Jobs to do in the garden this November

Jobs to do in the garden this November

November 4th, 2019 by

Not sure what to do in the garden this November? Check out the November gardening reminders put together by our chairman and horticulturalist John Richardson.

1) Finish picking the last of the late apples, Store in well-ventilated crates or freeze them.

2) Collect all the canes and stakes no longer in use and stand the bottoms in preservative for a day.

3) Service the mower or have it done professionally, clean and store garden furniture.

4) Check alpines in case they are covered in leaves.

5) Clear fallen leaves from lawns, ponds, gutters and natural free drainage routes.

6) Cut back tall rose bushes and shrubs such as Buddleia to prevent winter wind-rock and damage.

7) Check that ceramic or terracotta pots are raised on ‘feet’ off the ground to help avoid frost damage.

8) Cover alpines with sheets of glass or cloches to reduce the effect of excessive winter rain.

9) Take root cuttings from oriental poppies, sea hollies and verbascums. Cutting should be 8cm long, of average thickness, with a straight top cut and sloping bottom cut. Place vertically in pots of cutting compost with top level with the compost. Keep outside in a sheltered place over winter.

10) Try to complete laying turf this month. If delayed, wait for a day when conditions are dry underfoot.

11) If newly ordered plants have arrived but soil conditions are poor, take them out of the packaging, splay open the roots and lay them in a 15” deep trench at 45⁰, to the side of the trench, to reduce wind disturbance. Firm soil back over the roots. Plants are ok like this until growth commences.

12) When planting roses into an existing rose bed, remove the soil from each planting hole and replace with soil from another part of the garden which has not previously grown roses.

13) Clean the corms of gladiolus lifted last month which are now dry. Remove the old corm from the base of the new corm. Destroy any showing signs of disease. If you have saved the small cormlets attached to the base of the new corm, keep until March and plant 2” deep in a layer of sand.

14) If conditions are not too wet, now is a good time to establish or develop the rock garden. OK to plant at this time of year but protect young alpines from excessive rain.

15) Now is a good time to develop a new vegetable plot. Deep dig the plot and add well-rotted compost or manure. Grass can be dug in but turn it upside-down in the base of the trench and cover with soil to prevent re-growth. Leave soil surface rough to benefit from winter frosts.

16) Wash out water butts to remove debris. Purchase additional water butts for other downpipes.

17) On cold November nights, sit over the fire and go through next years seed and bulb catalogues and read those magazine articles which you had no time for in the summer.

Awesome Acers for Autumn

Awesome Acers for Autumn

October 29th, 2019 by

Awesome Acers for Autumn 

Acers (Japanese maples) are best known for their vivid autumn leaves that turn various colours during October including fiery red, orange, yellow and brown. They make a perfect focal point brightening up dark corners of the garden and even grow well in pots.

Check out some of our great Acer varieties below available on our cash & carry. Call today on 01423 332324 to reserve yours.

 

Acer palmatum ‘Aureum’ 200-250cm 180L

A medium-sized maple with stunning yellow leaves in spring followed by yellow lime coloured leaves in summer and shades of orange and red in autumn.

Position: Partial shade

Height: Up to 4 metres

Spread: Up to 4 metres

Acer Aureum

Acer palmatum ‘Hiryu’ 200-250cm 180L

Has distinctive claw-like lobed leaves that have fantastic green leaves in spring and summer with light green edging that turn to vibrant burnt orange tones during autumn.

Position: Partial shade

Height: Up to 3.5 metres

Spread: Up to 3.5 metres

Acer palmatum ‘Garnet’ 175-200cm 130L

Has fantastic bright scarlet leaves during autumn that are a garnet stone colour throughout spring and summer, it’s slightly more compact than other varieties so makes a great addition to a patio pot or planted in a smaller garden.

Position: Partial shade

Height: Up to 2 metres

Spread: Up to 2 metres

Acer ‘Ryusen’ 100cm stem 50L

Is a great compact weeping Japanese maple variety with mid to bright green leaves in spring and summer that turn an orange-red in autumn.

Position: Partial shade

Height: Up to 2 metres

Spread: Up to 2 metres

 

Acer ‘Skeeter’s Broom’ 250-300 180L

A narrow upright variety that has red foliage in spring, maturing to a purple-red in summer and a scarlet red in autumn.

Position: Partial shade

Height: Up to 3 metres

Spread: Up to 2.5 metres

Acer ‘Beni-Mako’ 200-250 180L

Displays some of the best autumn colour with orange and fiery red tones that begin a pinkish red in spring and turn green in the summer.

Position: Partial shade

Height: Up to 3 metres

Spread: Up to 3 metres

 

Acer palmatum ‘Firecracker’ 200-250 110L

Purple and red shades in spring that have an outstanding autumn colour show of brilliant hues of oranges and reds.

Position: Partial shade

Height: Up to 4 metres

Spread: Up to 4 metres

 

 

 

Jobs to do in the garden this October

Jobs to do in the garden this October

October 2nd, 2019 by

Not sure what to do in the garden this month? Here are our garden reminders put together by our chairman and horticulturalist John Richardson.

1) With October starting with rain, following rain, which followed rain, the land is going to be too sticky and muddy to do much for the next week or so, give the greenhouse or garden shed a good clean, and put away all those tools, labels, canes and bottles that it has been easier to overlook during the good weather.

2) Give conifers a final trim this month and try and complete the planting of evergreens while the soil is still warm and new roots will then establish before the ground becomes cold.

3) Give thought to lifting tender plants which you wish to retain, pot them up and store in a frost-free environment. Calla lilies have been very popular this year, but don’t forget they are on the tender side and also need to be lifted and protected during the winter.

4) If you need to move trees that are going to be too big for their location, do it in 2 stages, this year dig a trench around half the root ball, about 30-40cm away from the trunk and backfill with good well-rotted Compost. This will encourage young roots near to the trunk before you cut the roots on the other side as you move it next autumn. Don’t try this on trees more than two years after the original planting; the root-balls would be just too big and heavy to lift.

5) As herbaceous plants die back, reduce top growth almost to ground level and compost all soft green material. Remove and store all the canes and stakes. Burn pea-sticks and rotten stakes.

6) Fix grease bands to apple and pear tree trunks to prevent female winter moth caterpillars climbing up to lay their eggs on the young buds. Choose the correct grease for smooth or rough-barked trees.

7) Now is an excellent time to clean out the pond and remove the water pump for the winter.

8) Store top fruit for the winter, by picking only those fruits which are undamaged, wrap in newspaper and store in a frost-free cool shed. DO NOT retain any fruits which show signs of damage; they will only affect those that are undamaged, but you can freeze these fruits.

9) Rake up fallen leaves around rose bushes to prevent the carry-over of Black Spot to next year.

10) Take hardwood cuttings of deciduous shrubs and line them out in a trench formed by pushing a spade into the soil to about 10 inches and rocking it to enlarge the slot. Insert the cuttings about 2 inches apart and firm soil back between the feet. On heavy soil run a little sand into the slot before planting the cuttings.

11) Tall shrubs such as Buddleia and Lavatera, which will be pruned hardback in spring will tidy up the garden if cut back by half at this time to prevent wind rock during the winter.

12) Dahlia tubers need lifting and storing this month. Cut the stems back to about 4” from ground level, shake off as much soil as possible, hosing off if necessary, and store upside down for 14 days to dry out the stems of the plants. Afterwards, store in dry compost with the stem out of the compost, in a cool frost-free building. Remember to name all plants at the time you lift them from the ground.

Jobs to do in the garden this September

Jobs to do in the garden this September

September 3rd, 2019 by

Not sure what you should be doing in the garden this month? here are our top tips for the month of September.

 

  • The first 10 days of September is the last time to be taking cuttings of tender perennials such as pelargoniums and fuchsias, roots will form much quicker before the cooler weather sets in. When taking cuttings at this late stage, it is better to root them round the edge of a pot and leave them in the pot until transplanting next spring. Alternatively, bring the old plants under cover in a cool but frost-free room and take cuttings early next year.

 

  • Ever thought of buying yourself a greenhouse? Now is a good time to buy at a discounted price, with the whole winter to erect it and have it ship-shape for the start of next spring. Don’t forget, it is really useful for it to be connected to water and a electricity supply.

 

  • It is well worth checking the bigger trees around the garden. September can be a windy month and worth the knowledge that boughs are not likely to come crashing down on the house, the garden or the new greenhouse in the winter gales!

 

  • When you have a weekend hour to spare, take a notebook around the garden and note those plants which are not happy in their location, are growing too big, have the wrong colour combination with their neighbours, or really need more space. It will make your winter sort-out in the shrubbery so much easier.

 

  • Planting new shrubs in the autumn has the benefit of warm soil to get the plants established before winter and the soil is usually moist. Delay bare-root tree planting until November and be sure to install a stake at the time of planting. Always put the stake on the windward side and secure with a proper tree tie.

 

  • September is a good month to plant spring-flowering bulbs, but leave tulips until November, as this will help prevent the fungal disease ‘tulip fire’. If you find mice are digging up your crocus bulbs, cover them with fine chicken wire, which won’t affect grass mowing but should dissuade the mice.

 

  • If you have heavy soil, dig over the garden borders later this month as the bedding plants need to be removed. This will make digging easier as the soil will not be at full water capacity as in later months.

 

  • Crocosmias form large mounds of roots and corms over the years. Separate them with two forks either by pulling them apart or remove the soil and untangle them with the help of a hosepipe jet.

 

  • Continue to trim fast-growing hedges – and don’t overlook the weeds in the hedge bottoms!

 

  • Newly planted perennials will do well when planted over the next six weeks. Give the roots of new plants a good soaking before planting and firm in well to the original depth, placing a good mulch around the plant to prevent moisture loss and winter frost damage to young roots.

 

  • During this month and next, the lawn can be mown less frequently, but will really benefit from mechanical scarifying or the regular use of a spring tine rake to remove the old ‘thatch’. Aerating the lawn by means of a machine or a garden fork will work wonders, in conjunction with a specific lawn weed-killer and an autumn lawn fertilizer dressing.
Jobs to do in the garden this August

Jobs to do in the garden this August

August 2nd, 2019 by

Looking to keep busy in the garden this August? Here are the jobs you should be keeping on top of this month:

  1. Cut back the long whippy growth of Wisteria to within 3 buds of the old wood, if they are not required, to extend the area covered by the plant.
  2. Keep dead-heading the best flowering plants to encourage new flowers and stop them from setting seed. Apply a liquid feed as plants will require added nutrition to counter dry weather and heavy watering.
  3. Complete the lifting of last seasons’ bulbs and dry them off naturally in light woven sacks for maximum ventilation.
  4. Collect the seed of the plant which you wish to regenerate next year. Place a brown paper bag over the seed head and shake out contents as they become free. Save the seed in the fridge and sow next spring.
  5. Clean up and dispose of early fallen fruits, such as apples, to prevent disease spread.
  6.  Damp down greenhouse floors to maintain humidity, and don’t forget to open the vents to improve air circulation. It’s best to water early morning/late evening, and not in the heat of the sun. Close doors at night at the end of the month as conditions become cooler, but be sure to open up again the following morning.
  7.  A good time to clean the pond and the pump filter, and perhaps reduce the amount of oxygenating plants.  A fountain will help oxygenate the water for the benefit of fish.
  8. Trim lavenders after flowering but don’t cut into older wood.
  9. Towards the end of the month cut back the canes of fruited cane fruits to ground level, and tie in the young shoots which will provide next year’s harvest.
  10. Divide and replant rhizomatous Iris and layer carnations and pinks, pegging into the soil after carefully cracking a small section of the stem.
  11. Weed between alpines and top up the surface with grit or gravel. Take cuttings of Aubretia, dwarf helianthemums etc., root in a warm propagator.
  12. Continue to water recent new lawns. Probably better to leave laying or sowing a new lawn until next month when the weather is cooler.
  13. Watch out for pests and diseases, warm dry weather encourages mildew and aphids can rapidly increase in numbers. Treat with specific garden chemicals.

Check out our previous months gardening reminders here

Lavender plants: our bestselling line for trade

Lavender plants: our bestselling line for trade

July 25th, 2019 by

A true staple for any size project or garden, the humble lavender is a top favourite for many of our commercial customers. Last year we sold over 110,000 lavender plants, including ‘angustifolia’ ‘hidcote’, ‘munstead’ ‘vera’ and many more varieties.

Lavender plants are well known for their wonderfully calming fragrance, but they are also a great plant for pollinators and are famed for the various shades of purple they come in. A truly versatile plant, it can instantly improve the appearance of any space, from the edge of a driveway to the surrounding of a public seating area.

Commonly flowering from June to September, they’re easy to grow and care for making them an ideal solution for low maintenance areas.

When it comes to planting, opt for a sunny to light shade position – a south or west facing location would be ideal. Place the lavender plants in a well-drained neutral to alkaline soil as they will not do well in wet, waterlogged soil.

These plants need very little water once they become established, except for those planted in a pot or container as these will need regular watering when the pot becomes noticeably lighter.

Caring and maintaining lavender plants is very easy. Ensure to cut back new angustifolia varieties in late August to September once they have finished flowering and have gone slightly grey, a second flush of flowers may appear after pruning. Pruning will help keep the plant compact and stop it from getting too leggy.

Lavandula Hidcote

Our bestselling lavender line, Lavandula Hidcote, is a compact English lavender that produces dense, fragrant, violet flowers that look great along a driveway, border or in a pot. It is very popular with pollinators throughout its flowering months.

Flowers: June – September

Position: Full sun – light shade

Eventual height & spread: 75cm x 60cm

Lavandula Munstead

Our second bestselling lavender plant is the Lavandula Munstead, named after Gertrude Jekyll’s garden at Munstead Wood. This variety has blue-purple summer flowers that have a wonderful contrast against its grey-green leaves. It’s a firm favourite with bees and will look great at the edge of a path or border, or clipped to add a contemporary look to any space.

Flowers: June – September

Position: Full sun – light shade

Eventual height & spread: 75cm x 60cm

 

Lavandula ‘Little Lady’

The final lavender plant on our list is Lavandula ‘Little Lady’. This variety has a lighter blue flower that is produced on upright stems against sage green foliage. It is a fantastic compact variety that can be used to make a vibrant low hedge.

Flowers: July – September

Position: Full sun – light shade

Eventual height & spread: 40cm x 40cm

 

Caring for alstroemeria, the plant that doesn’t stop flowering

Caring for alstroemeria, the plant that doesn’t stop flowering

July 23rd, 2019 by

Looking for a semi-hardy herbaceous plant, that is long flowering with interesting foliage? Alstroemeria is the plant you have been searching for – and will not disappoint.

Working well in borders combined with other plants, alstroemeria produces fantastic coloured flowers in a wide range of colours from June through to October every year.

They also make for impressive displays for container pots or cut flowers that can be displayed inside.

Caring for your alstroemeria

Be sure to plant alstroemerias in full sun or partial shade in a fertile, moist, well-drained soil to ensure they keep on flowering. Remove the whole stem at the base once the flower on it has finished as this will encourage the growth of new flowers. To protect the plant during winter, make sure to wrap it with a protective fleece.

Available at our Cash & Carry and for Garden Centre Customers

We have some fantastic Inticancha Alstroemerias available this year – here’s a preview of what you can pick up from our onsite Cash & Carry or on our retail availability list:

 

Alstroemeria Inticancha Bryce has large, stunning orange and yellow blooms with a brown speckle. They would make a great addition to a compliment a warm coloured border and will flower from June through to October.

 

 

Alstroemeria Inticancha Sunshine has a dwarf habit, with large pink and yellow cantered flowers that will emerge come June right through to October.

Alstroemeria Inticancha ‘Maya’ are known for their white flowers with a deep, blotched pink centre and a small flare of green at the end of each petal. These alstromerias will start flowering from the end of May/early June and through to October. They will stay nice and compact making them ideal for a patio pot.

Alstroemeria Inticancha Red are a clump-forming plant with dark green leaves, and dark red funnel shaped flowers. This is another variety that usually flowers from June to October.

