It seems apt in a year we celebrate the 400th birthday of William Shakespeare, the 300th birthday of William ‘Capability’ Brown and our glorious Queen at 90 years old, that flowers in forms of sonnets, prose, posies and visual interpretation figure so highly. No doubt later in the summer we’ll be subjected to the intense colour and vibrancy of Rio and the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, again flowers will feature. Flowers and their significance really should never be underestimated. They are, after all the workhorse of the garden border, pots and hanging baskets. They are the life blood to our pollinating honey bees and provide so much pleasure from so little effort. So, whatever flowers you intend to plant over the summer months, think Daisies and help the Medical Detection Dogs charity (click HERE).
In this issue we launch a couple of treats for our Garden Centre Club Members. A special 10% off voucher for any Flopro irrigation and watering product. This offer runs until the 30th June so if you are planning to change your hose, sprinkler, cart or water gun, do take advantage of this great offer. Please bring the voucher from the back cover to gain your discount.
We are also promoting a limited number of garden plants, one each month and again exclusive to Garden Centre Club Members. These plants will be available at half-
Enjoy your late spring garden -
SHOP NEWS: FOOD HALL, LIGHTING, CANDLES & BBQs
TASTY TREATS In our Food Hall we have Cottage Delight offers on Dipping Crackers and Salsa for £3.50. On a range of Jams, Chutneys and Preserves we have a 2 for £4.50 offer running. Both of these multi-
Look out for the new range of Yokel yoghurts, available from both the Restaurant and the Food Hall. There are five delicious flavours to try -
SOLAR LIGHTING There is no doubt solar technology has moved on in leaps and bounds in recent years. We stock Cole & Bright solar lights with their attractive practical design so they look good during the daytime and then come into their own as dusk falls. All Cole & Bright products feature automatic on/off sensors, 8 hour run time and long lasting LEDs. Perfect to illuminate your beds, borders and pathways. We have a special offer on the Low Level Ice Orb Solar Light -
CITRONELLA You can keep the pesky midges and bugs at bay by using insect repellant Citronella candles in and around outdoor entertaining and dining areas. We are selling the Premier Citronella Candle range which includes larger individual candles with a plant fibre pot £2.29 each, a pack of four candles, £2.99 per pack and 50 tea lights at £7.49 per pack.
BE WEBER WISE You may have already dusted down the BBQ this spring. But if you haven’t, now is the time to get cracking. If you need any advice in purchasing a new BBQ, please do come along and have a chat with one of our sales team as we are major Weber BBQ stockists. We have the latest models, both gas and traditional charcoal, as well as a great range of accessories available. You can also order through our website HERE or take advantage of the Click & Collect service too. And just a reminder that we do sell Calor Gas: please ask for details at the Customer Service Desk.
“Ooooh he ís a lonely little Petunia in an onion patch, an Onion patch, an Onion patch. He ís a lonely little Petunia in an Onion patch. And all he does is cry all day.” These are the lyrics to a famous 1950s novelty song sung by a chap called Arthur Godfrey and if anything it proves our love/hate relationship with the humble Petunia continues. However, the good news today is that the Petunia is a quite different beast as it has received much development and breeding work from around the world and now comes in numerous variations, so removed from the original.
Grandiflora petunias are the most common type of Petunia around the Garden Centre. This much hybridised species features 8-
Multiflora Petunias such as ‘Duo’, ‘Frenzy’ and ‘Select Mixed’ have smaller flowers and are more abundant in bloom.
Milliflora Petunias are miniature versions of Petunias, compact and repeat flowering. This group has spawned the Calibrachoa Petunias or more commonly known as Million Bells. These are true trailing petunia growing only 12-
The well named spreading Petunias, namely the Wave Series, reach only 15cm tall and can rapidly cover a selected area to function as a blooming ground cover.
One of the best things to happen to the humble Petunia is how the plant hybridisers have worked some of their special magic at creating amazing novelty varieties. We’ve seen a fair few at the Garden Centre over the years including ‘Phantom’ (pictured top right) and ‘Crazytunia’. The spectacular introduction for this year is Petunia ‘Night Sky’ (pictured left). It is being described as the world’s first speckled flower Petunia. The white speckles against the deep blue petals resemble stars on a clear night. When we saw it at last year’s Ball Colegrave Open Evening event we were blown away so it is bound to make a great talking point in a garden It is best grown in a basket or windowbox where you see the flowers close up.
