November

Notice: Our winter opening hours are,

Weekdays and Saturdays- 9:00-16:00,

Sunday: 10:00 -16:00

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A quiet month.

The last of the pansies and violas are still looking good, but be quick! as they tend to run out quite fast these few weeks.

November is a good time of year to plant nursery stock for a gap in a border, or else hedging plants. We have a good stock of large laurel, red robin, and yew.

We still have a good range of plants in 9cm pots, up to 3 litre size, and in fact, I think this November will be one of the best to see small evergreens, and interesting border plants on the nursery. One such example is a new heather (relatively speaking) which I think has foliage to rival any of it’s flowering counterparts, introducing:

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Calluna Skyline

The gold variety being a particular favourite.

If I don’t see you this month, then there’s always time in December. Already thinking ahead to holly, pine, and the smell of Christmas on the nursery.

 

September.

We’re stocked again (mostly).

Pansies, Violas, and the first of the Autumn colour is starting to show through. Cyclamen have arrived, Chrysanthemum is budding, and plenty more besides.

Our 3 litre-pot size shrubs are all rooted and out for sale. A couple in particular are worth mentioning. We’ve grown 5 different Weigela this year, my favourite of which is …

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Weigela Rubidor

We also have plenty of late season perennials. The star of that particular show right now is…

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Salvia ‘Amistad’

Both varieties, alongside over a hundred more, all at roughly £6.00. Pretty good value!

Tubs and baskets are planted daily, so if your summer plants are beginning to fade, come along to either nursery any time until the end of October, and there’s going to be an excellent choice to see you through the winter.

I’ll likely not update until November now, so until then, I’ll see you ate the nursery.

Max.

 

July, looking ahead.

Notice:

Watton Nursery open as usual.

Bengeo Nursery will be closed for the School Summer Holidays, re-opening September 1st.

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This month, we are potting.

There are still a few odds and ends left from the Spring season. We’ll keep planting baskets and tubs (whilst stocks last), and although this time of year is very empty (as it should be!) we’ll always try to find something appropriate if there’s a gap in your border, or an empty hanging basket bracket.

But back to potting. There’s a few varieties this year which I’m excited about, firstly: Digiplexis.

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Not the best picture… but you get the idea!

It’s a bi-generic hybrid of Digitalis and Isoplexis (I’m not sure which one, but I’m guessing Canariensis?) Regardless, it’s great. It’s vegetative, doesn’t go to seed, meaning flowers all summer long, hardier than isoplexis, uniform to type, and all round superstar. I’ll be potting a few, but more likely buying it in when I can from auction. Expect to see a lot of these in the coming years.

On the shrub side of things, I’ll be growing lots more Weigela this year. I wont bother including a picture, but suffice to say if you can google a leaf/flower combo, chances are we’ll be able to match it. There’ll be dwarf Buddleja (The series ‘buzz’ is excellent), and a range of new Hydrangeas.

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Hydrangea ‘Miss Saori’

Including the above, which I’m sure must have won a fleuroselect or RHS medal at some point! One more before I stop… lot’s of ferns this year, including the wonderfully named ‘Arachnoides’

 

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Arachnoides Simplicior Variegata

A very worthwhile alternative to most Athyrium varieties- especially considering that it’s evergreen.

Those are just a few of over a 100 varieties. We’ll be potting in a week or so, so expect to see a good number of young plants growing on site.

Realistically, it’s probably best to visit either nursery From early September onward, especially considering that Bengeo will be closed during August. It’s a quiet time of year, more preparation than anything else, so if you can wait, I would advise that you do.

Until then, enjoy your summer!

June: Late Season

We still have seasonal plants, and will have until the end of the month… We still have a particularly good selection of hanging baskets. So we have plants, yes…

But not quite all the varieties. It’s a natural progression of the season. Impatiens (Bizzie Lizzie) ran out particularly early this year, and remains a difficult crop to plan. A few years ago Downy Mildew affected Impatiens Walleriana plants across England. The virus has (through breeding and better plant care) been mostly controlled- and so planning for a curious mix of wariness and renewed fervor for the crop has been complex to say the least…. Suffice to say, next year we’ll be growing more!

As our seasonal stock reduces, I like to replace it with larger flowering perennials such as-

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Agapanthus Africanus spp.

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Lupin ‘Gallery’

You’ll also see a variety of flowering foxgloves, delphiniums, echinacea, veronica etc. Maybe even a few other interesting pieces, if I can get my hands on them.

Our roses are beginning to flower after a VERY slow start budding. We have plenty of hedging plants such as laurel and yew.

The only stock I would perhaps advise waiting for are the more niche variety shrubs. We grow these from liner in July, and I’ll go into the more interesting stuff to do with that next month.

In the meantime, enjoy your garden, and enjoy the summer!

 

What to expect in May…

The nursery is at its absolute best.

So much work happens behind the scenes in preparation for this month. Our growing staff at Netherfield nursery are responsible for 90% of everything you’ll see, and credit to them.

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Osteospermum ‘tradewinds white’ – one of 16 colours.

Quite likely I’ll reminisce later about some of the excellent lines we’ve grown. A favourite of mine on the nursery right now is Petunia ‘Damson Ripple’. It has a good colour break, and even when the warmer temperature brings its ‘purple side’ out, it develops a delicate blackcurrant scent.8873613099038

Those are just two of hundreds.

As usual I’m looking ahead. I’m working on our Autumn growing schedule right now, with some exciting new biennials and shrub liners in line for production. Look out later for a new range of hydrangeas, scented primulas, and much more.

But enough about that- Spring has hit the nursery with a punch. We are FULL of the very best that our nursery can offer. I’ll be around every day until mid June or so, and if there’s something you particularly want, chances are good we’ve got it.