Jobs to do in the garden in July

Jobs to do in the garden in July

July 5th, 2019 by

Jobs to do in the garden in July

Take steps to protect plants in the heat of summer – and reap the rewards for the rest of the year – by following our tips on jobs you should do in the garden in July.

  1. Cut Delphiniums down to 10-15cm after they have flowered and keep them moist. They should produce another flush of flowers in the autumn.
  2. Remove the spent flowers from annuals to encourage the production of new flowers.
  3. The first flush of roses will be over in July, so ensure you cut off spent heads, reducing by approximately a third. However, don’t cut back roses that are being grown for autumn rose hips.
  4. Spray rose sawfly, if necessary, as they eat the foliage, leaving a fine skeleton of the veins. Lightly cover both sides of the leaves to help combat mildew.
  5. Keep on top of fast-growing soft weeds, such as thistles, as they harbour aphids etc.
  6. Continue to tie Dahlias to their stakes, and spray aphids and other insects as necessary.
  7. If caring for large chrysanthemums, remove the side shoots from all flowering shoots other than the limited number of blooms (often five) you wish to retain.
  8. Feed the shrubs that were cut back in the spring with a high sulphate of potash feed to encourage the production of flower buds for next year.
  9. Prune shrubs growing on walls and pergolas to remove some of the top growth and further stimulate growth from the base of the plant.
  10. When conditions are very dry, give recently planted trees and shrubs a thorough soaking – a far better method than ‘little and often’. Also, spray overhead in the evening in very dry conditions.
  11. Give newly purchased container-grown plants a really good soak in a bucket before planting.
  12. Evergreen hedges can be clipped this month, as well as some deciduous ones, but ensure there are no nesting birds in the hedge. Cut laurel and Eleagnus hedges with secateurs to prevent cut leaves. In hot weather, spray newly planted conifer hedges with water overhead as well as ensuring the root zone remains moist.
  13. July is a good month to take cuttings of heathers. Choose young, strong, half-ripe, non-flowering shoots, and treat the bottom 5cm with rooting hormone, and insert around the edge of a 9cm pot. Keep in a closed, shaded area, ensuring that water does not drip on to the cuttings from the underside of the glass. Don’t allow them to dry out.
  14. Remove dying water lily leaves from ponds as they appear.

Want more guidance on what jobs you should carry out for a garden in July? Here are some more examples of recommendations from our expert team  Jobs to do in the garden this May

Gorgeous Geranium varieties

Gorgeous Geranium varieties

July 2nd, 2019 by

They’re colourful, low maintenance and even act as a weed suppressant – so if you don’t already have a geranium in your garden, now is the time to put that right!

These low maintenance ground cover plants are happiest in full sun – partial shade and are available in shades of whites, pinks, purples and blues, providing a dense carpet of foliage from May through to September.

This versatile plant can be used at the front of an informal border, in a pot or in a rockery as groundcover – here are some of our favourite Geranium varieties:

Geranium Johnsons blue –  a personal favourite of many here at Johnsons of Whixley, this Geranium variety has masses of lavender-blue flowers with bright green foliage. Cut back after flowering for a second flush of flowers later in the summer.

Care level: easy

Flowers: May – September

Position: full sun – partial shade

Soil: well-drained soil

Hardiness: Hardy

Height x spread: up to 60cm x 60cm

Geranium miss Heidi – a fantastic clump-forming perennial with masses of small pink flowers, with deep violet veining throughout.

Care level: easy

Flowers: May – September

Position: full sun – partial shade

Soil: well-drained soil

Hardiness: Hardy

Height x spread: up to 45cm x 45cm

Geranium macrorrhizum Spessart – a lovely variety that blooms with white or pale pink flowers, this Geranium originates from mountainous regions, making it best suited in rockery areas.

Care level: easy

Flowers: May – September

Position: full sun – partial shade

Soil: well-drained soil

Hardiness: Hardy

Height x spread: up to 50cm x 60cm

Geranium phaeum – also known as ‘mourning widow’, it gets its name from its small, dark purple flowers that look beautiful against their light green foliage.

Care level: easy

Flowers: May – June

Position: full sun – partial shade

Soil: well-drained soil

Hardiness: Hardy

Height x spread: up to 80cm x 45cm

Geranium Rozanne – named as a plant of the centenary at the Chelsea flower show 2013 by RHS, this gorgeous geranium has beautiful, large saucer-shaped, blue flowers with deep pink/purple veining and a white centre.

Care level: easy

Flowers: May – September

Position: full sun – partial shade

Soil: well-drained soil

Hardiness: Hardy

Height x spread: up to 60cm x 80cm

Trees and plants for pollinators throughout the year

Trees and plants for pollinators throughout the year

June 21st, 2019 by

This week marks National Insect Week where we educate people of all ages to about insects, but more importantly, we should be encouraging our customers and the general public the of benefits insects and pollinators.

By taking the time to learn about how we can support pollinators for this specific week, we can educate people on how to support them throughout the year. Even though some insects hibernate, bees do surface when the temperatures are warm in autumn and early winter. Here’s our guide on the best trees and plants for pollinators for any season.

Spring trees and plants for pollinators

In a warmer spring, butterflies and bees start emerging from their autumn/winter hibernation and rely on pollen and nectar to survive. These trees and plants are pollinator friendly for this specific season:

Helleborus (Christmas rose) – a great winter/spring addition to your shaded spot in a garden that will provide a much-needed source of pollen for bees and butterflies once they come out of hibernation.

Mahonia ‘Winter Sun’ – this plant is found covered in bees during early spring. Their bright yellow flowers appear from November to March and are happiest when placed in full or partial shade.

Apple and crab apple trees – these trees rely on pollinators, without them, the trees would not bear fruit. The beautiful blossom from these varieties, such as Malus Domestica, provide a much-needed spring feast for bees.

Salix caprea (Goat/ Pussy willow) – another one that is hugely important to providing an early source of pollen for pollinators is this tree thanks to its golden catkins that come out in March.

Crocus – this plant offers a great source of pollen. Bumblebees are often seen not only collecting the pollen but sheltering inside the flower overnight.

Summer plants for pollinators

Moving into the summer season, these plant varieties are great options for pollinators to use during the warmer months of the year.

Echinacea’s (coneflower) – a great option for bees and butterflies as they pump out as much nectar in the morning as the afternoon, unlike other plant varieties.

Buddleia (butterfly bush) – the clue is in the name with this one as this really is covered in butterflies come June a great addition to a sunny border.

Lavender – an obvious (and popular) one as it has been loved by pollinators for hundreds of years. Place it in a sunny, dry and well-drained position.

Digitalis (foxgloves) – its bell-shaped flowers are very popular with bees, especially the bumblebee. Plant these in dappled shade for it to grow well.

Geraniums – this plant has a long blooming season which makes it a great addition to the garden for bees. Choose varieties such as Geranium Johnsons blue that will flower through to September.

Verbena – a plant that produces lots of nectar from July to October, they are loved by hoverflies, butterflies, bees and even dragonflies – a great addition to the middle or back of a border.

Autumn trees and plants for pollinators

Moving into the colder end of the year for a change of seasons brings another round of trees and plants that are great for pollinators in the autumn.

Sedum Autumn Joy – this will flower from late summer into early autumn where they are frequently visited by butterflies and bees.

Hedera (Ivy) – this is vital in helping to aid bees in the late season with its mature plants flowering in October and November.

Anemone Honorine Jobert – an option that will not only brighten up that shaded part of your garden but a favourite of bees as it flowers from August to October.

Heptacodium miconoides – with clusters of white flowers, this tree provides a great source of pollen from September to November when other varieties have stopped flowering.

Environmentally friendly garden tips and recommendations

Environmentally friendly garden tips and recommendations

May 29th, 2019 by

Environmentally friendly garden tips and recommendations

World environment day is being celebrated this June on the first Wednesday of the month, and it’s the perfect time to remind ourselves how important it is to encourage others to protect our environment.

To do our part in raising awareness we have come up with some tips on how to create an environmentally friendly garden, from conserving water to growing your own vegetables.

Limit your use of water 

Limiting the use of clean water is important for the environment, so why not recycle natural sources that can be used to water plants in any garden by installing a water butt.

To preserve your water, we recommend directing the supply to the roots of plants without wasting it on the leaves or flowers. Removing weeds will ensure the water is going towards your plants and is not being wasted further.

There have been several hosepipe bans in place across the country during the warmest periods of the year. You can help conserve your water usage by using a watering can in its place, and to consider the time of day; watering during the warmest part of the day would mean the water is more likely to evaporate in the heat and be ineffective. Prioritise young plants and seedlings over more established plants as these will survive longer periods without water.

Use drought-tolerant plants

Opting to use drought-tolerant plants, that require less watering, will be better for the environment in helping to save water.

There are plenty of options for any garden. If you’re looking for plants that do well in full sun, we’d recommend shrub varieties like lavender, rosemary and buddleia, or herbaceous varieties like Iris, Kniphofia and salvia. Alternatively, there are drought resistant plants that do well for shaded areas, such as Sarcococca, Hypericum, Euphorbia and Digitalis.

Plant a tree

When it comes to purifying the air, and helping to reduce air pollution in built-up areas, we recommend planting a tree to decrease carbon dioxide levels. Choose varieties with larger leaves and wide crowns to maximise photosynthesis. Trees can also provide additional benefits such as providing a home for local wildlife and reducing noise pollution.

Introduce pollinators

One-third of our crop supply in the UK relies on bees pollinating our plants. By introducing stock that bees are highly attracted to helps encourage them, and other pollinators, into your garden.

Protect wildlife habitats

Looking after our environment doesn’t just mean caring for the space itself, but also giving nature helping hand. The colder months of the year can be a struggle for local wildlife, but by building birdhouses with feeders, log piles for hedgehogs or even insect hotels, we can provide a safe space for them all year round.

Make organic compost

Having an environmentally friendly garden means having a space where you are largely self-sufficient. Make your own compost by using recycled elements from your garden or home, including leaves, grass cuttings, branches, natural debris, leftover fruit peels, eggshells and old newspapers.

Grow your own fruit and vegetables

Growing your own food is not only cost effective but rewarding. The fresh fruit and vegetables taste great while helping to reduce the environmental impact the shipping and plastic waste has from produce sold in supermarkets. Start with something easy to grow, such as carrots, potatoes, apples or berries, before tackling more challenging produce.

Adding colourful plants in May: Rhododendrons and Azaleas

Adding colourful plants in May: Rhododendrons and Azaleas

May 22nd, 2019 by

Adding colourful plants in May: Rhododendrons and Azaleas

May is the month where we see Rhododendrons and azaleas bursting into life as they produce their characteristic, brightly coloured flowers. With a choice of tubular, funnel or bell-shaped flowers, available in pinks, purples, yellows and oranges, there really is a Rhododendron and azalea for everyone.

Rhododendrons

Known for its spectacular flowers, Rhododendrons make a fantastic addition to an area of the garden where a pop of colour is needed during spring.

When it comes to planting, we would recommend ensuring they are placed somewhere that has dappled shade. They thrive in a woodland setting as well as growing well in sunny areas, provided it is sheltered and accompanied with well-drained, moist soil with a PH level of 4.5-6. Avoid planting in full shade as this will result in a limited amount of flowering.

For the best results, place your Rhododendrons in areas of high rainfall and plant in moist soil, using mulch to stop the plant from drying out.

Rhododendrons are fairly low maintenance, and require little pruning, other than the removal of dead wood and the deadheading of spent flowers.

Azaleas

Azaleas belong to the Rhododendron genus, and therefore are very similar plants. Smaller in comparison, but just as bold in colour, azaleas have beautiful flowers that can last for several weeks during spring.

For best results, we recommend planting azaleas in a cool, lightly shaded site to avoid burning the leaves. They can also be planted in the full sun as the leaves will be deprived of oxygen in heavy shade. Azaleas can work well in containers too, provided these are of the compact variety.

For best results, use an acidic soil with a PH level of 5-6 and choose an ericaceous compost when planting.

To maintain a more compact appearance, or to encourage a bushier growth, trim azaleas and cut their branches after their blooming period has finished as this helps to promote new growth.

Top picks available from our Cash & Carry

Rhododendron Golden Gate

Dark green leaves with beautiful, apricot pink flowers with a dark pink margin. Loved by bees, these plants would grow best in partial shade or full sun if sheltered.

Flowers: May – June

Position: Full sun – partial shade

Height: Up to 120cm

Spread: Up to 120cm

Rhododendron Kabarett

A pretty variety with purply pink flowers and a burgundy red marking that appears in May, this shrub is moderately vigorous and will grow up to 1m high.

Flowers: May – June

Position: Full sun – partial shade

Height: Up to 100cm

Spread: Up to 150cm

Azalea Jolie Madame

Trumpet-shaped, pink scented flowers with an orange blotch in the centre that look fantastic against their glossy green leaves. The perfect addition to an acidic border with a height and spread of 150cm.

Flowers: May – June

Position: Full sun – partial shade

Height: Up to 150cm

Spread: Up to 150cm

 

Azalea ‘Golden Eagle’

Large trumpet-shaped, orangey yellow flowers bloom in May, with a lime green foliage that takes on a shade of bronze and purple in the autumn.

Flowers: May – June

Position:  Full sun – partial shade

Height: Up to 200cm

Spread: Up to 150cm

Jobs for the garden this May

Jobs for the garden this May

May 1st, 2019 by

Not sure what to do in the garden this month? Here’s a list of jobs to put together by the chairman and horticulturist John Richardson

  1. When staking weaker growing herbaceous plants, use pea sticks about 12-18 ins taller than required, so the tops of the sticks can be bent over the clump to provide better support to the plant stems in the centre of the clump.

 

  1. Tall iris can easily become top heavy in wet weather; use thin 3ft canes to which iris can be tied separately.

 

  1. Make sure that all mulching is completed this month in order to conserve moisture in the months to come.

 

  1. Adjust the mower to the summer cutting height. Complete the sowing of any lawn areas that need re-seeding.

 

  1. Propagate greenhouse plants, particularly foliage and climbing plants. Increase shading as necessary but watch out for that odd late frost.

 

  1. Complete the planting of root-balled hedging this month and ensure that previously planted hedges have not been displaced by wind. Water if necessary.

 

  1. Thoroughly water newly planted trees and shrubs as a really good soak is better than more frequent small applications. A general balanced feed will help newly planted trees and shrubs in mid-May, followed by a mulch to retain moisture.

 

  1. Clip established privet, Ivy and lonicera nitida varieties and give topiary a quick trim if it appears unkempt.

 

  1. Slugs will be out in force this month, with so much young, fresh foliage around. Control by picking off by hand or using a biological control such as Nemaslug or chemicals based on ferric phosphate.

 

  1. Tie in clematis, roses, climbing hydrangeas and other fast-growing climbers.

 

  1. Plant up and locate hanging baskets which may suffer from frost if placed outside too early. Add water-retaining gel and long-release fertilizer for a good show!

 

  1. When the weather has warmed up and frosts are over, purchase and plant bedding plants (check when your local parks department is planting).
Hebe Magic varieties that really are spellbinding

Hebe Magic varieties that really are spellbinding

April 15th, 2019 by

When we think of Hebes, we naturally think of Hebe ‘Pagei’, Hebe ‘green globe’ or Hebe ‘Mrs Winder’, which are all fantastic shrubs in their own right, but they aren’t as spellbinding as the fantastic Hebe Magic colours collection. Find out why we think so below:

The Hebe Magic collection includes Hebe ‘Heartbreaker’, Hebe ‘Magic Summer’, Hebe ‘Frozen Flame’ and Hebe ‘Wild Romance’. All these plants change colour depending on the temperature and light intensity they are placed in. The plants can go from green, bronze and variegated in the summer, to wonderful reds, pinks and purples in winter – but which one tickles your fancy?

Hebe ‘Heartbreaker’ was the first in the Hebe Magic collection, and it really is a fantastic variety that will put on a colourful display throughout the year. Its cream edged green leaves can be seen through spring and summer, with mauve flowers between June and August, followed by vivid pink displays when the temperatures drop.

