The year gallops on and in a ever so fast moving world it’s reassuring that gardening takes a much deserved breather as the start of the new growing season, autumn, begins. Well, I say that slightly tongue in cheek, of course, as its been hectic here as we finalise our new Mail-
Certainly the Autumn is all about planning for the spring and further ahead, deciding on changes we might want to make through the winter months and the promise of a new season and all that it brings. As we prepare for our Apple & Honey Show Weekend (26th & 27th Sept), it’s also about enjoying the fruits of our labours and about looking for new plants to grow and enjoy. One plant that certainly caught my eye and is now available is a new compact patio raspberry called ‘Ruby Beauty’ (pictured above). As our gardens decrease in size, so more productive and compact versions of popular favourites are being developed by growers. ‘Ruby Beauty’ is a sweet tasting, summer cropping variety growing just 1m (3ft) high, so is perfect for pots of around 45cm (18in) across. Its compact habit means it can be netted easily and you can eat the fruits if you wish from your sun lounger -
Happy and productive gardening folks!
TOP BULBS FOR PERFECT SPRING COLOUR PT1
The flower bulb market has changed immeasurably over recent years as we become more colour focused in the way we buy our spring flowering bulbs, writes Chris Day. Bulbs are an incredibly useful way of brightening up gardens, patios and balconies from as early as January and are easily one of the most simple and rewarding garden plants to grow.
Coming in all shades -
Getting the most out of your bulbs is not difficult. If you do a bit of research, you'll find you can actually put together a series of bulbs that will give continuous colour from January through to June. This is especially important if you like a stream of colour in your pots when so-
This will of course depend on what you actually like bulb-
If you want your Snowdrops and Winter Aconites to flower this coming January then aim to purchase both of them 'in the green' as it's called. That means you can see the flower you are buying, and check it has been correctly identified. If you're happy to wait a year or two for your Snowdrops and Winter Aconites to appear, then buy the bulbs. Whichever way you choose, it will not be long until you can divide the clumps of Snowdrops and you'll find you have plenty to fill the garden.
TOP BULBS FOR PERFECT SPRING COLOUR PT2
What to plant when?
• Plant spring flower bulbs such as Daffodils, Crocus and Hyacinths, preferably by the end of October but don't worry if that runs into November.
• Plant Tulips in November or even into December, provided the soil is still workable.
• Plant hardy summer-
5 step guide to bulb planting in borders
• Try to plant the bulbs in groups of at least 5 (always work in odd numbers in nature!) which makes for a much better final display.
• Dig a hole wide and deep enough for the bulb. The rough planting depth is worked out by measuring the bulb from base to tip and doubling or tripling this.
• Use Empathy Bulb Starter with Rootgrow when planting bulbs and put some of this product into the hole you've created and place some soil mixed with compost around the bulb to give them the best possible start.
• Place the bulbs in the hole with their shoot facing upwards and space them at least twice the bulbs own width apart.
• Replace the soil and gently firm with the back of a rake and avoid walking or standing on the soil as this can damage the bulbs.
Look out for this year’s Bulb of the Year, the stunning Iris ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley’ on your next visit. This beauty grows just 6in (15cm) tall and flowers in February into early March and looks especially good in pots and baskets as well as prominent front of border locations.
FINMERE C of E PRIMARY SCHOOL WINS SPUD CHALLENGE
Finmere Church of England Primary School has triumphed in this year’s Potato Challenge. Eleven schools took part in our spud growing contest, despite a difficult growing season.
Each school was provided with potato bags, six potato tubers, potting compost, fertiliser and instructions.
The heaviest crop from one bag was grown by the pupils of Finmere, weighing in at a whopping 1.25kg. The combined weight of their six was was 5.38kg. Grendon Underwood Combined School came second with 2.35kg, and in third place, Thornborough Infant School weighed in at 2.26kg. Well done to all the schools who took part.
LATEST UPDATE FROM EVENLEY WOOD GARDEN
We hope that the Garden will be at its best for the two weekends we have reserved in our calendar for autumn colours, writes Marketa Hermova from Evenley. However, an arrival of autumn colours so as unpredictable as the British weather, so let's hope we've got it right. We will be open over the weekends of the 17th -
Middle Glade offers a chance to see Betula albosinensis ‘Kansu’, a tree with remarkable bark. The reddish bark of Acer griseum catches attention all year around. We are proud of the collection of Euonymus situated in Pond Ride, Holly Walk and North Glade. Some of them grow in Desert and Azalea Glade. Euonymus alatus turns its green colour to a deep pink every year and produces remarkable looking fruits. This Euonymus is easily distinguishable from others as it is characterised by unmistakable dark red berries and special branches that experts call ‘wings’ (pictured above left).