Keeping petunias well fed and watered is the key to their success, however they do need plenty of sunshine to get the best from them. The occasional trimming back of shoots that become overzealous will not do any harm, it will keep the plant compact and productive in generous bloom right through until the autumn frosts.
Last year we introduced a fabulous range of Heuchera to our Mail Order catalogue selection and we’ve been bowled over by the response from our customers to the varieties we offered. There’s no denying these evergreen groundcover plants do provide a wonderful foil for your borders, pots and even winter hanging baskets. They are incredibly versatile plants and simply keep on giving as they grow into a decent sized clump. Looking particularly good at the moment is Heuchera ‘Rio’ (shown right). This variety undergoes an amazing colour change with the leaves changing to peach/orange, then deepening to a rich red, then finally amber. This is a variety that is as vibrant as its city’s namesake! A new variety worth a mention is Heuchera ‘Pistache’ (pictured below left) with its vibrant lime-
If you haven’t already tidied over your established plants now is a good a time as any -
FRUITY REWARDS FOR ALL YOUR EFFORTS
It’s a busy time in the productive garden -
We are offering cell-
We also have Honeyberries available as potted plants, this time in a larger 2-
Regular customers will have seen our range of grafted Tomato plants over the past couple of years. In the early days the varieties supplied to us were generally unfamiliar, however this year we are offering many of the well-
Finally, water deeply and regularly while the plants are developing. Irregular watering, missing a week and trying to make up for it, leads to blossom end rot and cracking. The rule of thumb is to ensure your plants get at least 5cm of water per week, but during hot, dry spells, they may need more. If your plants start to look wilted for most of the day, you are definitely underwatering, so increase the amount given.
TOP TASKS FOR MAY / JUNE PT1
PICK vegetables when young on a regular basis to maintain continuity, quality and a full flavour and continue earthing-
LAWNS Care of the lawn in early summer very much depends on the state of the weather. If it has been hot and dry, there won't be much new growth, so set the mower blades high and leave the clippings to act as a mulch to preserve what little moisture there is. If the weather has been wet and growth generally lush, lower the blades and collect the clippings. Be on the lookout for weeds, especially in damp weather and remove them as soon as you can identify them. There is still time to apply a selective lawn weedkiller such as Weedol Lawn Weedkiller to eradicate difficult to control weeds such as Dandelion, Plantain (pictured left) and Common Mouse-
ROSES Prune your climbing and rambling Roses as soon as they have finished flowering. Repeat-
TOP TASKS FOR MAY / JUNE PT2
FLOWERS Keep cutting Sweet Peas to fill your house with scent and to keep the flowers coming on the plants. Remember they will benefit from a general plant feed applied along the row or at the base of the wigwam every 7-
HERBS Cut back herbs regularly to encourage a new flush of tasty leaves you can harvest before the first frosts. If you have the likes of Sage, Lemon Verbena, Rosemary, Thyme and Lavender then June is the ideal time to take semi-
CLEAR algae, blanket weeds and debris from garden ponds, and keep the water level topped up. Your pond filters and UV lights can now be turned on as temperatures rise. Any pumps on water features should be left on during sultry nights as oxygen levels are lower in such conditions. Remove promptly any dead foliage and blooms from Water Lilies and other aquatic plants such as Water Iris and Cotula. Cover ponds with safety grills in gardens where young children play. These have the additional advantage of preventing leaves falling into the pond.
GENERAL Use a stiff-
*Always follow the instructions on the container when using chemicals.
PLANT A DAISY TO HELP THE MEDICAL DETECTION DOGS
Our ‘Plant A Daisy’ Campaign continues to gain momentum we are now in the busy planting season. Your continued support is much appreciated and remember for each plant we sell that belongs to the Daisy family the Garden Centre will donate 10p to the Medical Detection Dogs Daisy fundraiser.
Good summer Daisies to look out for over the coming months include Achillea, Argyranthemum, Catanche, Coreopsis, Echinacea, Echinops, Erigeron, Helenium, Ligularia and Solidago to name just a few.