Hebe ‘Magic Summer’ has a grey green variegated leaf that turns a purple-red in winter and spring, which intensify as the temperature drops. It also has purple-blue flowers that will appear in early summer. This plant will look fantastic in a mixed border adding year-round interest to your garden or landscape.

Hebe ‘Frozen Flame’ also offers year-round interest with subtle, pale green foliage that includes veins of cream and deep purple-pink. These colours then intensify to a deeper pink-purple as the weather turns colder. As a compact shrub, it would make a great addition to a patio pot.

Hebe ‘Wild Romance’ is a great evergreen shrub that is ideal for beds, borders and containers – particularly when in a full sun to partial shade position. This hebe magic variety has dark green foliage that turns to deep burgundy at the end of each stem, that turns even darker going into the winter months.

Photinia ‘Red Robin’ VS Photinia ‘Carre Rouge’: which is best

Photinia ‘Red Robin’ VS Photinia ‘Carre Rouge’: which is best

April 9th, 2019 by

We have been producing Photinia ‘Red Robin’ on our nursery for over 25 years, however, we are always on the lookout for new and developing plant trends in our industry for our team to test new lines. Over the last couple of years, we have trialled several of the new Photinia ‘Carre Rouge’ variety and found it to be a tidier, and much more compact plant, with stronger red colouring.

So what are the highlights of both varieties, and what makes Photinia ‘Carre Rouge’ one to watch?

Photinia ‘Red Robin’ is a versatile evergreen shrub that can be used for hedging, trained against a wall and even used as a ½ std tree once trained. It is happy in most fertile soils, in either a sunny or shaded position. If you wish to encourage its strong red growth and more flowers, it will be better planted in a full sun position. White flowers appear by April and into May once the plant is better established. We have found Photinia ‘Red ‘Robin’ to become ‘leggy’ over time if it is not properly maintained, and left to run away with themselves, they can grow up to 4m tall and up to 4 m wide.

Photinia ‘Carre Rouge’ is a new compact variety that has blood red growth and smaller leaves reaching up to 2.5 m tall -nearly half the size of its mother plant Photinia ‘Red Robin’, – making it a much more appealing hedging variety, and an easily managed landscape shrub. Its red colouring is much more intense than that of ‘Red Robin’, while also being more tolerant of hard pruning and shaping. Similar to ‘Red Robin’, it produces white flowers come April and May if sited in a sunny position.

Production Manager Designate Robert Richardson said ‘’Photinia ‘Carre Rouge’ stays red whereas Photinia ‘Red Robin’ fades to green. It is also compact where a ‘Red Robin’ tends to sprawl and become unmanageable. I believe it is a much more appropriate plant for most landscape and garden settings, and in time, I can only see its popularity increasing.’’

Jobs to do in the garden in April

Jobs to do in the garden in April

April 5th, 2019 by

Spring is off to a slow start this year, which can mean the regular jobs to do in the garden in April might not be quite the same as last year. If you’re not sure what to do in the garden this month, here are our gardening reminders put together by chairman John Richardson.

1) Plant evergreen trees and shrubs this month when soil conditions are good.
2) A good time to move rhododendrons with a good root-ball.
3) Hard prune Forsythia after flowering, along with Buddleia davidii varieties and Hydrangea paniculata and Chaenomeles varieties.
4) Trim Lavenders to shape, but don’t cut back into the old wood.
5) Propagate perennials by division such as Michaelmas daisies, Rudbeckias and Heleniums.
6) Continue to dead-head spent daffodils, as well as other bulbs and winter flowering shrubs.
7) Divide primroses when they have finished flowering.
8) Tie in young shoots of climbing plants, including roses, ensuring their support structure is still sound.
9) Build raised beds for easier vegetable production throughout the year.
10) Mow lawns on a regular basis as growth increases.
11) Remove the top two inches of compost on containers and replace with a fresh layer.
12) Weeds will grow quickly this month, keep going around your space with a sharp hoe before they start getting too well established. Apply weed-killer to weeds in paved areas.
13) Ensure any compost you buy has been recently manufactured and is not last year’s production. Check in Which? Magazine for recommendations on using the one for your needs.
14) Make sure that all the old leaves have been removed from Hellebores.
15) Ensure you have given herbaceous plants enough support in the form of canes or twigs, it is much more difficult the later you leave it!
16) Be sure to ventilate greenhouses and cold frames on warmer days.
17) If you have doubts about the condition of your soil, invest in a soil test kit from a garden centre, they are cheaper than you think and are easy to use!

Growing plant Trends for 2019

Growing plant Trends for 2019

March 12th, 2019 by

Growing plant Trends for 2019

As one of the UK’s leading nurseries we are always looking into growing plant trends and themes in our industry by trialling new and exciting lines. Below are just a few of the new product lines our production team are trialling before they are ready to hit the market later this year, but will they make it through the tests of production manager Ian Nelson?

First on our plant trends list is the fantastic Helenium salud series that flowers from July to October. Some of its great characteristics include being drought-tolerant, heat-tolerant and pollinator-friendly.
So far, our trials of growing this plant have gone well and the Helenium’s have retained fresh foliage through to November.

Hakonechloa ‘All Gold’ is the second on our list. This popular grass has been around a while, and we are seeing an increasing demand for it across the market. It looks spectacular if grown in partial shade but does burn if subject to a lot of sunny summer days. This plant is fantastic in large numbers as it softens edges of pathways or borders, and it also works well in a patio planter.

The third of our growing plant trends is Senecio ‘Angel Wings’. A favourite of ours as it is also a plant that won a Glee new product award for when grown by Wyevale Nurseries. It is known for its dramatic silver white round, silver white coloured leaves. It will make a great premium potted plant that is sure to look great alongside others. Our production manager, Ian Nelson, put this plant to the test over winter, finding that it withstood horrible weather and soil conditions.

Cornus ‘Magic Flame’ is our final plant on trial. Although it will be difficult to beat the wonderful Cornus Midwinter Fire, known for its fiery coloured stems, its magic flame could offer a more intense hue through winter. Only time will tell, and with a small number on trial, we will see how it goes.

Production Manager Ian Nelson said: “We are always on the look-out for something new and attractive but durable. Appearance alone is not enough – the plant has got to be a ‘do-er’. Only when we’ve trialled it thoroughly in different environments and soils am I happy to say it’s a good one. We were punting Photinia Carre Rouge at the end of 2017 which is really starting to prove popular and is an excellent plant.”

Jobs to do in the garden this March

Jobs to do in the garden this March

March 1st, 2019 by

Not sure what to do in the garden this month? here are some jobs to do in the garden this March.

1) Prune strong growing Buddleias down to about 18” for a good show by summer. Prune to 30-40” for a denser but weaker overall growth.

2) Prune decorative Cornus and Salix to within 5cm of the old shoots to encourage next year’s coloured winter stems. Don’t prune ‘Midwinter Fire’ types too hard.

3) Feed roses with a general fertilizer and remember to do it again in summer.

4) Arrange to plant summer flowering bulbs when planting condition are good.

5) Finish pruning perennial which have not yet been cut back, don’t remove new green shoots. It is still time to lift and divide large herbaceous clumps. Re-plant or give away outer sections of the clump and destroy the centre of the plant.

6) When daffodils have flowered, remove dead heads to conserve energy.

7) Hellebores are now very popular, lift seedlings around parent plant and pot up.

8) As the weather improves, weed growth will begin in earnest, hoe off seedling weeds with a really sharp hoe and treat perennial weeds with Roundup.

9) Use fleece to cover delicate leaves when frost is imminent. Seedlings can be protected in the same way, hold fleece down with stones or tie to the pots.

10) New shrubs and herbaceous plants can be planted when soil conditions are good.

11) Finish pruning soft fruit bushes by mid-month and give a high nitrogen feed.

12) Lay fleece or polythene on bare soil to warm it before planting or sowing seeds or vegetables. Remember to apply slug pellets.

13) Consider mowing the lawn towards the end of the month, brush off worm casts if necessary as these blunt the mower. Apply a balanced fertilizer or combined feed and weed-killer.

14) After heavy snowfalls knock snow from upright conifers before branches get bent over. Most plants are better under snow in hard frost as they are well insulated.

15) In bad weather finalise plans for garden improvements and order the plants and sundries to enable you to start work as gardening conditions improve.

Great for ground cover plants

Great for ground cover plants

February 11th, 2019 by

Ground cover plants are a great addition to open landscapes and gardens of all sizes by filling in gaps and brightening up bare patches beneath trees. Here’s a list of our top six plants that will work in any environment.

  1. Alchemilla mollis has rounded light green leaves with green-yellow small flowers. Flowering from June through to August, it is known for growing in many conditions and is a fully hardy perennial, making it a great option for ground cover in borders.
  2. Vinca minor is well known for its capability in ground covering. This is one of our favourite ground cover plants as its pretty, star-like, blue flowers appear through most of the year, flowering through spring, summer and autumn. Another reason why it made our top six is down to the fact that is grows well in deep shade.
  3.  Persicaria Darjeeling red flowers in autumn, but this ground cover plant is also referred to as knotweed. Well known for its crimson upright flowers, which can be seen from September through to November, it will thrive best in well-drained soil when placed in full to partial shade.
  4. Waldsteinia ternata is a semi- evergreen with a ‘creeping’ growing quality that makes it a great ground cover plant. With bright yellow flowers against its green foliage, it works perfectly alongside a path or when used for edging a border under a tree or banking.
  5. Cornus canadensis, also known as creeping dogwood, is best grown in full sun to partial shade. Not only do they provide pretty white flowers in late spring to early summer, they follow with clusters of bright red berries in autumn.
  6. Hedera hibernica will thrive in most soil types and can be used as ground cover once the shoots are pinned down. It is a very fast growing plant, and may need more attention than other ground cover varieties to stop them growing out of control.
Jobs to do in the garden this February

Jobs to do in the garden this February

February 1st, 2019 by

Here are our Gardening Reminders for the month of February

1) Cut back ornamental grasses.
2) Divide and replant Snowdrops as the flowers go over.
3) Clean out existing bird nesting boxes and put up new ones.
4) Take hardwood cuttings of forsythia, deutzia, honeysuckle, jasmine, Virginia creeper, holly,
privet, cotoneaster, poplar, willow, gooseberries, etc
5) Pot up or transplant last year’s hardwood cuttings.
6) Consider planting shrubs or trees to provide winter colour in those dull conrners.
7) Repair broken fences, trellices,steps, and walls.
8) Repair any uneven areas of the lawn when the ground is firm.
9) Push single seed potatoes into half-filled plastic pots, adding compost as they grow.
10) Invest in a soil thermometer, when the soil temp. exceeds 5°C start sowings of hardy crops such as carrots, lettuce and radish direct into the ground.
11) Ensure that borders have been forked over in preparation for summer growth or new planting. Apply a general fertilizer around the beds at 2-3oz per sq. yd, also apply to new areas.
12) If weather warms up, take the opportunity to prepare compost and boxes for sowing half hardy annuals by the end of the month. You should have a heat source available for cold nights.
13) Plant roses as soil conditions permit, prune stems of new roses down to an outward facing bud 3-5” above the crown. Cut the stem cleanly just above the bud. Plant graft union just below soil level. Apply bone meal at 2oz. per sq. yd. and prick into surface. Firm soil around roots.
14) Prune climbing roses this month, keep 5 to 7 strong shoots and prune back all side shoots to within 3 buds of the base. Tie in all shoots securely. Prune Rambler roses in the autumn.
15) Prune shrub roses late February to encourage growth from the base. Remove some old shoots but don’t reduce height too much as they tend to flower on older wood.
16) Cut back Clematis Jackmanii and C. Viticella groups to about 12”. Pyracantha should be pruned to within 2 buds of the main frame except for extensions, if not done last autumn.
17) Complete formative pruning of trees by the month end. It may be necessary to limit growth to one leader to avoid a fork in the main stem, or removal of the leader if a bush form is required.
18) Do not apply heavy applications of fertilizer to naturalized bulbs as this will only encourage the surrounding grass.

Think outside the 'box' with these Buxus sempervirens alternatives

Think outside the ‘box’ with these Buxus sempervirens alternatives

January 6th, 2017 by

Think outside the ‘box’ with these Buxus sempervirens alternatives

Due to the ever-increasing problems of box blight, we have thought outside the ‘box’ with these Buxus sempervirens alternatives.

1. Sarcococca confusa -Try Sarcococca confusa for a fragrant evergreen hedge. It grows up to 60cm tall, in sun or partial shade.

2. Give Lonicera nitida a go. It forms a dense, fast-growing evergreen hedge and can be trimmed into various topiary shapes.

3.Why not try evergreen Berberis? Especially stenophylla, it forms a prickly, fast-growing hedge. Trim after flowering to keep it dense.

4.Give Ilex crenata a try. With its small glossy leaves, it has a similar appearance to Buxus and can make an attractive parterre.

5. Use Euonymus ‘Green Spire’. Its green foliage is an ideal substitute for Buxus and it will easily trim into a low hedge.

 

Trade sales and public sales – what’s the difference?

Trade sales and public sales – what’s the difference?

January 15th, 2017 by

Trade sales and public sales – what’s the difference?

Johnsons of Whixley is a supplier to DIY chains, independent garden centres and amenity projects across Europe.

We’re proud to enjoy strong relationships with such a wide range of clients, and the service we provide reflects the requirements of our customers in trade and amenity sector.

It’s important that our customers understand how this works in a trade environment and, more specifically, that we are unable to sell to customers of registered trade account holders shopping independently, even if they have the permission of the account holder.

Members of the public may only visit the site accompanied by the registered account holder and plants cannot be sold directly to non-account holders.

As a wholesale company, we are not rated for retail sales purpose and so it is a legal requirement that we do not sell directly to the general public.

This means that an invoice can only be prepared in the account holder’s name, and payment can be taken from the account holder only.

We are unable to discuss prices, provide planting advice or accept payment from anyone who is not a registered account holder with ourselves.

We hope that our customers are not offended by requests for proof of trade, or if we ask you to verify your account details.

The measures will protect our customers’ ability to invoice their own customers at their discretion, reduce the chances of us providing contrasting or conflicting advice and, ultimately, allow us to provide genuine trade customers with the best possible levels of value and service.

Six must have late-flowering perennials

Six must have late-flowering perennials

August 9th, 2017 by

With summer slowly disappearing before our eyes, and plants going over and ready to be cut back, there are still some late-flowering perennials, which are a must if you eager to add some much-needed late summer colour.

Six must have late-flowering perennials

1) Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ are funnel shaped flowers as bright as a red tomato, which flower from August to September. Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ will work best in a sunny herbaceous border alongside other bold colours, like Achillea or even Crocosmia ‘George Davison’. Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ will reach up to 1m tall.

2) Crocosmia ‘George Davidson’ are Another Crocosmia with funnel shaped flowers in a yellow as bright as the sun. Growing slightly smaller at 80 to 90cm, Crocosmia ‘George Davidson’ will sit nicely in front of its bold brother, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, until September.

3) Rudbeckia ‘Summerina Orange’ are a stunning clump-forming perennial with rusty-coloured flowers with chocolate centres on long dark green stems. Giving colour from July to October a perfect addition to your summer border.

4) Echinacea ‘Magnus’ is not only is a favourite of butterflies, it’s one of mine too! Fantastic daisy like bright pink flowers with bright orange centres flower from July through to September – a must have for your herbaceous border.

5) Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’ adds a fantastic splash of interest for late summer. Bright white flowers with yellow centres on long stems growing over 1 to 1.2 metres tall, which are great in partial shade, or at the back of a herbaceous border. They last from August to October.

6) Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ are little rays of sunshine featuring golden yellow flowers with dark centres, which flower from August to October. They are ideal for a summer border, mixed with grasses.

Autumn is for planting

Autumn is for planting

August 22nd, 2017 by

Autumn is for planting

Summer may be disappearing before our eyes, but autumn is the best time to plant bulbs.

As we prepare for the changing of the seasons, Johnsons of Whixley’s Ellie Richardson provides a step-by-step guide to planting bulbs this autumn.