The range of Hydrangeas, such as H. macrophylla 'Blue Sky', H. paniculata 'Pink Diamond' (pictured left) are the other stars of the Autumn Show. The majority of them have been planted on a bank near the Meadow, just on the border where acid soil suddenly become alkaline. As a result, the Hydrangeas change their flower colour each year. The oak Quercus rubra aurea 'Evenley Gold' sitting just in the centre of the garden, holds its gold colour into August and then turns to red. For interested botanists, background information about this particular tree has been published by International Dendrology Society in the Yearbook 2014. For more autumnal attractions, South Path houses a range of horse chestnuts. See the yellows, greens and browns that dominate Aesculus's leaf foliage, and of course, a mass of large spiny fruits perfectly ripe for the conker season.
The majority of autumn-
HOW WE PUT OUR MAIL-
Every year Buckingham Nurseries compiles a new mail-
In a world of digital downloads, 4G and computer wizardry its still reassuring to know that some processes still require a fair amount of human input, creative thinking and heaps of thoroughness.
As you all probably know Buckingham Nurseries has been offering a mail-
The process has to start somewhere and usually that is at the end of our bare-
Gardening is a strange beast – you can have trends, fashions and fads so knowing and perhaps second-
The positives to take from this are the introduction of new, improved versions of varieties, new plants per se and of course developing new growing strategies to raise our plants more effectively such as the introduction of the revolutionizing RootGrow product over 10 years ago.
So, the process of creating our new catalogue moves on to deciding what plants have underperformed and that may need to be removed, what to add in the form of new introductions and even to look at the sizes of plants currently being offered. Meetings take place, brainstorming ideas are bounced around and then, hopefully given time, a plan of action is created. Next prices of new plants have to be agreed, growers contacted and orders placed in view that we are planning sales based on these prices being fixed for the next 12 months. Prices have to be checked across all our potted, bare-
As we offer a comprehensive mail-
HOW WE PUT OUR MAIL-
This process takes many weeks and in the background, the new catalogue needs to progress and evolve as well.
We write, illustrate and design our own catalogue in-
At this stage, the catalogue effectively becomes a bit of a jigsaw puzzle with so many new additions, design changes, new images to add and any structural or aesthetic enhancements to the overall design all need to be taken into account.
This year’s catalogue will have a distinctive new-
Once all the components are in place and everyone is happy (design by committee can have its frustrations!) then the catalogue needs to be fully proof-
Finally, at the proofing stage, we see the ‘before printed version’ to allow us to examine the images – make sure they are clear, that the colours are good as well as the layout and any new changes look okay on the page.
It is at this stage, at the final version of a PDF file (techno speak here for a portable document format!), that you simply have to let it go on its onward journey to the printers. The next time we see it it will be as a completed bound glossy A5 brochure and the work is done……, well not quite!
Our printed catalogue simply mirrors what is on-
In gardening terms we always talk about essential tasks, however creating a catalogue is much more about collating, creating, evolving and working to timescales and deadlines -
New lines in the 2015/2016 catalogue includes four new Japanese Maples – ‘Crimson Queen’ (AGM), ‘Shin-
In the hedging range we’ve added Photinia ‘Crunchy’, a fabulous new chocolate coloured variety with finely toothed foliage (pictured right).
There are a number of new Heuchera – including ‘Black Taffeta’, ‘Fire Alarm’, ‘Lime Marmalade’, ‘Rio’ and ‘Peach Flambe’ (pictured left), plus many more.
Finally, Polystichum proliferum, the Australian mother shield fern and the brightly coloured evergreen grass Carex ‘Evergold’ (AGM) make a welcome appearance into the fern and grass sections of the new catalogue.
BE CREATIVE FOR CHRISTMAS & SUPPER WITH SANTA
Is it too early to mention Christmas? Whoops, sorry too late, but we have to here and for a good reason! HTA Design a Christmas Card Competition runs from late August to 18th October. Last year’s winner, local girl Emily Wright (pictured right) won the national competition with her design for her school, St James & St John Church of England School in Chackmore.
Please pick up an entry form from our Customer Service Desk. We will be also contacting local schools in the area directly as we’d like to encourage as many of them as possible to take part too!