Dr Claire Guest, CEO of Medical Detection Dogs with Daisy
HERITAGE SEED VARIETIES
Last year many of our local customers watched with interest as rows and rows of heritage vegetables developed in the area occupied by bare root hedging plants in the winter. We realised that we had suitable land available and staff either with the knowledge of how to grow them or willing to learn. So by the end of the season we were able to return to Garden Organic a large quantity of saved seed.
Because of the very wet summer many of the bean seeds had not dried naturally on the plants but with drying areas available at Garden Organic, this was not a problem. The only seeds we were not able to return were the curcubits as, although not planted very close together, our bees worked hard with them and mixed the varieties by cross pollination. Also a beetroot which needed leaving in the ground longer than we had the ground available. The results from the squash were some weird and wonderful specimens which not only were interesting to look at but delicious to eat. Gardening is always a learning curve.
The seeds grown and harvested allow Garden Organic’s Seed Library to maintain these old and very often very tasty varieties which are often more resistant to disease and which are no longer available from commercial seed companies. If you would like to help preserve these old varieties, or simply to grow some to eat, find out more at www.gardenorganic.org.uk or call 024 7630 3517.
This year we will be carrying out the same exercise, so do come down to the where you will be able to see Peas and Beans with unusual coloured flowers and later equally unusual coloured pods, Squash, Lettuce and others. Leave it at least until late June as with this cold weather, and even occasional frost, it’s too early to plant most things out.
Water lilies and pond marginals benefit from being established during the warmer days of late spring into summer as the water is warming up nicely so allowing the plants to settle in quickly. Please do ask Paul or Ray in our Aquatics Department if you are looking for specific pond plants for a purpose. Plants are placed into specific groups including marginals, deep water plants, floating and submerged aquatics to help you decide what you may be looking for.
One of the main reasons for adding plants to the pond is to help pond balance. Reducing the amount of light reaching the water by establishing floating plant cover will also reduce the issue of the ‘pea soup effect’, which can be a curse in new as well as established ponds. As algae depend on sunlight, carbon dioxide and dissolved mineral salts for survival, reduce the amount of sunlight they receive by growing plants such as water lilies. Grow sufficient numbers of plants so that their floating leaves cover more than 50 per cent of the water surface.
RHS PLANTFINDER 2016/2017
If you were to visit the Garden Centre today, writes Pauline Brown, you would be able to find approximately 500 varieties of alpines, 110 varieties of ornamental grasses, 125 varieties of ferns, 1,400 varieties of shrubs, 8 as specimen plants, 300 varieties of ornamental trees,
200 varieties of fruit trees, 300 varieties of herbs and vegetables, 160 varieties of conifers, 50 varieties of heathers, 260 varieties of roses,
62 varieties of pot and cell grown hedging and a complete tunnel full of bedding plants, nearly 500 varieties, nearly 300 varieties of climbers and about 2,000 varieties of herbaceous perennials. In the winter when we are able to sell bare root stock these numbers will be boosted considerably. These numbers add up to 6,275 varieties but included in this year’s RHS Plant Finder there are 72,000 listed and who stocks each variety, unless it is so widely available that it will be easy to find. We have submitted returns to this journal since 1989 when they all had to be typed accurately on a typewriter, but nowadays I am grateful that our 700 plus entries can be selected from their database and only the few new varieties have to be typed in. These 700 are all plants which the RHS consider worth listing with the supplier’s name as they are not readily available. Many of the balance of 5,575 we stock are widely available so suppliers not named.
This emphasises the enormous number of different species of plants which we grow in our gardens in this country and, of course, on visiting a friend’s garden you are likely to see something you would like in your own. If on visiting us if you cannot find it amongst the stock on site, we will happily try to source it for you. Very often we will be successful, but if we are not we can always look it up in RHS The Plant Finder and give you the name of someone who does stock it.