1) Choose a bulb. Make sure you research the area you are planting. Is it shady? In full sun or partial shade? Choose snowdrops for a shady spot, tulips for full sun and daffodils for partial shade.

2) Plant at the right time. Don’t plant bulbs any earlier than September. They will not do well.

3) Dig your hole. Dig a hole three times as deep as the bulbs height. Place the bulbs at least three bulb widths apart.

4) Put your bulb in. Make sure the roots point down and the bottom of the bulb touches the soil.

5) Feed your bulb. Add empathy bulb starter to give your bulbs a head start.

6) Sit back and wait ‘til Spring!

Six spring bulbs to mark the end of winter

Six spring bulbs to mark the end of winter

September 1st, 2017 by

There’s nothing like a meadow of golden daffodils to raise your spirits. But daffodils aren’t the only spring bulbs to mark an end to dark winter days and bring colour to the garden. Here’s six of our favourites.

For best results plant between September – October.

1) Daffodil Tete-a-Tete – A miniature bright yellow daffodil growing up to 15cm tall from March to April that will do well in partial shade. Think about planting around the edge of a tree or in a pot.

2) Crocus Ruby Giant – An early flowering Spring bulb, which flowers from February to March and will give you vibrant purple flowers at 5cm tall. They will look great naturalized on lawns.

3) Allium Purple Sensation – Purple globes on long stems that flower from May to June. They would look great amongst ornamental grasses or in the middle of a sunny perennial border.

4) Tulip Mistress – A beautiful pink tulip flowering in April and growing up to 60cm tall. Great planted in mass in either a mixed tulip pot or in a border situated in Partial shade or full sun.

5) Fritillaria-meleagris – Also known as snakehead fritillary with pink / purple checkboard flowers, and flowering from April to May. Perfect in a wildflower garden or woodland.

6) Hyacinthoides non-scripta – bell-shaped blue flowers that flower from April to May. Best in partial shade and would do great in a woodland area.

Six shade loving plants

Six shade loving plants

September 15th, 2017 by

Looking for plants that will do well in a shaded spot? Here’s six shade loving plants

Almost every garden has a bit of shade, this could be shade cast by buildings, trees, fencing or simply the positioning of your garden but don’t see this as a problem with these six shade loving plants.

1. Vinca Minor – A great low growing spreading ground cover with lavender purple flowers flowering from April to September – great for suppressing weeds and great at the front of a border in partial shade.

2. Hostas do great in partial shade and thrive in damp soil conditions but be sure to keep the slugs and snails away which create holes in the leaves. The darker the foliage of the hosta the better it will do in the shade.

3. Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’ – Great to add a splash of colour at the end of summer into mid-autumn. These Anemone will flower from August to October and grow up to 120cm tall. Best at the back or the middle of a border.

4. Geranium Rozanne – A perfect plant doing well in partial shade to full sun, it’s great for under planting or filling in any empty gaps in your border, adding beautiful purple flowers from June through to September.

5. Ferns – Not only are ferns low maintenance, but they also thrive in a shady spot. Try Dryopteris filix-mas or polystichum setiferum for your shady planting plan.

6. Brunnera Jack Frost – I absolutely love the silvery foliage of a Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’. They would look great next to tiarellas, heucheras and ferns. Plant at the front of your shady border.

Intruder proof hedging range

Intruder proof hedging range

October 11th, 2017 by

Intruder proof your hedge this planting season with our intruder proof hedging range that offers a fantastic deterring method that will help keep human and animal intruders away.

1)Prunus spinosa – A prickly native hedging plant covered in thorns, great as a mixed native hedge with bright white flowers in Spring followed by green foliage and sloes which appear in Autumn. (Great for making Sloe Gin if you get to the sloes before the birds) Available as a bare root transplant at 40-60cm tall up to 200cm tall.

2)Crataegus monogyna – A popular native hedging plant known for its large thorns which can be seen after its green leaves fall in Autumn. It is also known for its white scented flowers which can be seen in Spring. Available in bare root sizes from 40-60cm up to 200cm tall.

3)Berberis varieties – Make a great intruder proof hedge due to its prickly thorns. They are available In 2L and 10L pots.

4)Ilex aquifolium – An evergreen with attractive leaves with a prickly edge that form a dense hedge. Ideal for keeping intruders out and available from a p9 pot up to a 20L.

5)Rosa canina – A prickly native variety that is fast growing with pale pink flowers in Summer. Bright Red rose hips come autumn, which are attractive to birds.

6)Pyracantha varieties – Known for their colourful berries available in yellow, reds and oranges which will last from Autumn through to Spring if left untouched by birds. Great against a back wall these Pyracantha will stop intruders. Available potted throughout the year.

Trees with autumn interest

Trees with autumn interest

October 17th, 2017 by

Looking for trees with autumn interest? here’s a few of our favourites looking fantastic right now.

1. Euonymus alatus – Dark green leaves that turn to a bright attractive red in Autumn. Once its leaves are shed you are left with its unusual winged stems and branches that create winter interest.

2. Liquidambar styraciflua ‘worsplendon’ – Attractive Loped leaves that are green in Spring/Summer and go from yellow to orange and then red in Autumn before falling from the tree.

3. Amelanchier lamarckii – A tree with lots of interest through the seasons from its white star shaped flowers in Spring with bronze leaves that turn to dark green and in Autumn turn orange and red.

4. Parrotia persica – A fantastic tree with year round interest with its flowers in late Winter and early spring with yellows, reds and purples on the leaves come Autumn.

5. Acer ‘Autumn Moon’ – Bright green leafs in Spring and Summer followed by dramatic pink, peach and flame colours in Autumn. Perfect addition to a Japanese garden.

6. Parthenocissus quinquefolia – Known for its Autumn colour a vigorous climber that goes from green in Spring and Summer to a bright red and orange in Autumn.

Fast growing hedging plants

Fast growing hedging plants

October 27th, 2017 by

Fast growing hedging plants

With the bare root and root ball planting season just around the corner here is our guide to some popular fast growing hedging varieties.

Fast growing varieties are a cost effective way of establishing a fully formed garden parterre and are available in various pot sizes and root balls.

1.Cupressus Leylandii – a very fast growing hedging variety that can grow up to 3ft per year with its eventual height reaching up to 12m tall. Great as a windbreak, general barrier and for noise reduction. Available in various different pot sizes and heights.

2.Prunus Rotundifolia (common laurel) – A great fast growing dense evergreen hedging plant which can grow 2ft per year and is available container grown throughout the year or as a root ball from November – March.

3.Prunus lusitanica (Portuguese Laurel) – A hardy evergreen shrub offering screening throughout the year with growth rates of 60cm + a year. Fantastic for screening, noise reduction and wind protection. Available container grown throughout the year or as a root ball from November – March.

4.Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar) – a hardy hedging plant that will form a dense hedge and grow on average 75cm per year. Doesn’t require as much trimming as leylandii. Available as container grown throughout the year or as a root ball from November – March.

5.Photinia ‘Red Robin’ an attractive garden hedge growing up to 2ft per year keeping its leaves in the winter. Characterised by its brilliant red new growth. Available container grown throughout the year or as a root ball from November – March.

6.Ligustrum ovalifolium (Common Privet)– Growing 40-60cm per year this popular semi-evergreen hedging plant is known for its neat oval leaves that are pollution tolerant, great for screening and effective for noise reduction. Available throughout the year as a container grown plant or as a rootball come November – March.

Our guide to the bare root season

Our guide to the bare root season

October 31st, 2017 by

Check out our guide below for the bare root and root ball seaso

1. Choose your hedging variety – Make sure you research the area that you are planting. What is it you are needing. Is it functional or ornamental? If its privacy plant Laurel, Yew, Leylandii or Thuja.

2. For security plant Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Pyracantha or Berberis.

3. Plant at the right time – planting between November to March is the best time for bare root and root ball plants ensuring the best possible start whilst dormant.

4. Dig your hole – Dig the right size hole for your bare root or root ball. Aim to ensure that the planting depth is equal to depth of the ball or recognises the obvious planting band on a bare root plant.

5. Spread the roots and firm – Before planting gently spread out the roots or tease them out of a root ball. Back fill with soil and gently firm in to eliminate any air ensuring soil is in contact with the newly planted root.

6. Water – Winter can be just as dry so ensure you water in well and monitor the soil moisture level thereafter.

Reasons to plant a bare root or root ball hedge

Reasons to plant a bare root or root ball hedge

November 1st, 2017 by

There are lots of compelling reasons to plant a bare root or root ball hedge, see some of our reasons below.

Save Money – Planting a bare root or root ball hedge is usually much cheaper than planting an equivalent container grown hedge.

Attract wildlife – Planting a hedge provides a home for insect’s birds and other mammals. It is also a great source of shelter and food.

Stop intruders – Planting a hedge can deter thieves. There is a host of ‘spiky’ plant options – ornamental and native!

Reduces noise and Assists with Privacy – Planting a hedge reduces noise pollution and creates a green screen barrier that softens any boundary thus ensuring privacy.

A wider range is available – A wider range of sizes and varieties are available throughout the bare root and root ball season to suit both ‘situation & pocket’!

Absorb rainfall – Hedging absorbs rainfall and reduces run off this mitigates the impact of waterlogging and flooding.

Tree size guide

Tree size guide

November 15th, 2017 by

Not sure what size tree you need this bare root and root ball season? Check out our tree size guide above.

Note: Girth is measured as circumference at 1m high. For example a 6-8cm Girth Tree is a hefty broom handle thickness.

Jobs to do in the garden this January

Jobs to do in the garden this January

January 1st, 2018 by

Jobs to do in the garden this January

1) Rake dead leaves out of ponds to prevent water stagnating.

2) Plant winter aconites.

3) Remove dead and dying foliage from hellebores.

4) Plant fruit trees and cane fruits, mulch newly planted trees (do not build compost up around the trunks of trees).

5) If the grass needs cutting due to mild weather, remove mowings as too cold for decomposition.

6) Lift self-sown Cyclamen coum seedlings and replant where most effective for winter display.

7) Cut out reverted stems from variegated evergreens. These will be green only, and appear stronger than variegated stems.

8) Pick up all fallen foliage in the greenhouse to prevent disease establishment.

9) Clean rainwater gutters from all garden related buildings to prevent over-flow.

10) If very hard frosts are anticipated wrap tender plants such as Agapanthus with straw or bubble-wrap and tie securely.

11) Continue to remove fallen leaves and twigs in the shrubbery and lightly fork soil over.

12) Shorten the summer growths of Wisteria (already reduced in September) to 2 buds.

13) Nets draped over the branches are the only reliable way to prevent birds from damaging the buds of flowering cherries.

14) Check all trees and fruit trees to ensure that the root-stock of the tree is not growing in competition with the scion variety.

15) Prune overgrown hedges hard in winter, during frost-free weather. Cut back yew and privet severely to within 15cm of the main stem. For hornbeam and beech cut right back to the main stem to prevent tufty growth. Prune one side one year and the other side the following year.

16) In freezing conditions ensure that the ice on ponds is broken to allow the escape of toxic gases. Do NOT hammer the ice as it may stun the fish. Apply bottles containing hot water.

17) If water remains on the lawn surface for some time after rain, check for blocked drains. If there is no system, make plans to put such work in hand.

18) Take the frosty weather and dark nights to look up the answers to the questions you keep asking yourself whilst you are doing a whole rage of jobs during better gardening conditions!

Plants that are guaranteed to encourage birds into your garden

Plants that are guaranteed to encourage birds into your garden

February 1st, 2018 by

Its national bird feeding month so we have come up with some plants that are guaranteed to encourage birds into your garden!

1) Holly (Ilex) is definitely a bird’s favourite. Its dense prickly leaves offer windproof shelter along with berries for a Christmas feast. Blackbirds and thrushes are usually the first to strip a holly bush of its berries. Available as root balls in the winter and container plants in a multitude of sizes throughout the year.

2) Mature Ivy (Hedera) offers masses of autumn berries. Song thrushes and Wood pigeons are usually the first to enjoy these.

3) Pyracantha (Firethorn) are an attractive heavily berried prickly plant providing not only protection from predators but is a tasty food source too, a favourite with finches, sparrows, starlings and song thrushes.

4) Hawthorn (Quickthorn) berries are a favourite for Chaffinches, Starlings, Blackbirds and Greenfinches. The leaves are the food plant for Caterpillars of many species of moth, providing food for baby birds in spring. We have a great selection of bare root hedging available from 40-60cm tall up to 175-200cm tall.

5) Cotoneaster branches are always full of small red berries from autumn onwards and provide great shelter for a nesting site. They are popular with thrushes, Blackbirds and Waxwings.

6) It’s great to leave seed heads on over winter as they provide an additional food source for birds – particularly Greenfinches and Goldfinches.

Jobs to do in the garden this February

Jobs to do in the garden this February

February 1st, 2018 by

Jobs to do in the garden this February

1) Cut back ornamental grasses.

2) Divide and replant Snowdrops as the flowers go over.

3) Clean out existing bird nesting boxes and put up new ones.

4) Take hardwood cuttings of forsythia, deutzia, honeysuckle, jasmine, Virginia creeper, holly,privet, cotoneaster, poplar, willow, gooseberries, etc

5) Pot up or transplant last year’s hardwood cuttings.

6) Consider planting shrubs or trees to provide winter colour in those dull conrners.

7) Repair broken fences, trellices,steps, and walls.

8) Repair any uneven areas of the lawn when the ground is firm.

9) Push single seed potatoes into half-filled plastic pots, adding compost as they grow.

10) Invest in a soil thermometer, when the soil temp. exceeds 5°C start sowings of hardy crops such as carrots, lettuce and radish direct into the ground.

11) Ensure that borders have been forked over in preparation for summer growth or new planting. Apply a general fertilizer around the beds at 2-3oz per sq. yd, also apply to new areas.

12) If weather warms up, take the opportunity to prepare compost and boxes for sowing half hardy annuals by the end of the month. You should have a heat source available for cold nights.

13) Plant roses as soil conditions permit, prune stems of new roses down to an outward facing bud 3-5” above the crown. Cut the stem cleanly just above the bud. Plant graft union just below soil level. Apply bone meal at 2oz. per sq. yd. and prick into surface. Firm soil around roots.

14) Prune climbing roses this month, keep 5 to 7 strong shoots and prune back all side shoots to within 3 buds of the base. Tie in all shoots securely. Prune Rambler roses in the autumn.

15) Prune shrub roses late February to encourage growth from the base. Remove some old shoots but don’t reduce height too much as they tend to flower on older wood.

16) Cut back Clematis Jackmanii and C. Viticella groups to about 12”. Pyracantha should be pruned to within 2 buds of the main frame except for extensions, if not done last autumn.

17) Complete formative pruning of trees by the month end. It may be necessary to limit growth to one leader to avoid a fork in the main stem, or removal of the leader if a bush form is required.

18) Do not apply heavy applications of fertilizer to naturalized bulbs as this will only encourage the surrounding grass.

Create a ‘fragrant garden’ with these plants

Create a ‘fragrant garden’ with these plants

February 12th, 2018 by

Create a ‘fragrant garden’ with these plants

Ever wanted to create a ‘fragrant garden’ but not sure what to plant? Check out our guide below.

1) Lavender has been used for thousands of years for its scent in the garden including its use for essentials oils. It has also been used for many years, dried out and put in small sachets to freshen linen, closets and drawers. Lavenders will flower from July through to September giving you months of fresh fragrance to enjoy.

2) Trachelospermum jasminoides are a climbing plant famous for their smell which is often recognised in many perfumes. They prefer full sun and flower from June – August. Its dark green leaves turn to bronze come autumn.

3) Sarcococca humilis offers some winter scent, it flowers between December & February. They are renowned for their vanilla like aroma and will grow well in shade.

4) Looking for a scented cloud on your walk through the garden? Daphne aureomarginata is another fantastic fragrant plant that flowers from January until April. It is known for its pale pink flowers and thrives best in a sunny sheltered position.