We are also starting to take bookings for our popular Supper With Santa with his little helpers, which we ran for the first time last year. Not only will the children enjoy their supper but also seasonal storytelling as well as taking away a gift. The dates in December are Tuesday 8th and Thursday 10th, Monday 14th, Wednesday 16th and Friday 18th. The magic starts at 4pm and lasts around 45 minutes. The cost is £9.99 per child and you can book at the Customer Service Desk or call 01280 822133.
APPLE & HONEY SHOW WEEKEND UPDATE
Our special weekend (26th & 27th September) to celebrate the Apple takes a sweet twist this year as we stage the North Bucks Beekeepers Association Show on the Sunday. There will be plenty of advice from the local beekeeping group here as well as members competing in the various classes of the honey show. Roger and Jane Woodbridge (pictured right) will be on hand throughout the weekend for bee-
We are also welcoming The Mid Shires Orchard Group (MSOG), a friendly orchard group, covering Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. The MSOG aim is to conserve and promote enjoyment and use of the local orchards and rich apple traditions of these four ‘mid shires’ counties. They organise apple-
Top RHS Fruit Adviser and Judge, Gerry Edwards will be looking after our apple identification throughout the weekend. Please bring along 2-
We always enjoy the fruit wisdom from Fritz De Zutter and he’ll be taking your questions on fruit growing, rootstock advice and care of your crops. Fritz is an ambassador for Northamptonshire’s Moulton College where he taught for many years and now imparts invaluable career advice to those interesting in coming into the world of horticulture.
We’ll also have close-
We are welcoming Virgin Trains offering community advice about the railways, safety advice for children, especially in view of the railway returning to Winslow and you’ll also have the opportunity to have a taste of First Class travel food. Finally, don’t forget to pick up your free Virgin Trains Goody Bag!
An extended and new-
With Christmas around the corner we do have a great range of Mrs Bridges products, including a host of particularly well-
Elsewhere, we have an increased range of Cartwright & Butler products, many displayed on a fantastic wooden cart, and a delicious range of confectionary goodies, including tempting biscuits and savory food.
We have also greatly increased our range of bottled beers and wines. On the bottled beer front we have Nobby’s, a micro-
Hornes, a new microbrewery based in the village of Bow Brickhill, near Woburn, have now joined the shelves. We are stocking their range of three beers – Triple Goat Pale Ale, Triple Goat IPA and Triple Goat Porter. The Head Brewer, Ryan Horne, has a real passion for real ales and craft beer and he has devoted time and effort learning about traditional brewing skills and perfecting recipes using only quality, natural ingredients.
Chafor Wine has added a Rosé (2014) to their range. It is described as a “mouth-
Tim Chafor, owner of the Chafor Wine Estate in Gawcott, will be joining us at our Apple & Honey Show Weekend (26th & 27th September), so you’ll get a good opportunity to chat to Tim and perhaps sample the new Rosé too.
PETUNIA BUBBLEGUM COMPETITION WINNER
The children (under 11’s) of the village of Croughton were set a fantastic growing challenge earlier this summer by Stuart Lowen, the Marketing Manager from Ball-
To get involved in the competition each of the children received a small plug plant, a 13cm pot and compost to raise the plant through the summer together with some growing instructions and competition rules.
Petunia 'Easy Wave Bubblegum' is one of the latest colours in the Easy Wave range and one of the easiest Petunias to grow – perfect for pots, baskets and borders!
TOP TASKS FOR LATE SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER PT1
LAWNS Time to get them back into shape after the comparatively dry and warm summer. Mow less frequently, and raise the height of cut as the growth rate of the grass slows down. This will help the lawn to withstand the last of the warm, dry weather, and also keep it resistant to treading as the wet weather arrives.
You can harden your lawn up for winter by applying an autumn lawn feed, which is high in potassium. Do this after scarifying and aerating (pictured) but before applying a top dressing. Do not give summer feeds that are high in nitrogen as this will only result in weak, soft growth, which will be prone to disease in the autumn weather.
This is also an ideal time to create a new lawn either from sowing grass seed or laying turf. Make sure the area is completely clear of annual and perennial weeds before preparing the soil for seeding and laying turf.