There’s no month quite like May.

April

 

Announcement:

Easter opening times are as normal (check the top left tab) however, we are closed for Easter Sunday.

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An early start, it seems.

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The first of our 30 Fuchsia varieties.

This month we begin the bedding-plant season in earnest. By the middle of the month we will be restocking every day. Lines include but are not limited to-

  • 200 perennial species including…

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Salvia Bulleyana ‘Blue Lips’.

  • 400 annual varieties including…

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Callibrachoa ‘Calita’ Mini pink vanilla.

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Bidens ‘Taka Tuka’.

Our large geraniums are still only £1.50.

Our bedding plants are still £4.50 for 15 plants.

Our signature Illumination Begonia hanging baskets are being planted right now at our growing site.

In short… if there’s something seasonal you need for your garden, we’re almost certain to have it. Over the past few years we’ve striven to stock the newest, most up-to-date varieties, as well as all the old favorites. This time of year is a real pleasure. I’ll be at Watton every day from now until the end of the season, so come by and see the very best of what we offer.

Let’s hope this sunshine continues!

See you soon!

Max.

Spring stock

As of March we’ll be full.

Whatever the weather, once February is over we are in ‘Spring’ mode. I urge you to come early in March to find the very best of..

*perennials (I’ve grown a LOT more this year, and am looking forward to seeing some great new varieties such as Helenium ‘UFO’

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… there’ll be tonnes more lupins/Salvia/Echinacea too. (I’m probably more excited than I should be…)

*Lots of new lines from Holland such as a Nandina ‘limelight’.

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(I’ve been known to wax lyrical about N. Firepower and Obsession, so I’m particularly looking forward to this one.)

*hedging, laurel/yew/red Robin etc.

*Roses

*BIG stock! Spiral conifers, wisteria, acer, HUGE camellias, and cloud pruned giant pine bonsai (easily the most unique…and yes, expensive plant on the nursery).

…and much more.

Suffice to say that if you don’t come along to either bengeo or watton nursery this Spring- you’ll be missing out.

See you soon!

Max

Christmas

Our Christmas trees are here!

We stock primarily the non-drop Nordman Fir (A. Nordmanniana), both cut and potted, as well as a few potted Norway Spruce (P. Abies).

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A 6-7′ tree is £35-£45 depending on grade- although we also sell a few smaller specimens, as well as some very large (15′ +) trees at £150.

All trees are either grown by us, or from sustainable import, e.g. Forestry commissions/cycled growth farms. This means that for every tree we sell, there are at least two more planted.

We also sell home-made wreaths. These are 16” fully decorated rings, and I reckon they’re the best wreaths in Hertfordshire, if not beyond.

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There’ll be the usual array of Christmas planters etc. So no excuses, pop by and get festive!

As usual I’ll be picking a day to put on the BBQ- It will likely be the first weekend on December at Bengeo, and then another at a later date at Watton. I usually give out sausages if they’re ready, and maybe even a cup of mulled wine.

See you there, and Merry Christmas!

Autumn/Winter

Late Autumn sun has extended the Spring/Summer bedding, but it’s also pushed the Autumn bedding forward.

We’re full with colour, pansies and violas, baskets and autumn tubs looking great- but the way the season has started, I don’t expect we’ll have too much stock for long.

Already the Cheiranthus Cheiri (Dwarf Wallflower) has nearly sold, and is now only available at our Watton Nursery site.

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No vernalisation required- fragrant flowers until late Spring next year.

We have some excellent Skimmia in stock, it’s a genus which breeders seem intent on expanding, and we have two of my favourites. Skimmia Pabella is a new variety, probably bred from x Veitchii – And according to it’s poorly translated label- holds it’s berries all year. I’m looking forward to seeing the truth in that. Regardless, it’s a wonderful shrub, good for shade, a touch on the expensive side, but I think it’s worth it.

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Christmas cheer, anyone?

The other Skimmia is one I keep yammering on about, but honestly it’s so versatile, incredibly robust, and basically excellent in every way. Whoever bred this deserves all the awards. It’ll generally always be on the nursery because, to the consternation of my brother and sister, I cannot help but buy it whenever it’s available on the Aalsmeer/Westland auctions. So here it is for the umpteenth time- Skimmia, Magic Marlot.

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Can you tell I’m a fan?

I won’t be updating until closer to December. So until then, happy Autumn.

Max.

 

 

Autumn Prep

The next round of stock will be ready to buy by the end of the month.

Expect to see the first of the pansies, including the trailing ‘cool-wave’ varieties, which honestly, I’m still not convinced about, despite several customers assuring me that with feed- they are well worth the effort.

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Takes some care- but ‘cool-wave’ can provide winter colour, as well as a burst of flower the following spring.

We’ll have a full range of bulbs as usual, as well as the next round of 3 ltr. nursery stock. Anyone with a large garden who didn’t get to try our newly stocked echiums last year (Pininana/fatuosum)– now’s your chance.

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Echium Fatuosum.

So, I suggest coming by any time from early September. It’s such an under-rated time of year. Watering is easier, colour is still plentiful, (pansies/primulas etc.) and really, you’ll get to see some interesting shrubs and perennials that usually get pushed aside during the Spring season.

One last note- we’re stocking some new cornus. The ‘Wedding-cake’ tree C. Contraversa Variegata is an absolute favourite of mine, slow growing, but if you’re staying put, well worth the investment in time. We’ve still held on to a couple, but more interesting for me is the newer C. Satomi -I’ve yet to see it flower, but for the me the shape and leaf colour are good enough all by themselves. A real treat.

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That’s all for now. I’ll be at Bengeo Nursery for the majority of Autumn, so come on by and see what we have. I’m sure you’ll find something!