WOOF! PLEASE HELP US WITH OUR NEWSPAPER APPEAL
Can you help? Up until recently when the Buckingham Advertiser was produced in Buckingham we had a very convenient arrangement with them to collect all unsold newspapers and these were ideal for wrapping pot grown plants for Mail Order in order to keep them safe during despatch. Unfortunately the Advertiser offices moved to Aylesbury. So we are looking for another source, and this is where you may be able to help. If you still read the news from paper (as Nia does pictured, right and Kiwi, below) rather than on line, live reasonably locally to the Garden Centre and visit reasonably regularly. The ideal paper is tabloid size without staples but broadsheet is perfectly satisfactory. Glossy magazines are not good as they are non-
FLOPRO: THE EASY CHOICE IN WATERING THIS YEAR
As spring days lengthen and the season brings warmer, drier days, it offers the promise of spending more time in the garden. It is also the time to get the hosepipe out. However, this can be the moment you discover your hose and its accessories haven’t survived the winter. If your hose is badly kinked, or has rotted, if those connectors have been damaged or lost, now is the time to replace them. You might also have been putting up with soaked hands and arms from a leaking spray gun, or suffering an annoying drip from an old or ill-
WHY CHOOSE FLOPRO? When buying a new hose or watering accessory, take time to explore what’s new in the garden centre, as its all too easy to turn to familiar brands, but it always pays to take a closer look at more innovative products. Flopro has developed, trialled and tested a new leak free range of watering products to create technologically advanced, ergonomic and long lasting products. Flopro is European manufactured and makes light and easy work of watering. So look for the bright blue in store today.
The Flopro range is made from premium materials ensuring a robust leak free solution. Spray guns are lightweight and comfortable to use, while the elite hose range ensures no twists and no kinks, and is even crush proof. Flopro is compatible with all watering brands with an easy snap-
THE RANGE Flopro has everything you need to start watering, from hoses, carts and reels to spray guns, connectors and sprinklers. The Flopro+ range boasts lightweight and ergonomic watering. The water flow is fully adjustable with just one hand ensuring zero hand fatigue that may occur by pulling a trigger. The Flopro+ connectors have super grip functionality meaning they won’t leak or burst off under water pressure. Handy accessories like the Ground Hose Guide can be spiked anywhere in the garden to control your hose and manoeuvre it away from plants and delicate objects. The Flopro Elite hose and the hose and cart system offers the ultimate in hose performance. The hose itself is anti-
Flopro is the quality new watering range that is built to last – bringing water to life
To find out more information about the full range, visit www.flopro-
Or visit the Flopro section on our webshop, www.buckinghamgardencentre.co.uk
WHAT’S ON & GARDEN CENTRE VISITS REMINDERS
EVERY SUNDAY Stock up on your fresh fruits and vegetables as Ashton Clinton-
WEDNESDAY 11th MAY Our guest speaker this month is Howard Drury and his talk ‘Getting the Best From Climbers & Wall Shrubs’. This presentation will give you heaps of practical and cultural advice on growing a wide range of plants for vertical and horizontal interest. All our talks are in the Talks Room in the Restaurant, at the new time of 4pm, and will last approximately 45 minutes with time for questions at the end. To book a seat please contact our Customer Service Desk on 01280 822133. Garden Club Members free, £3 for non-
SUNDAY 22nd MAY Three beautiful gardens in Turweston, a charming unspoilt stone built village in a conservation area will be opening under the National Gardens Scheme. Go along and visit Turweston House a 5-
WEDNESDAY 8th JUNE Our final talk this month takes us into the Magical World of Seeds with Jason Breed (pictured right) from Kings Seeds. Jason will be providing plenty of seasonal tips on the plants you should be raising from seed at this time of the year. See Wednesday 11th May for booking details. Our talks resume again in September and continue until November.
TUESDAY 28th JUNE Come along and join us for a two-
SUNDAY 3rd JULY This is EXCLUSIVE to Buckingham Garden Centre Garden Card Members. Evenley Wood Gardens admission, Lily & Rose Event and a one hour garden tour for £10. Full details from the Customer Service Desk. This is a self-
SPECIAL GARDEN CLUB MEMBERS OFFER COUPONS
If you are a member of our Garden Club, please print off and use these vouchers at the Garden Centre to obtain discounts with these very special offers exclusive to Garden Club Members only:
To download a PDF copy of our latest newsletter, please click here.
Featured on our web shop:
Buckingham Nurseries and Garden Centre,
Tingewick Road, Buckingham, MK18 4AE, UK.
Tel: 01280 822133 -