5) Lonicera Graham Thomas flowers from June through to August and creates a colourful feature up a trellis or garden wall in sun or in partial shade. Its creamy white flowers are highly scented.

6) Rosa de L’hay is known for its masses of heavily perfumed flowers that are a rich purple in colour, it would look great at the back of a shrub border and will flower from July to September.

Six cottage garden favourites

Six cottage garden favourites

February 20th, 2018 by

Six cottage garden favourites

Ever wanted to create a cottage garden? Here’s our top 6 plants to create that cottage garden feel.

1) Digitalis offer height with their long tubular bells in bright colours that offer a fantastic feast to bees. Digitalis flower from June – July.

2) Lupins will also add height to the back of a cottage garden bed but do stake to stop them from falling over. Lupins will flower from June – September In bright purples, pinks and various other colours.

3) No cottage garden would be complete without roses, climbing roses would look fantastic against a trellis, pergola or the walls of your house. Some of the old fashioned rose varieties are sure to add lots of fragrance to your garden between June – August.

4) Lavender would look great either side of a pathway up to your cottage door, adding fragrance and colour from early – midsummer.

5) Choose a Geranium like ‘Johnsons blue’ that are low growing and will creep around other plants, spill on to pathways and often repeat flower.

6) Hydrangeas are a great addition to a large cottage garden with their large clusters of white, pink or blue flowers in August – September that do best in full sun or partial shade.

Gardening Reminders for the month of March

Gardening Reminders for the month of March

March 1st, 2018 by

Here are our Gardening Reminders for the month of March

1) Prune strong growing Buddleias down to about 18” for a good show by summer. Prune to 30-40” for a denser but weaker overall growth.

2) Prune decorative Cornus and Salix to within 5cm of the old shoots to encourage next year’s coloured winter stems. Don’t prune ‘Midwinter Fire’ types too hard.

3) Feed roses with a general fertilizer and remember to do it again in summer.

4) Arrange to plant summer flowering bulbs when planting condition are good.

5) Finish pruning perennial which have not yet been cut back, don’t remove new green shoots. It is still time to lift and divide large herbaceous clumps. Re-plant or give away outer sections of the clump and destroy the centre of the plant.

6) When daffodils have flowered, remove dead heads to conserve energy.

7) Hellebores are now very popular, lift seedlings around parent plant and pot up.

8) As the weather improves, weed growth will begin in earnest, hoe off seedling weeds with a really sharp hoe and treat perennial weeds with Roundup.

9) Use fleece to cover delicate leaves when frost is imminent. Seedlings can be protected in the same way, hold fleece down with stones or tie to the pots.

10) New shrubs and herbaceous plants can be planted when soil conditions are good.

11) Finish pruning soft fruit bushes by mid-month and give a high nitrogen feed.

12) Lay fleece or polythene on bare soil to warm it before planting or sowing seeds or vegetables. Remember to apply slug pellets.

13) Consider mowing the lawn towards the end of the month, brush off worm casts if necessary as these blunt the mower. Apply a balanced fertilizer or combined feed and weed-killer.

14) After heavy snowfalls knock snow from upright conifers before branches get bent over. Most plants are better under snow in hard frost as they are well insulated.

15) In bad weather finalise plans for garden improvements and order the plants and sundries to enable you to start work as gardening conditions improve.

Plants to attract butterflies to your garden

Plants to attract butterflies to your garden

March 12th, 2018 by

Plants to attract butterflies to your garden

To celebrate butterfly week we thought we would share some of a butterflies favourite plants. It is said that 70% of the UK’S butterfly population are in decline. By planting some of these you could help save butterflies from any further decline.

1) Just one Buddleja in your garden is enough to attract a hoard of butterflies, after all its known as the ‘butterfly bush.’ Buddleja is full of nectar which is a butterfly’s primary food source.

2) Scabiosa were very popular with butterflies last year, flowering from June to September they provide a good amount of nectar for butterflies throughout the season. These plants thrive in full sun as do Butterflies!

3) Lavender is full of nectar which means it’s never short of a butterfly or two, three four etc. Lavender will do best in a sunny position and fill flower from July to September.

4) Last summer our Escallonia ‘Pink Elle’ were full of butterflies from June through to August. Escallonia’s not only look great in summer but their dark glossy foliage looks great throughout the year.

5) It’s no wonder Echinacea are attractive to butterflies with their large cone shaped flowers, they prefer full sun and will flower from July to September.

6) Verbena bonariensis are sure to keep butterflies happy in late summer when they flower from June right through to September they will do great in full sun.

How to attract butterflies to your garden

How to attract butterflies to your garden

March 10th, 2018 by

How to attract butterflies to your garden

Want to attract butterflies to your garden? Here’s our top tips:

1) “Butterflies like a lot of sunlight”! Be sure to choose plants that do well in full sun like Echinacea, Verbena and Lavender.

2) Do choose native and non-native plants to encourage different butterflies to your garden

3) Try to provide nectar throughout the butterfly season choosing early and late bloomers.

4) Prolong flowering by deadheading flowers, this will encourage a second lot of flowers – meaning more nectar for butterflies!

5) Do try to plant along a fence, building or hedge to protect butterflies from the wind.

6) Place a rock in a sunny spot for butterfly basking and resting.

Gardening Reminders for the month of April

Gardening Reminders for the month of April

April 1st, 2018 by

Here are our Gardening Reminders for the month of April

1) Prune early flowering shrubs after flowering is over.

2) Prune foliage shrubs when cut foliage is required later in the year.

3) Mulch shrubs when weather begins to warm up, but not deeply into the centre of
the shrub when growing from a stool.

4) Continue to divide herbaceous plants if necessary.

5) Plant evergreen shrubs, mulch and water in well. Continue to water if dry.

6) Cut off dead hydrangea flowers.

7) Mulch fruit trees and bushes.

8) Plant Raspberry canes.

9) Rake lawns to remove worm casts, twigs, and old grass.

10) Apply spring fertilizer dressing to lawns as weather warms up.

11) Apply grass seed to thin areas of the lawn and rake in. Cover with fleece for a few
days if there is a problem with birds eating the seed.

12) Lightly trim lavenders (but not into the old wood) to stop them getting leggy.

13) By mid to late April soil should be warm enough to sow hardy annuals directly
where you wish them to flower.

14) Towards the end of the month collect woody twigs to use as supports for perennials before they get too long and straggly.

15) Keep up with weed control, concentrate on Dandelions, bindweed, cleavers, creeping yellow cress, and hairy bittercress as they seed and germinate so easily.
16) Cut back Lavatera hard to carry this summer’s flowers.

17) Check stakes and ties of trees planted in the last 2 years, stakes to be still sound and ties not strangling the tree.

18) Make sure you planted your Magnolia in a site which is not exposed and does not receive the morning sun, as these conditions may cause May frost damage.

19) Reversion occurs in a number of variegated trees and shrubs, foliage becomes green and the shoots grows strongly. Cut out these shoots as soon as possible, and as close to the stem as possible.

The benefits of gardening to your health

The benefits of gardening to your health

May 1st, 2018 by

The benefits of gardening to your health

1) Spending time in the garden provides sunlight which in turn gives you some much needed vitamin D.

2) Gardening for several hours a week could help you to lose weight. It is said that you can burn up to 500 calories per hour of gardening depending on the activity.

3) Being out in the garden and exposed to different microbes helps to build up your immune system which in turn helps you to fight colds and flu.

4) Gardening is great for relieving stress and is a great distraction from the day to day stresses in life.

5) Growing your own vegetables, herbs and fruit is not only rewarding but is great for your diet too.

Why gardening is great for the mind

Why gardening is great for the mind

April 30th, 2018 by

Why gardening is great for the mind

1) Gardening is great for the mind and is a mood booster. Being busy in the garden keeps your mind occupied and focused and gives you that feel good factor.

2) Gardening is great for physical activity and you can burn up to 500 calories per hour of gardening.

3) Gardening is great for relieving stress and reduces levels of cortisol.

4) Flowers and the outdoors are known to improve your mood. Getting outdoors, gardening or visiting your local National Trust garden is sure to improve how you’re feeling.

5) Gardening requires skills that protect the brain from ageing and has links to decreasing the risk of dementia.

6) Gardening is linked to a better night’s sleep, the physical activity will tire you out.

Jobs to do in the garden this May

Jobs to do in the garden this May

May 1st, 2018 by

Jobs to do in the garden this May 

1) Plants should be staked before they become too big and start to flop. Methods to use include pea sticks, bending the tops across at the top to form a canopy, upright canes around each clump with twine tied around the canes, wire netting supported by canes in a cylinder around tall plants, or tall plants tied to individual canes of the ultimate plant size.

2) Still time to plant container roses to replace those that have deteriorated over winter, or to fill that hole in the border, Water new plants thoroughly. Spray against greenfly in early morning or evening, but not when wet. Check for specific advice on sprays against black spot and other diseases.

3) Apply a balanced fertilizer around shrubs and water shrubs which have been spring planted and will still have limited root systems. May is a good time to plant evergreens if there is significant rain or water will need to be applied. Keep new growths of wall plants tied which help when pruning in late June. Prune clematis montana types quite hard after flowering to ensure a good show next year.

4) Keep weeds down by hoeing or chemical weed control, use Roundup against perennial weeds. A 10cm layer of mulch (mushroom compost or well-rotted garden compost ) will
supress weeds and help conserve moisture.

5) Complete the planting of root-balled or pot grown evergreen hedges, water the hedge line the day before planting and again when planting is completed. When conifer hedges have reached
the required height, cut back the leader shoot to 6” below this height to encourage branching lower in the stem and a neat compact top to the hedge.

6) Pick off dead flower heads of Rhododendrons and Azaleas to allow new growth to develop and mulch with leaf-mould.

7) Clip Lonicera nitida hedges monthly to maintain a good shape. Clip Privet regularly. Clip Forsythia and flowering Currant hedges after flowering. Weed and hoe under hedges.

8) Feed top fruit and soft fruit and use nets to protect bushes from birds as flowers develop.

9) Cut back Ivy and Ceanothus which has finished flowering.

10) 1f you have not used weed-killer to treat the lawn this spring, use the grass mowings to mulch trees and hedge plants.

11) Some plants like Forget-me-nots can spread very rapidly, to contain them pull up the plants as soon as they finish flowering to prevent them seeding every-where.

12) Watch out for the vivid red Lily beetles which will be apparent from mid-month, hold a hand underneath them when trying to catch them as the try and drop to the ground. They lay their
eggs under the leaves and the grub covers itself with its own faeces. SQUASH them!

13) Trim lawn edges frequently when dry to develop a firm edge which will not sink when walked upon.

14) Set the mower blades to their final height for the summer, and apply a top-dressing of a nitrogen fertilizer in late May. Water when conditions require it, don’t under-water, but make
sure that water is getting to the roots of trees and bigger shrubs.

Plants to create that ‘Chelsea’ feel

Plants to create that ‘Chelsea’ feel

January 15th, 2018 by

Plants to create that ‘Chelsea’ feel

Feeling inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show this week? Here are’s some plants to create that ‘Chelsea’ feel.

1) Digitalis is available in an array of fantastic colours and are sure to impress the neighbours through May – July.They prefer partial shade and will look great in the middle or the back of a border.

2) Get the Chelsea look by using Lupins, known for their bright colours, they are great for that cottage garden feel and will flower from June – September.

3) Another Chelsea favourite is, Geum, we’d recommend using a bright colour like Geum totally tangerine – these are great when used in your Chelsea border alongside Salvia.They prefer full sun and will flower from June – August.

4) Salvia are available in pinks and purples, and Salvia Caradonna is one of our favourites. It would and look great with both Geums and Achillea.

5) Buxus shaped as cones or balls add great formality to a garden with minimum upkeep.They look great at the front of a border or in between plants.

6) Agapanthus make the perfect Chelsea plant, and if you don’t have enough room to create a full Chelsea garden, a few pots filled with Agapanthus will do the trick.

Great plants to encourage children to garden

Great plants to encourage children to garden

May 25th, 2018 by

Great plants to encourage children to garden

Want to get your kids excited about gardening? Here are our top six plants

1) Echinacea Magnus – its bright pink flowers are sure to attract bees and butterflies, which is great when teaching your child all about pollination. They will also look great in a vase on the window sill once picked.

2) Sunflowers are great to grow from seed. Not only do they germinate quickly, but you can start the seed growing inside. This is the perfect flower to grow with siblings as you can have competitions to see whose grows biggest.

3) Stachys, also known as lambs ears, are known for their soft woolly leaves, making them a must0touch plant for your child and a great addition to a sensory garden.

4) Planting Bulbs like daffodils, tulips and crocus is not only an easy task to get your kids involved with in the autumn, but it will also be great for them to see come spring when they bloom.

5) Mint and other herbs are easy to grow in a small pot and can be used in the kitchen.

6) Tomatoes grow very easily from seed and can be grown in hanging baskets if you’re lacking space. It’s fun to watch them grow, and it’s always great to eat freshly-grown veg!

Five ideas to get your children into gardening this summer

Five ideas to get your children into gardening this summer

May 19th, 2018 by

Five ideas to get your children into gardening this summer

Want to include your child in your next Saturday afternoon in the garden? Here are our top tips to get them interested.

1. Choose flowers that are easy to grow from seed like sunflowers, poppies and marigolds. This will encourage your child and show them how rewarding gardening can be.

2. Pointing out wildlife and pollinators is not only educational but shows just how important they are to us.

3. Grow your own vegetables and let your children pick them ready for their tea.

4. Make gardening fun by creating a fairy garden, a pizza garden or even make a scarecrow – get creative!

5. Choose activities your child can easily get involved with, like watering!

Half a dozen home-grown flowers to mark British Flowers Week

Half a dozen home-grown flowers to mark British Flowers Week

June 20th, 2018 by

Half a dozen home-grown flowers to mark British Flowers Week

To mark British Flowers Week, we’ve published a list of six of our favourite Briitish flowers that we enjoying seeing across the country throughout the year.

1. Bluebells – The UK is home to about half of the world’s bluebell population, which cover our woodlands. They do great in shade and flower mid-April to late May. Available as a bulb in September.

2. Foxgloves date back to the 1500s, where they got their name from an English myth that foxes wore the flowers on their paws. The hillside of fox’s dens were often covered in foxgloves. Digitalis thrive in partial shade and are a great addition to a cottage garden come the summer.

3. Rosa canina dates back to the age of Shakespeare and can be found in hedgerows, woodland and scrubland across the UK. Known for their flower in May and June and its fruit come September, October time.

4. Primula veris, also known as cowslip, is a plant of traditional hay meadows, ancient woodlands and hedgerows. It gets its name from being found among the manure in cow pastures.

5. Anthriscus sylvestris also known as cow parsley or Queen Anne’s lace, which received its name from when Queen Anne travelled the countryside in May, when the roadsides had been decorated for her, are seen up and down our verges and roadsides.

6. Convallaria majalis, also known as lily of the valley, is found in woodlands throughout the UK in May and was seen in recent years in the bouquet of Catherine Middleton.

Jobs to do in the garden this July

Jobs to do in the garden this July

July 1st, 2018 by

Jobs to do in the garden this July

1) July is set to be the driest month ever recorded in the UK. Water is best applied to plants in the form of a good soak, and not a spray over, which evaporates in no time at all, and little
gets to the deeper roots. Don’t forget to leave fresh water for birds and small animals.

2) Applications of water at the rate of 1 inch (2.5 cm) per application will replace the water deficit when applied weekly in mid-summer. Ensure that your sprinkler is producing an even pattern, and there is no water run-off on a slope. Check application rates and uniformity with a rain gauge or plant saucers spread across the sprinkler area. Never water during the heat of the day,best times are early morning or late evening.

3) If the garden is to be left for some time in mid-summer, consider cutting back the tops of all flowering plants to stop seed being set and germinating without control. This should also lead to a good display of flowers later in the season.

4) Lawns may turn brown in dry conditions in summer, but will rapidly green up as soon as rain comes or irrigation is applied. Let grass grow a little bit longer to reduce stress and cut the lawn weekly to prevent it becoming too long. You can leave the grass mowing’s on the lawn in dry weather to act as a mulch and further help to save moisture. Remove obvious weeds as these too
will compete for water.

