular luxury wreathes. 16″ and absolutely full- they’ll last until February if you let them.

Seasonal cheer over.

See you soon!

Autumn stock

But we’ve hardly had a Summer yet!

I know… but it’s worth knowing that we tend to stock early for the coming seasons, and this year is no exception.

Already the August cries of ‘Are you closing down?!’ have abated, as our stock of 3ltr shrubs, perennials and climbers are now potted and on display. I’m most excited about the perennials, which I expect will sell quickly. For the time we’re growing¬†Hosta¬†‘Empress Wu’, one of the largest hostas in the world.

hosta

Growing up to 1.5m and spreading to 2m, it really would make a statement… providing you have the space.

We’re a little late to the party, but we’ll also have a few¬†Salvia¬†‘Hot Lips’. I’m not convinced the flower lives up the hype, seems a bit lost amidst the foliage to me (but then I’m colour blind… which doesn’t help!)

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Aside from the shrubs etc., we’re already selling the first violas and pansies. Our trailing range is proving ever popular, and the breeders of the ‘Cool wave’ range we stock, promise it’s as well branched and ‘florific’ (apparently) as ever. It’s one which works in a basket all alone, though due to it’s vigour, I really think that it differs from standard autumn basket pansies in that it’ll need a bit of extra feed. So don’t skimp on the quality of the compost! Our Levington M2 mulitpurpose is more expensive than most retail composts (it’s actually a professional range you wont get elsewhere) but it’s worth the money. I guarantee you’ll appreciate the difference.

We’ll have a full range from early September, until the end of October. So come on down, and please don’t wait too long, November shoppers will miss us at our best.

Off Season

There’s never a lot of choice in July and August… But we do have some stock. The last few bits from the bedding-plant season will still be around (providing you’re not picky) until August. We’ll have baskets and tubs for sale, but honestly, if you’ve not planted yet, I’d generally advise waiting until the Autumn bedding in September.

Speaking of which- Our planting schedule for the Autumn begins quite soon- and we’ve got some exciting stuff on it’s way.

cool wave

Cool wave pansies are revolutionising the autumn hanging basket market. I was skeptical to begin with- the plants looked (individually) like a bad panola with an unusually long inter-node. However, they branch spectacularly, and fill a basket in a matter of weeks.

Alongside these we grow our usual range of pansies, some new colours are coming this year, such as a compact red blotch which seems much improved.

Whilst there’s not a lot going on at the nursery right now- behind the scenes we’re busy. We’re potting well over a hundred lines of shrubs and another hundred or so perennials- all ready in time for late August. Look out for some impressively sized hostas…

See you then.

Not long now!

Despite some cooler weather, it’s been a busy May. So, although we’ll be fully stocked throughout June- some of our lines are running low, and some (like Gazania) have now run out entirely.

acers

Bedding stock aside- Acers have been incredibly popular this year, and against recent trend, the green leaved species have been especially sought after. I’m ordering our root-balled stock soon, and will add some new varieties, and old favourites. I’m particularly looking forward to stocking once more A. Aconitifolium-¬†and not just for it’s autumn colour- the flowers are one of the best of the entire genus.

Back to seasonal stock- get here quickly! Our best is still available, but it wont be here for long.

Basket time.

We’re fully stocked now- all basket styles and planting mixes are available. The last to arrive are Begonia baskets- which have just turned up from our growing site, last year we introduced Begonia Illumination ‘Peaches and Cream’ to compliment the ‘Apricot shades’ series.

begonia peaches

It’s proved so popular we’ve grown plenty more, and even added the slightly darker ‘Golden Picotee. Trialed last year in 10″ pots, it’s now available up to 16″ wicker.

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Begonia baskets are our most popular basket, and with good reason. Come by any time from now until mid-June and you’ll see why!

Two for the coming season-

It’s a busy time on the Nursery- we’re planting more than ever. There’s loads of new varieties to look forward to this year. Here’s a couple I’m looking forward to most-

Begonia ‘Glowing Embers’ – It’s being marketed as a ‘semi-mounding’ begonia, I suppose to tempt people to stick a few in their baskets- but really, this Begonia is best in the ground or in a tub. I think it works best multiply planted, without accompaniment. All alone it’s fantastic, the leaves are like dark coals behind the fire of the flower- truly a well named specimen. Not¬†new¬†exactly- but worth a mention all the same. May well be my favourite plant of last season.

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Osteospermum ‘Serenity Blue-eyed Beauty’– This one I can’t wait for. New from Ball and Colegrave this year, winner of multiple awards. I love Osteo’s anyway (you might know them as rain daisies). And this one will surely be a great addition to a packed field.

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There’s loads more, obviously. I’ll post a few as they come onto the nursery from our growing site. Right now here’s a few things to think about if you’re coming in-

*Plugs are in! If you like to grow your own, now’s the time to start. Even if it’s just on your windowsill, why not have a go?

*Perennials are in!¬†Our 1ltr range of perennials are still ¬£1.70. It’s a fantastic price. Year after year these are growing in popularity, and we’ll be stocking in excess of 100 varieties throughout the season.

*We’re hiring!¬†It’ll be seasonal, only up until August, but there’s lots to do. If you’re okay with a bit of hard work, enjoy flexible, seasonal hours, and a bit of sunshine (hopefully) then pop by for a chat.

See you soon!

Max.