5) Hoeing lightly is an effective way of reducing water loss, not only does it eliminate weed competition for water, but a fine tilth on the soil surface helps prevent transpiration, but don’t hoe too deeply. A mulch of garden compost is another very good method of helping reduce water loss, and also helps increase soil organic matter.

6) Check the moisture level of hanging baskets every morning and water thoroughly if dry. Feed plants with a soluble or liquid feed once per week and remove flower heads which are going over.

7) Prune pyracanthas by cutting back side-shoots to 2-3 leaves from their base for a good show next year. Wear gloves!! When the first flush of hardy geranium and Alchemilla is over, cut them hard back for a spectacular second flush of flowers.

8) Clear foliage from ponds and remove weeds from around the edges, and excess growth from water lily foliage. Make sure the soil in bog gardens doesn’t dry out.

9) Remove spent rose flower heads and maintain the sprays to combat greenfly rust, mildew andblackspot if appropriate. Apply a summer rose feed fertilizer in the middle of the month.

10) Trim quickthorn hedges and continue to keep hedge bottoms clean by hoeing or the use of Gramoxone. Always check for nesting birds before cutting hedges in summer.

11) Check all plant ties, and that all herbaceous forms of support are strong enough for the new growth.

12) Be sure to keep hydrangeas well-watered, they are very quick to show the shortage of water bydropping heavily.

13) Keep hardy and half-hardy annuals well-watered and weed-free. Try not to walk on the beds as the plants damage easily. It is usual to place a plank across two boxes to help with weeding and the removal of spent flowers.

14) Can compost can be harmful in holes dug for new trees? Guy Barter, chief horticultural adviser at the RHS, says: “The compost rots and the tree settles down too far in the soil and as a
result root and stem rot can set in. It’s best to plant trees in plain old soil.”

Six white plants for Wimbledon

Six white plants for Wimbledon

July 5th, 2018 by

Six white plants for Wimbledon

This week marks the start of Wimbledon and to celebrate we have put together a list of six of our favourite white plants that are flowering now.

1) Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’ has a lovely fragrance with flowers up to 5cm across. Suitable in any aspect of the garden but particularly great at the back of a border.

2) Anemone Wild Swan flowers earlier in the season than other anemone. It prefers a sheltered spot to grow in.

3) Achillea The Pearl produces little white buttons of flowers and was favoured by designer Gertrude Jeykll.

4) Campanula White Clips is a low grower, which produces masses of large bell-like flowers; looks great in a rockery.

5) Rosa Kent is great for producing masses of white flowers and good ground cover.

6) Leucanthemum Freak are great for giving height to borders and have a long flowering season if you deadhead regularly.

Get a lawn as good as a golf course

Get a lawn as good as a golf course

July 16th, 2018 by

Get a lawn as good as a golf course

To celebrate the British Open Golf tournament this week, we have come up with some tips to help you get a lawn as good as a golf course.

A regular maintenance programme will help avoid the need to renovate later.

1) Mowing – this should be done regularly between spring and autumn,with once a week being the ideal amount during these seasons. In summer, cut twice a week, unless in drought conditions, then drop back to one. Never mow wet, dewy or frosted grass.

2) Remove Moss – Moss forms in grass when there is a poor growing condition, such as shaded, waterlogged or compacted soil. Scarification in the autumn is ideal on smaller lawns. Organic moss control can be applied after the grass has been cut short.

3) Feeding – In March and April, apply a spring feed which will help increase vigour and help tackle weeds and moss. It is always best applied to wet grass, and not dry. If vigour is lost between April and August, repeat the spring feed application in cool conditions.

4) Watering – Water to a depth of 10cm as the soil becomes dry, but before the grass starts turning brown. If the ground has become hard and compacted, aerate with a garden fork before watering. Watering once a week should be sufficient unless in drought conditions. Water either early morning or evening, and don’t over water as this can encourage shallow roots.

5) Repairing – Damaged grass caused by pets or diseases should be repaired in the spring.

Flowers to see you through until the end of summer

Flowers to see you through until the end of summer

July 24th, 2018 by

Want a good selection of late flowering perennials? Choose from these flowers that are sure to see you through until the end of summer.

1) Rudbeckia ‘Little Gold Star’ – a compact Rudbeckia standing at 50cm high, these plants will last you all the way through to October and are known for their mounds of bright yellow flowers.

2) Agapanthus ‘Columba’ – One of our favourite perennials, it has globes of trumpet-shaped blue flowers on straight green stems that will last until September. They look fantastic in a pot or summer border.

3) Echinacea ‘Magnus’ – a firm favourite of butterflies with its fantastic daisy Iike, bright pink flowers and orange centres. Flowering from July to– September, it’s a must have for your late flowering border.

4) Agastache ‘Black Adder’ – great for the back of a border and grow up to 90cm tall. They will flower until October and thrive in full sun.

5) Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ – funnel shaped flowers as bright as a red tomato, which will flower from July to September. They will work best in a sunny herbaceous border alongside other bold colours like Achillea.

6) Sedum ‘Matrona’ – this plant has purple stems with clusters of soft pink flowers that will last until October, also, they are great for cut flowers.

Gardening reminders for the month of August

Gardening reminders for the month of August

August 1st, 2018 by

Here’s our gardening reminders for the month of August:

1) Now is the last chance to prune stone fruits such as cherries and plums. Choose a dry day in order to prevent disease entry through the wound. If you have peaches or apricots under protection, prune them now to prevent silver leaf disease.

2) Cut back the long whippy growth of Wisteria to within 3 buds of the old wood if they are not required to extend the area covered by the plant.

3) Keep watering those containers! Placing the plant in a saucer-shaped dish will be a great help in making the water you apply remain available to the plant.

4) With the weather so dry it is an ideal time to concentrate on the removal of perennial weeds, either by hand or with the aid of the chemical Glyphosate.

5) Check that weeds are not spreading under larger shrubs where the shade has kept them that little bit more moist and able to seed.

6) Towards the end of the month cut back the canes of fruited cane fruits to ground level, and tie in the young shoots which will provide next year’s harvest.

7) Keep dead-heading the best flowering plants to encourage new flowers and stop them setting seed. Apply a liquid feed as plants will require added nutrition to counter the dry weather and heavy watering.

8) Keep hardy and half-hardy annuals well-watered and weed-free. Try not to walk on the beds as the plants damage easily.It is usual to place a plank across two boxes to help with weeding and the removal of spent flowers.

9) Trim fast growing hedges, and don’t forget the weeds in the hedge bottoms!

10) Remove rose blooms as they fade and don’t apply feed after the end of July, as late soft growth would not be hardy before winter.

11) Complete the lifting of last seasons’ bulbs and dry them off naturally in light woven sacks for maximum ventilation.

12) Take cuttings of shrubs, heathers, hydrangeas and fuchsias.

13) Keep an eye on the whole garden and spray as necessary against pests on dahlias and Chrysanthemums in particular.

14) When going on holiday and concerned about indoor containers being watered, try placing a full bucket of water on the garage floor and placing your pots around it on their own saucers.
Using a piece of wet string about the thickness of a bootlace, tie one end to a piece of old cutlery and place in the bucket. Push the other end into the compost of a pot. Place strings from bucket to all pots.

Six great plants to keep the weeds at bay

Six great plants to keep the weeds at bay

August 23rd, 2018 by

Are weeds taking over your garden? If you choose ground cover plants they will naturally smother weeds, they cover the ground and don’t leave any spaces where weeds can grow.

Here are six great plants to keep the weeds at bay.

1) Alchemilla Mollis is a great ground cover plant that is best in full sun or partial shade and flowers in June – September. Its round broad leaves are perfect for edging a path and smothering any weeds.

2) Ajuga is a great ground cover for a shady area that will form a quick carpet of foliage flowering in early summer. They are great for filling in gaps, edging paths or even used to spill over the edge of a pot.

3) Pachysandra terminalis are known for their dark glossy green leaves that form dense mats of groundcover in full sun or full shade. A perfect addition between shrubs and trees.

4) Vinca Major is perfect for supressing weeds under trees, and even on sloping banks, as they are happiest in full sun to partial shade, flowering from April – September. If you have a small garden try Vinca minor instead.

5) Geranium Johnsons blue has a beautiful saucer-shaped purple flower that appears from May through to August. They are perfect for the front of a border and will create a dense carpet that will supress weeds, they are happy in full sun – partial shade.

6) Hostas love shade and look fantastic at a path edge. Alternatively, plant them at the front of a border in contrast with ferns, once they’re established the foliage will supress weeds.

Want to attract bee's to your garden? Here's six great blooms

Want to attract bee’s to your garden? Here’s six great blooms

September 1st, 2018 by

Want to attract bee’s to your garden? Here’s six great blooms to do just that.

1) Lavender is one of a bees favourites, largely because of their bright purple tones as bees see this colour more clearly. A two year study at Sussex University found them to be one of the most popular plant varieties to the insect, flowering from July – September, they are the perfect plant for bees with plenty of nectar through summer.

2) Echinacea flowers are not only loved by bees, but butterflies too due to its large landing pad, bright colour and pollen, making it well worth the visit. Seed heads will also feed birds in the fall and winter.

3) Foxgloves are known for their long tubular shape and are great for long-tongued bees, flowering from June – September.

4) Scabiosa plants have a steady supply of nectar, making them a great choice for any garden hoping to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. It’s also perfect for a summer border.

5) Agastache is a great plant that bees make their way around systematically on the many tiny flowers. It looks great in mixed herbaceous borders and is a bees’ favourite.

6) Geranium have a long flowering period making them great for bees. The purple varieties tend to be favoured, again, for their colour, and will last from May – August,. Make sure to remove old flowers and leaves so they can rejuvenate.

What to do in the garden this September

What to do in the garden this September

September 15th, 2018 by

What to do in the garden this September

1) August has been another dry month here in North Yorkshire, we had a few showers and some prolonged rain on the 26th/27th, but not enough serious volumes to replenish the water table. Just that fresh feeling in the mornings now, but overnight temperatures are still staying above 10 degrees.

2) Summer Branch Drop (SBD) has been apparent on several trees in the area, no-one appears to have identified the cause, but it does seem to occur after rain following a very dry spell.

3) If you have heavy soil, dig over the garden borders as bedding plants need to be removed. This will make digging easier as the soil will not be at full water capacity as in later months.

4) Now is the time to make yourself a good, big compost bin, just before you really need it! Ideally, use four stakes as corners, one metre apart in a square, and staple wire netting (one metre deep) around the square. This allows easy entry when you wish to empty it, or it can be made bigger or smaller at will. If you would like a permanent one, use pressure treated plywood or boards instead of netting.

5) On a fine evening, have a walk around the garden and make a note of what has done really well, and also not so well, so that when time comes to replant the borders you will have a good idea of what will be successful! Why not have a visit to Harlow Carr Gardens or one of the other splendid gardens in the area, and make a note of which plants you are really motivated by?

6) Towards the end of the month and into October is the best time to move evergreens as the soil is still warm and new roots will take hold before winter. Make sure the planting hole is big enough so the plant is at the same depth as before, firm soil back around the root-ball and water in well.

7) Take hardwood cuttings from your favourite roses. Ideal cuttings are about pencil thickness and 30cm long, remove the top 8cm of young growth down to just above a bud. Cut the bottom of the stem at about 2-3mm below a bud and trim off all the leaves, with the exception of the top three sets of leaves.Make a slot with a spade in an area of good soil and push in the cuttings (base first!) so that about one third remains above ground. If the soil is heavy, run some sharp sand down the planting slot to improve drainage. The cuttings should be ready to plant out next autumn.

8) Keep dead-heading the best flowering plants to encourage new flowers and stop them setting seed.

9) Newly planted perennials will do well when planted over the next 6 weeks. Give the roots of new plants a good soaking before planting, firm in well to the original depth and place a good mulch around the plant to prevent moisture loss and winter damage to young roots.

10) Continue to trim fast-growing hedges, and don’t forget the weeds in the hedge bottoms!

11) Now is the time to sort out your bulb order to give you maximum choice. Bulb catalogues are really helpful and a pleasure to look at. Planting early has benefits for all bulbs, but leave tulips until late November in order to prevent disease infection.

12) Complete the lifting of last seasons’ bulbs and dry them off naturally in light woven sacks for maximum ventilation.

13) Crocosmias form large mounds of roots and corms after a few years, try separating them with a fork, pulling them apart, or removing the soil and untangling them with the help of a hosepipe jet.

14) This month and next month the lawn can be mown less frequently, but will really benefit from echanical scarifying or the regular use of a spring tine rake to remove the old ‘thatch’. Aerating by means of a machine or a garden fork will work wonders, in conjunction with a specific lawn weed killer and an autumn lawn fertilize dressing.

Six reasons why you should love and protect bees

Six reasons why you should love and protect bees

September 7th, 2017 by

Here are six reasons why you should love and protect bees this National Honey Month.

1) 1 out of 3 bites of food is originally sourced from a bee-pollinated plant.
2) Bees pollinate 80% of flowering plants on earth.
3) Bees have been producing plants for over 100 million years.
4) Only bees can make honey.
5) A colony pollinates 4,000 fruit trees.
6) Some crops are 90% dependent on bee pollination.
7) Bees contribute millions to our economy.

Hedging varieties for small gardens

Hedging varieties for small gardens

September 12th, 2018 by

Hedging varieties for small gardens

In small gardens, most people favour a wall or fence, however these are plants that can create privacy or a boundary without taking over too much room.

1. Buxus sempervirens are a great low growing hedging plant that only require clipping once or twice a year. Perfect for edging a path or border these hedging plants will only grow 10-20cm per year. Buxus is often used in a formal garden and is great shaped.

2. Taxus baccata are an evergreen low growing hedging plant that create a dense screen in a garden they can be clipped back to keep a low formal hedge and will grow in sun to partial shade.

3. Ligustrum vulgare are great for nesting birds and have small white flowers in the spring. 20cm -40cm growth a year with an eventual height of 4m, keep them trimmed for a lower hedge.

4. Cornus Alba are grown for the bright red stems during the winter months, these will get to a height approx. 4m. Cut some stems back at the end of March to help keep the bright colour.

5. Fagus Sylvatica Purpurea a mix of copper and purple colours spring to autumn. Grows to 5m with a yearly growth of 40-60cm.

6. Lavender Hidcote – why not choose a lavender plant for a scented small hedge, Perfect for the edge of a path or small hedge at the front of a garden, growing 10-20cm per year.

Hedging varieties for shade

Hedging varieties for shade

September 12th, 2018 by

Hedging varieties for shade

Some plants can survive with only a few hours of sun a day, whether that be early morning or late evening. Shade can be caused by a number of reasons, but to help your plants grow, plant with rootgrow to help the plant establish a good root system.

Here is a list of our favourite hedging options for planting in shaded areas:

1. Ilex aquifolium is most commonly recognised for its spikey green leaves and red berries in winter, this versatile plant can grow in full shade to a height of 8m.

2. Aucuba japonica has thick glossy leaves, providing colour and structure all year and the plants will grow in most soils. Small flowers are produced in summer but the berries from autumn to spring are more noticeable. Eventual height of around 3m.

3. Elaeagnus x ebbingei is one of the best hedging plants to use nearer the house as these plants produce white, highly scented flowers and have an attractive silver underside to the leaves. Growing 30-45cm a year its mature height can be around 4m tall.

4. Corylus avellana is a great base plant if trying to grow a native hedge. Distinctive pale-yellow catkins can be found on the bare stems in late winter, before large soft leaves appear. One of the faster growing hedge plants, eventual height can reach up to 8m.

5. Pyracantha make a great hedge in shade and look great against a north facing wall or fence adding vibrant colour to your garden.

6. Taxus baccata is a dark, dense, native evergreen hedge with bright red fruit attractive to birds, and is happy in dry shade or sun.

Conifer varieties for every garden

Conifer varieties for every garden

September 12th, 2018 by

Conifer varieties for every garden

When conifers are mentioned, most people think of the large overgrown hedges which can become the source of arguments between neighbours. However, this conifer week, we will be looking at how they can be used in all gardens as they give great colour and structure all year round.

Low growing/ Spreading
Prostrate or spreading conifers are ideal on a steep bank, or in areas where the soil is too poor to plant shrubs, but some green is required. These conifers also help keep weeds at bay meaning less maintenance time is required.
• Picea pungens Waldbrunn – blue/grey with silver tinged spring growth 50cm x 100cm
• Juniperus Blue Carpet – bright blue/ grey 50cm x 200cm
• Juniperus Old Gold – yellow to deep bronze 100cm x 200cm

Miniature conifers
Yes, they really can stay small. In this case they can be used on alpine rockeries as most only grow to 40cm in 10 years. Another option is to grow them in containers alongside annuals to give an extra layer of interest.
• Juniperus Blue Star – bright blue/grey bun shaped habit 50cm x 100cm
• Podocarpus Kilworth Cream – bushy pale green edged with cream, pink tips in spring 50cm x 50cm
• Picea J W Daisy’s White – conical shape, cream tips fading to green 1m x 1m

Narrow conifers
Narrow, Pencil, Column, call them what you like, but these conifers are great at adding height whilst not taking over your garden. These are a must if you are looking to create a Mediterranean-feel to your space.• Cupressus pyramidalis – retains dense thin shape well. 15m but can be trimmed to height easily.
• Juniperus Blue Arrow – vivid steel blue foliage retained year-round. Compact habit with eventual height of 2.5m
• Taxus baccata fastigiate – deep green needles. Becomes broader with age. 8m x 4m

Interesting foliage
Boring green flat leaves will be a thing of the past with these more unusual conifers. Great for adding texture year round to formal and informal gardens.
• Ginkgo biloba – fan shaped leaves which turn yellow in autumn. Grows well in containers. Buy as a standard to add extra interest.
• Thuja Whipcord – pendulous, cord-like branches. Slow growing mound. 1.5m x 1.5m
• Pinus mugo – spiral clusters of needles. Candle like new growth in spring which can be pinched put. Reddish brown cones. 1.5m x 1.5m

Hedging varieties for an exposed site

Hedging varieties for an exposed site

September 25th, 2018 by

As well as challenging exposure to wind and rain, hedges can protect more delicate plants from coastal sea spray and snow drifts. Native hedging plants are great for use in this instance as they can establish the best of their situation.

Try –
Acer campestre is a field Maple hedge that can work as either a single species or mixed together with other native species. The foliage turns a lovely buttery yellow colour in the autumn. Suitable in most soils and locations, apart from full shade, this will grow to 5m.

Sambucus Nigra has a distinctive large, flat flower head that is produced in June, followed by elderberries which can be eaten. Even though it is a deciduous shrub, leaves can drop as late as November and grow back in a good winter in sheltered locations around January. It’s a fast-growing plant, reaching an ultimate height of 4m.
Viburnum opulus is a plant with something for every season but best in the autumn with bright red berries, which the birds love and fiery red foliage. Its best in full sun as this plant will grow to around 5m.

Carpinus betulus has a similar look to Fagus, this semi evergreen produces green catkins spring to autumn, which then turn fruit which a number of wildlife will feast on. This plant is also very happy to grow in poor soils. Makes a great screen of up to 5m.

Hedging varieties for full sun

Hedging varieties for full sun

September 25th, 2018 by

Hedging varieties for full sun

For hedges in full sun you also need to consider if the plant will be drought tolerant. This means the plants can handle being in direct sunlight for longer periods of time.

Here are some of our top favourites:

Prunus spinosa, more commonly known as Blackthorn, is a dense and prickly plant that has one of the earliest blossoms as pure white flowers against black stems appear in March. Its autumn fruits (sloes) can be made into tasty food and drink, as long as you beat the birds to them.

Cragaegus monogyna is possibly the most recognised native hedging plant, it gets its common name of ‘May Blossom’ from the beautiful show of white scented flowers during May. Birds will then feast on the glossy red berries in autumn. This hedge is suitable for most gardens as can easily be kept between 1–5m.

Osmanthus Burkwoodii is similar to Elaeagnus, this hedge has sweetly scented white flowers in spring, and is becoming a good substitute for Box Hedging due to it being easily cut in to a variety of shapes. Growing to 3m, this acts as a good screen for mid-way through a long garden.

Photinia Red Robin is one the best alternative hedges, this is quickly becoming popular in gardens due to the fiery red show of the new leaves growing up to 4m. Trim in spring and summer to help make a denser hedge and continue the colourful show.

Jobs for the garden during October

Jobs for the garden during October

October 1st, 2018 by

Jobs for the garden during October

1) Autumn colours are almost always at their best for the next six weeks, and the relatively drySeptember and the colder nights will continue to develop the colours. For one of the best displays visit the Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire, Dunham Massey in Cheshire,
Gibside in Tyne and Wear, and Winkworth Arboretum in Surrey. Most trees which carry the strongest colour are not native to the UK, most are from North America and Asia, but they have
added so much to our landscape over the last 400 years.

2) Frosts will become common from now on, it is wise to lift any plants from the border which are tender and place in a frost-free room or glasshouse. Overwinter cuttings from them on a windowsill!

3) Whilst it is still reasonably light in the evening, make a start on the winter digging, especially on heavy clay soils. Clods will break down much easier after a winter of snow, frost, wind and rain. Try and incorporate as much organic matter as possible to increase drainage and fertility. Riding
stables are a good source of cheap manure.

4) With only 50 to 65mm of rain expected in October in the north, together with a number of sunny days, try and get as much winter work completed as possible before the really harsh weather sets in. Don’t forget to collect all those fallen apples! There are a number of local people now willing to offer juicing facilities for a small fee, remember that if they have fallen, fruits will be bruised and will not store, other than by preparing and freezing. Dispose of unwanted fallen fruits as they may well carry over disease from year to year.

5) Use this period to give the glasshouse a thorough clean when all of the plants can be put outside on a mild day. Clean the glass inside and out, and scrub down benches with a mild disinfectant before hosing down the entire area. If you use electricity in the glasshouse, check that the earth breaker is clean and acting effectively.

6) Collect seeds of those plants you may wish to increase, store dry seeds in paper envelopes in an airtight container on the bottom shelf of the fridge. If unsure when to sow the seed, sow half on collection and the other half in the spring.

7) Fix grease bands to apple and pear tree trunks.

8) Clean out ponds and remove pumps for the winter.

9) Give conifer hedges a final trim and finish planting evergreen shrubs.

10) Take hardwood cuttings from shrubs and fruit bushes, lift and divide rhubarb crowns.

11) Lift and store carrots and potatoes. Cut back tall shrubs like Lavatera and Buddleia to half their length to prevent winter damage. Complete cutting them back in early spring.

12) Clean out leaves from round all alpine plants, if left outside provide the protection of a cold frame or even a sheet of glass or plastic to prevent the plants becoming waterlogged.

13) Frequently collect leaves from around the garden and store in a wire mesh bin using four wooden posts at the corners to produce excellent leaf mould compost by next autumn. Leaves left on the lawn will kill the grass and can also attract slugs and snails.

14) Can compost can be harmful in holes dug for new trees? Guy Barter, chief horticultural adviser at the RHS, says: “The compost rots and the tree settles down too far in the soil and as a
result root and stem rot can set in. It’s best to plant trees in plain old soil.”

Our guide to apple trees

Our guide to apple trees

October 21st, 2018 by

The 21st October marks national Apple day and to celebrate we have listed some of our favourites for cooking, eating and for cider.

For cooking
• Granny Smith – great for baking whole, sweet and crisp with a green skin
• Braeburn – makes a great apple sauce – tart, sweet and aromatic with a bright colour
• Bramley – icon for apple pies and crumbles – sharp and juicy

For Eating
• Gala – bright red flushed fruit with a sweet almost perfumed taste.
• Coxs Orange Pippin – Considered the best eating apple in the world
• Red Delicious – iconic ruby red skin with sweet juicy white flesh.

For Cider
• Katy – heavy cropper with a sharp flavour. Very juicy. Also enjoy straight from the tree.
• Kingston Black – only grown for juicing, turn this into a vintage cider.
• Golden Spire – has an cider-like flavour flesh. Also good for cooking with.

Jobs for your garden in November

Jobs for your garden in November

November 1st, 2018 by

Jobs for your garden in November

1) The earlier any winter digging can be done, the better, as this allows rain, snow, frost and ice to break down clods of soil and make cultivations in spring so much easier.

2) There is a current move towards ‘no digging’ on vegetable plots, which involves digging the area to double depth (double digging) and incorporating organic matter throughout the two areas in
order to cultivate an area of really deep soil and encourage the increase of worms and other creatures by applying an annual top dressing of organic matter or ‘compost’ which will be taken
down into the soil. Small paths should be made across the area so that it is not necessary to walk on the growing area at any time in the future, for either cultivations, harvesting or other reasons and thus prevent any soil compaction.

3) The wind, frost and rain has suddenly brought down large quantities of leaves. If you can collect and compost them, they will make the best compost ever for use next year. Softer
foliage from prunings around the garden can be incorporated into this compost, but woody branches and hard stems will take much longer to rot down. Be prepared to wait a long time for
them to be usable, or hire a shredder and incorporate the product into the compost, or use as a mulch next year.

4) Whilst busy doing the autumn trimming don’t get carried away by doing everything! Plants such as Viburnum bodnantense will carry sweetly-scented pink flowers right through the winter,
as does Lonicera fragrantissima and the tree Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis.

5) If you enjoy the picture of heavily-frosted shrubs, don’t remove the stems of Sedums. Many Ornamental grasses and trees with a fine branch system, such as birch, and plants which may be a
focal point in the garden, will have character throughout the year.

6) Clear out bird boxes and sterilise them with boiling water.

7) Be sure to check for hibernating animals before lighting a bonfire.

8) Have the lawnmower serviced and cleaned before rust becomes established.

9) Think about planting tulip bulbs after the middle of the month.

10) KEEP OFF THE LAWN IN FROSTY WEATHER!

11) Insulate pots left out over winter.

12) Winter prune fruit trees and bushes, and plant new or additional ones.

13) Lift and store dahlias if not done already.

14) Start amaryllis (hippeastrum) bulbs into growth urgently if required to flower by Christmas.

15) Start pruning glasshouse grape vines when outdoor weather is inclement.

16) When receiving consignments of new plants, soak the roots for 24 hours in a bucket of water before planting. If planting conditions are not suitable, take out a trench in a sheltered area of the garden and put the roots of the plants in the trench with the above ground parts of the plant at 45 degrees to stop wind blowing them about. Plant in final position when circumstance allow.

17) When planting new trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, make sure to firm in the soil around the roots as you fill back the planting hole.

Johnsons guide to trees for different locations

Johnsons guide to trees for different locations

November 24th, 2018 by

Johnsons guide to trees for different locations

To celebrate National Tree Week (24th November to 2nd December), we have come up with some trees for different soils and locations.

Clay soils – Malus John Downie
Sandy Soils – Robinia Frisia
Acid soils – Amelanchier lamarckii
Wet soil – Salix chrysocoma
Exposed sites – Crataegus Paul’s Scarlet
Sheltered sites – Acer Bloodgood
Coastal sites – Populus alba
Hot sites – Sophora japonica
Shade – Acer campestre
Wildlife gardens – Prunus padus

Jobs to do in the garden this January

Jobs to do in the garden this January

January 1st, 2019 by

Jobs to do in the garden this January

1) Now is a really good time to tidy up the hellebores. Remove old leaves and make way for the
Flowers, which will be with us shortly. Plant winter aconites to improve the early spring show.

2) Be sure and remove dead leaves which have built up in the pond to prevent stagnation.

3) Service the lawnmower, spring will be with us before we realise it! If grass needs cutting,
remove it as it is too cold for it to decompose.

4) Make sure the water has been turned off to all outside taps.

5) Plant new fruit trees and bushes as conditions allow, applying a mulch of well-rotted material,
but leave a 10cm gap between the stem and the mulch to prevent potential stem rot.

6) Where Cyclamen coum has spread naturally from seed, select the best seedlings with good
leaf markings and replant into new areas which will benefit from the winter colour. Did you
know that ants carry the seed off to new locations?

7) Plant some lilies in deep pots and keep in the greenhouse ready for transfer to the flower
border when the flowers develop.

8) Placing a couple of forks of well-rotted manure on top of rhubarb crowns will encourage
them to make early growth. And, if covered with an upturned dustbin or similar, you will get
the beautiful red leaf stalks and yellow leaves we see in the shops in early spring.

9) Have a walk around the garden merely to see what additional colour you would like at this time of year and purchase new and attractive shrubs such as Hamamelis (Witch Hazel), snowdrops,
Cornus and decorative stemmed willows. Do you have enough interesting conifers in a range of sizes and colours?

10) If you have a grape vine under glass, now is the time to prune it, before the sap starts to rise.
Don’t leave it until next month as the wounds tend to bleed.

11) If you enjoy making an early start to the growing year, cover some areas with polythene or
cloches to protect the soil from the hardest frost and the heavy spring rains. This can improve
the soil temperature by up to six degrees when it is time for you to plant or sow.

12) Brush snow off conifers and heathers if there is a heavy fall, in order to prevent branches being
broken.

13) On a cold day when you are trying to keep warm, turn you compost heap sides to middle and
top to bottom, and this will ensure a good friable compost in late spring, ideal for potting on
plants of all kinds.

14) In rock gardens and raised beds, ensure that fallen leaves have been removed in order to
prevent botrytis.

15) Sit in front of a warm fire when there is a gale outside together with a blizzard, and go through
all the new seed catalogues for this coming spring and draw up a sowing/planting programme!
We hope you enjoyed our jobs for January, have you read our latest blog piece on “Hedging for 365 days of the year”?

What to do in the garden this December

What to do in the garden this December

December 1st, 2018 by

What to do in the garden this December

1) After a week of November rain, often heavy, fallen leaves are becoming a congealed mass in many garden corners. Try and clear them away to the compost heap before they start to rot and affect so many plants such as herbaceous, alpines, low-growing shrubs and plants in containers.

2) Any plants which are now too big for their location or ‘in the wrong place’ can be safely moved, and the soil in December is usually warm enough to stimulate the production of new roots.
Stake tall new plants to prevent wind rock until well-rooted and reduce their size if appropriate.

3) Ensure that house drains and run-off areas from the garden are not choked by leaves. It’s a time of year when water can often be found backing up in the most surprising places!

4) When lower temperatures and frost is forecast, make sure your bird feeding stations are clean and regularly refilled. The same applies to an accessible water supply. Remember, cooked food as
opposed to bird seed, may well attract vermin.

5) With long periods of rain expected, don’t forget to put a glass or plastic sheet over your alpine plants to keep off the majority of the rain.

6) Place under cover any tender plants which have been overlooked earlier in the autumn and ensure that such plants growing in the ground are wrapped in straw and hessian. Polythene is not the best material as it prevents air from getting to the plant.

7) Ensure that outside taps, and taps in unheated buildings, are well insulated for the winter months. Turn off the stop-taps if this is possible to prevent the potential for them freezing.

8) Take the opportunity on dry days to treat fences and sheds with a form of creosote which is not harmful to plants. If you have to remove climbers from the wall, take the opportunity to
prune them whilst you have full access, and also check for damage to the fence or wall.

9) If you intend to get on with the winter digging, cover a suitable area with polythene so that the ground is not waterlogged when you wish to dig.

10) Clean moss and lichens from paths and walls. There are several commercial brands of cleaner available, but bleach is equally as good. A power washer will make light work of the job,
which is impressive when completed!

11) Cut back the long shoots of ornamental vines, thin them out and then cut side shoots back to two buds.

12) Any damaged areas of turf can be replaced by new turfs or exchanged for a similar piece of turf in a less obvious position in the lawn. Do not perform this task when the soil is frozen.

13) Check apples and other stored fruits for signs of rotting and throw out damaged fruit for the birds.

14) Take the opportunity to cut back overgrown hedges, either mechanically on deciduous plants, or by the use of a saw or secateurs on large leafed evergreens such as laurel or rhododendrons.
Wait until growth starts in the spring before pruning conifer hedges.

Hedging for 365 days of the year

Hedging for 365 days of the year

January 9th, 2019 by

Wanting a hedge 365 days of the year? An evergreen hedge provides structure and privacy throughout the year, here’s 6 of the best.

Hedging for 365 days of the year

1. Prunus Rotundifolia – a vigorous, dense evergreen shrub suitable for almost all locations. Large, glossy green leaves make this a go-to plant above other Prunus varieties. Growing up to 60cm a year, trim in spring and autumn to keep a good shape.

2. Taxus Baccata – a dark green evergreen hedging plant great for shade and happy to be pruned. It is not the fastest growing evergreen variety but will grow 30-40cm per year.

3. Cupressus Leylandii – is one of the fastest evergreen hedging varieties that can grow up to 3ft per year with its eventual height reaching up to 12m. Great as a windbreak, general barrier and for noise reduction. Available in various different pot sizes and heights.

4. Buxus Sempervirens – offer a low slow growing evergreen hedging plant that will be easy to keep clipped, making it the perfect edge to a pathway, formal hedge or as a topiary shape. It is happy in full sun – full shade and can grow up to 10cm per year.

5. Prunus Lusitanica -also known as Portuguese laurel, boast luscious dark green glossy leaves on deep maroon stems with small, fragrant white flowers in the summer and red berries in the autumn which are very popular with birds.

6. Griselinia Littoralis – are known for their glossy, apple green foliage and make a fantastic dense hedge that offers screening and year-round interest. Griselinia is perfect for a formal hedge as it can be clipped neatly. It is perfect in a full sun position.

Needing hedging for shade? full sun? and an exposed site? check out our other hedging blogs –

Shade hedging plants
Hedging plants for full sun
Hedging for an exposed site

 

Pupils get planting for National Tree Week

Pupils get planting for National Tree Week

December 4th, 2017 by

Pupils get planting for National Tree Week

Pupils from Kirk Hammerton C of E Primary School received a lesson in the importance of planting trees this week from our procurement manager Jonathan Whittemore.

We also donated 45 bulbs, one for each child at the school to plant as part of National Tree Week which is organised each year by The Tree Council.

National Tree Week which took place from 26 November – 4 December is the UK’s largest tree celebration annually launching the start of the winter tree planting season and a chance for communities to do something positive for their local treescape.

Jonathan Whittemore presented to pupils on Tuesday 29 November about the importance of trees in the environment and also gifted a tree and plant pot for the entrance to the school.
Jonathan said:

“As a socially responsible business and one of the very few net contributors to the environment it’s very important to us to work with the local community to promote trees more than ever and to help ensure a green future for everything from humans and wildlife to bugs.

“Without trees, our towns and countryside would look bleak and uninspired.

“We enjoy working with the school and know that by visiting this week it has helped develop the children’s appreciation of the importance of tree planting and the sustainability of the local environment.”

Class 1 teacher, Brogan Fraser said:

“Following the event, the children took time to notice the trees around the school grounds, admiring their beautiful shapes and qualities. In the classroom they have been more aware of all the resources in school which are made from wood. Great fun was had by all!”

Executive Headteacher, Elizabeth Mellor said:
“I would like to add my sincere thanks to Johnsons of Whixley for their support of the school. The children benefitted enormously from the whole experience and as a result have a better understanding of how important trees are and also how to care for our environment.”

As part of our continued work in the local community, we also delivered 32 miniature Christmas trees to every child at Kirk Hammerton Nursery School.

Why bees are so important to us

Why bees are so important to us

July 10th, 2017 by

Why bees are so important to us

1) Every third mouthful of food we eat relies on pollinators.
2) Approximately 250,000 species of flowering plants depend on other plants to help them pollinate.
3) Broccoli, Asparagus, Cucumbers, Apples, Cherries, Almonds and Watermelons are among foods that would no longer be available if bees ceased pollinating.
4) Bees pollinate 70 of the top 100 food crops we eat.
5) By keeping flowers pollinated, bees help floral growth and provide attractive habitats for other insects and birds.
6) Imagine a Summer’s day without flowers. Bees help beautify our planet.
7) Honey bees help contribute to our economy. Inn 2008, the British Bee Keepers Association estimated that they contribute £165 million annually.

8) And last but not least, bees are the only insect in the world that produces food eaten by man (honey).

Keeping your garden green is more important than ever before

Keeping your garden green is more important than ever before

July 27th, 2017 by

Keeping your garden green is more important than ever before

With the rise of low-maintenance gardens, and plant-free drives, it is important to remind ourselves just how important our gardens and green fronts are.

Johnsons of Whixley’s Ellie Richardson shares eight reasons why you should be like us – and keep you garden green!
1) Trees and plants help prevent flooding by absorbing water
2) Gardens increase a feeling of wellbeing
3) Trees and plants filter air pollution
4) You will attract bees and butterflies, even if you don’t have a large garden
5) You will increase the aesthetic appeal of your neighborhood
6) Your trees and plants give nature a home
7) Your hedging and trees help create a sound barrier
8) Porous drives soak up 50% more rain then tarmac or paving

Johnsons plays key role in boosting UK tree population

Johnsons plays key role in boosting UK tree population

November 27th, 2017 by

Johnsons plays key role in boosting UK tree population

We’ve grown and supplied more than 2.5 million trees during the last 12 months, placing us as one of the UK’s biggest net contributors to the nation’s tree population.

This week is National Tree Week (25 November – 3 December) which is organised by the UK Tree Council to mark the start of the winter tree planting season and aims to encourage communities to do something positive for their local treescape.Just 13% of the UK’s total land area is covered in trees, compared with an average elsewhere in the EU of about 35%. In England, the figure is just 10%.

It is estimated that we have grown and supplied a total of 110 million trees and hedging plants since our chairman John Richardson purchased the business in 1964, and we are continuing to supply plants and trees to high-profile projects up and down the country.

The variety of trees grown ranges from forest trees and woodland plantings, to smaller hawthorn and fringe hedging species.

Our group managing director, Graham Richardson, said: “National Tree Week provides an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the many benefits trees bring, including improved air quality, flash flood prevention and shelter for wildlife, and acknowledges the importance of protecting and nurturing British woodland.”

“The benefits of strong woodland coverage in the UK are clear, not least of all because wood is an essential material in construction, and we are proud to play such a significant role in boosting the nation’s tree population.”

 

How to create a bird friendly garden

How to create a bird friendly garden

January 14th, 2018 by

How to create a bird friendly garden

Want to create a bird friendly garden but not sure how? Check out our guide below.

1) Grasses not only provide cover their seed heads provide food and material for birds’ nests.
2) Providing birds with a feeder encourages them into your garden. Once they know there’s a food source there they will be back again for more.
3) Why not add a bird bath or small pond to your garden to encourage birds. Birds love a good splash and can quench their thirst.
4) Certain shrub varieties provide great cover, nectar, attract insects and some even provide birds with berries.
5) Adding a bird house to your garden will provide birds with additional shelter and more options on when it comes to building their nest.
6) Trees are great as they provide a natural location for birds to build a nest, some provide nectar, berries and trees often attract insects.
7) Ground cover like Ivy provides cover for birds and also attracts insects.

How to create a Dog friendly garden

How to create a Dog friendly garden

April 6th, 2018 by

How to create a Dog friendly garden

1) There are lots of plants in your garden that are potentially harmful to your dog if eaten including daffodils, Tulips, foxgloves, delphinium and yew. Either replace them with more suitable plants or make sure you keep an eye on your dog when they’re out in the garden.

2) Make sure your fences are safe and secure along with keeping your gate locked to make sure your dog can’t escape. Remember they can jump quite high if they want to so ensure your hedge and fence is at a good height.

3) Keep your dog away from slugs and snails as they can catch lungworm if they eat an infected slug or snail.4) Do provide a shaded area for your dog in summer, dogs have fur and often get too hot during summer.

5) Do keep chemicals and pesticides away from your dog as it could make your dog very sick.

6) Do choose robust and sturdy plants. Dogs are known for digging and running through plants so do choose robust shrubs and established perennials.

How to create a bee friendly garden for summer

How to create a bee friendly garden for summer

April 9th, 2018 by

How to create a bee friendly garden

1) Add nectar and pollen rich flowers to your garden including varieties such as Lavender, eryngium, heather, Ivy, Mahonia, Geranium, Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Salvia and many other varieties.
2) Small garden? No problem, plant up seasonal containers that will encourage bees, they will particularly be drawn to plants in the sun.
3) If your garden is big enough, a natural meadow provides additional nectar and pollen and encourages different species of bees.
4) Make a bee bath using low water and stones they can land on. Don’t fill it too deep as it may drown the bees.
5) Avoid using pesticides as these could be harmful to the bees.
6) Think about the different seasons, particularly spring and late summer, where the bees need a boost.
7) Do provide bees shelter by leaving stumps or creating your own ‘bee hotel’.

Tips for your allotment

Tips for your allotment

August 14th, 2018 by

Check out our allotment tips for national allotment week.

•Crop rotation – this is a great practice to follow which helps with soil fertility, weed control and pest and disease control. Split your plot into sections depending on how much of one group you want to grow then each year rotate by one plot. This is normally done over 3 or 4 years
3 Year
• Year one
Section one: Potatoes
Section two: Legumes, onions and roots
Section three: Brassicas
• Year two
Section one: Legumes, onions and roots
Section two: Brassicas
Section three: Potatoes
• Year three
Section one: Brassicas
Section two: Potatoes
Section three: Legumes, onions and roots
4 Year
• Year one
Section one: Legumes
Section two: Brassicas
Section three: Potatoes
Section four: Onions and roots
• Year two
Section one: Brassicas
Section two: Potatoes
Section three: Onions and roots
Section four: Legumes
• Year three
Section one: Potatoes
Section two: Onions and roots
Section three: Legumes
Section four: Brassicas
• Year four
Section one: Onions and roots
Section two: Legumes
Section three: Brassicas
Section four: Potatoes

• Clear weeds from the site 1st. Do not use a rotavator as this can spread the roots of weeds such as Nettles and Bindweed which will then re grow. Instead cut down to a manageable height and use a fork or spade to dig out. This may seem labour intensive but worth it for great soil.

• Consider what you want to grow as some crops can be in the ground years or take up large amounts of room. Soft fruit bushes will require cages with netting to protect from birds.

• Weeding between rows with a hoe in dry weather will help keep weeds under control.

• Watering – plants need to be encouraged to search for water deeply, so water well once a week instead of a light sprinkling every day. If you have a shed on your plot, invest in a water butt. This helps create a convenient supply of water.

• Sun – Ideally a plot should be in sun which is ideal for most crops. If you have a more shaded location, then hose crops wisely. Currents and berries along with chards, kale and lettuces will grow well if planted out with an established root system.

• Soil – some crops won’t grow in particular soil so get dirty and test your soil. It is also worth doing a pH test as you may need to add soil improvers. Ideally you are looking for a pH level between 6.1 and 7 as most plants will grow in this as it is high in nutrient. It is always worth adding good rich organic matter each year.

• Pest and Diseases – the most common issue is with slugs and snails. They can devastate a crop over night so try and use organic control such as Wool pellets or go on a hunt overnight and pick them off. Watch out for diseases such as Allium Leaf Minor, Potato and Tomato Blight and Club Root.

• Make you own compost – from 1 simple compost bin to 3 large crates, there is a way to make your own compost for every size plot. Starting in the spring mix green, nitrogen-rich material with brown, carbon-rich material. Keep adding to the pile, breaking up larger items and if it becomes dry spray with water. Turn regularly with a fork as it starts to cool down. This method should see compost ready in 4 months.

• Mulching – one of the best for nutrients and cost effective is leaf mulch. Simply take a black bin liner and put a few holes in the side and bottom. Collect your leaves and put them in the bag along with a spray of water. Tie the back and place it in a shaded area until the following autumn when you can apply to the plot. Try to exclude conifer and evergreen as these take several years to decompose. If you have a larger area and a lot of leaves to collect, make a leaf bin out of stakes and chicken netting.

• Wildlife friendly plots – help to encourage bees, butterflies, hedgehogs and frogs especially in more urban areas. Avoid using harsh chemicals buy using companion planting or manually removing pests. Think about creating a wild flower section which may also include a small pond. Set up bee-boxes, hedgehogs-homes and log piles.

Why Johnsons are net contributors to the environment

Why Johnsons are net contributors to the environment

June 4th, 2018 by

Why Johnsons are net contributors to the environment  

To mark World Environment Day on the 5th June, Johnsons is proud to list some of the ways we help make a positive contribution to the world around us:

• We achieved BS8555 ‘Development of Systems leading to full Environmental System’ in 2006
• We are accredited to the international quality standard ISO 9001:2015, and the environmental standard ISO 14001:2015, making us one of the few true net contributors to the environment
• No non-conforming activities have been identified for the past three years
• Our irrigation system uses rainfall and water wastage from the reservoirs
• We were identified as having the best UK nursery management systems by the MOD prior to their Aldershot refurbishment
• Our recycling for all waste, including plastic pots, is audited externally
• Our long release fertilizer included in all potting composts to ensure a nutrient reserve after planting
• 240 nursery stock growers have been inspected as potential suppliers of the widest range of available nursery stock
• The use of peat in our compost has been reduced by 40% by using crushed bark and wood fibre as alternatives
• Seven of our internal managers act as internal auditors of the environmental system
• All of our commercial vehicles now conform to the low emission standards
• All of our articulated truck trailers are low loading high volume spec
• All stores of liquids are fully bunded to prevent leakage to ground
• Our drainage systems have been upgraded to reduce scouring and silt erosion
• We are a member of the Ethical Compliance Scheme
• We have introduced a plant bio-security policy
• We have improved water oxygenation installed in irrigation ponds
• We have installed a bio-mass boiler installed to heat our propagation glasshouse and four staff houses
• We have erected many bird boxes erected and nesting birds are always protected
• We drilled an additional at Whixley to reduce use of mains water
• Our environmental systems work in tandem with quality and health and safety
• Our 200Kwh Biomass boiler has reduced the use of heating oil and provides winter protection for 1000s of plants
• The plants we supply embellish their surroundings

Our guide to outdoor watering in dry weather

Our guide to outdoor watering in dry weather

June 26th, 2018 by

Our guide to outdoor watering in dry weather

Drought (the definition for a gardener): drought is considered to occur in a garden when the soil moisture in the plant root zone is exhausted and the plants wilt. A continuous period of 15 days when there has been no measurable rain.

1) In hot weather, water in the cool of the early morning, in the evening the soil and the atmosphere will still be very warm and applied water will quickly evaporate.

2) Frequent light watering does not penetrate deep into the soil, soak the soil to a good depth from time to time. This will encourage deeper rooting and the tapping of water at lower levels.

3) After a heavy watering apply a mulch around the plant or tree, leaving 4-6 inches around the main stem to prevent fungal attacks. Remember that fine water absorbing roots are not under the trunk, but towards the edge of the plant canopy.

4) If water is not available it has been traditional to hoe the surface soil, but not deeply as you may be cutting surface roots. A crumbly, hoed surface will prevent transpiration from lower depths and facilitate the rapid absorption of rain, or water, which is applied.

5) When watering with a hose, use a rose in the end so that there is no solid water stream as this would contribute to water run-off and erosion.

6) There are now many good water sprinklers on the market which have a wide range of spray patters for efficient watering in a round or rectangular pattern. A sprinkler in conjunction with a water timer in the hose line will make the whole process so much easier.

7) Seep-hoses are particularly useful as they can be wound amongst plants that are susceptible to drought and left down all year.

8) Whenever possible, use rainwater (collected in a rainwater butt) for watering lime hating plants. such as rhododendrons, camellias, etc.

9) It’s worth noting that, half an inch of rain equals approx. 13,600 galls/acre or 2.8 gall/sq.

10) Remember, waterlogging can be as bad as drought!

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