VEGGIES Sow Broad Beans and hardy Peas for early crops next year – cloche cover may be required for protection. There is still time to sow Spring Cabbages, Japanese Onions, Turnips for green tops, winter Lettuces, Spinach, Endive, Corn Salad, Land Cress and baby salad leaves. Harvest Pumpkins and Squashes and leave them in a sunny but dry location to allow their skins to harden. Then store them in a cool, dry, dark place. Lift Potatoes, Carrots and Beetroot, but leave Parsnips until they have been frosted. Harvest Onions and bend over the leaves of others to help prevent seeding and help hasten ripening. Dig up remaining potatoes before slug damage potentially spoils them. Remove Tomato leaves to expose unripe fruit. Pick and store herbs, collect seeds where possible.
TOP TASKS FOR LATE SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER PT2
PLANTERS and baskets will need changing over from summer to winter plantings shortly. Replace the used compost with a multi-
FRUITS Pick Apples, Pears and Grapes when they are ripe. Store unblemished apples and pears and cook or eat the remaining. However, do keep an eye on your fruit trees and remove any rotting fruits/damaged fruits caused by increased wasp activity as these may spread disease. Lift and divide Rhubarb crowns from late October onwards. Pick Hazelnuts and Cobnuts when they start to change colour to an orange/brown. Be quick before the squirrel gets them! Cover, if practical, fig trees with horticultural fleece to keep the embryonic figs free from frost to allow them to continue to grow next year. Keep Strawberry runners under control. If you have clay soil, now is the best time to improve it before it becomes too wet or frozen. Tidy up around your strawberry plants, removing dead leaves and old straw. This improves air circulation and reduces the risk of pests and diseases building up.
QUICK TIPS Lift and divide your herbaceous perennials to create vigorous new plants -
BUCKINGHAM FORD OFFERS FOR GARDEN CARD HOLDERS
We’ve teamed up with Buckingham Ford to bring our Buckingham Garden Centre Garden Club holders some very special offers. Simply present your valid Garden Centre Card at the time of booking.
If you’re looking for a professional team to care for your car, look no more, at Buckingham Ford their team have spent their working life on all sorts of different makes of car not just Ford.
All Buckingham Ford work comes with a 12 month guarantee. They won’t be beaten on price either. If you find another member of Motor Codes using the same quality parts for a cheaper price within 5 miles of the garage, they will price match.
It’s been a warm summer, so is your car keeping you as cool as it should? Come in for an air conditioning ReGas, if it’s not colder when you leave we will give you your money back! Air conditioning service half price £39.50.
Servicing offer of £24.85 off your MOT If your car is due a service and MOT we will do the MOT for just £30 if you are having a service at the same time, our service prices start at just £125.
Find us in Ford Street just behind the showroom on London Road just before the bridge going in to town.
POTTED HISTORY OF BUCKINGHAM FORD
Ian Redding, Managing Director of Buckingham Ford says: “I started adding up the years of experience at Buckingham Ford but it just got too much, let’s just say it adds up to many hundreds! Buckingham Ford opened its doors in 1996 when Mike Redding and myself took over the business from the Phillips family.
Some staff have been here longer than 1996, and a lot of us have been in the motor industry for over 30 years.
We have always prided ourselves on employing local people wherever we can, and from the many apprentices we have taken on since 1996, I am happy to say we now have some of these apprentices from many years ago in senior and management positions.
When we opened in 1996 we set out to provide all our clients with a hassle free car service or car sale experience as we could see back then that the industry was taking a turn to big dealerships with a high pressure selling mentality. As we wouldn’t enjoy this ourselves if we were the client, why should others? If you look at the many reviews we have on our websites, I think you will agree we have achieved just that!
Buckingham Ford look forward to providing that exact same service to you.
We also have Bicester Ford where we have a very experienced team led by Jeff Lawrence, if you are closer to Bicester you can contact them on 01869 323272.”
To book an appointment you can contact;
Buckingham Ford, Ford Street, Buckingham, MK18 1AQ.
Tel: 01280 812121
Bicester Ford, 16/18 Banbury Road, Bicester, OX26 2HJ
Tel: 01869 323272
The Buckingham Garden Centre Garden Card special offers are valid until the end of September 2015. It cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers in-
WEDNESDAY 16th SEPTEMBER A self-
SATURDAY 26th & SUNDAY 27th SEPTEMBER Our Apple & Honey Show Weekend with special expert guests, family entertainment and much much more.
WEDNESDAY 14th OCTOBER Our Garden Centre Talk this month delves into the dark side of plants as speaker Michael Brown talks Death in the Garden. Michael tells us: “Poisonous plants grow in many gardens, often without the owner realising how lethal that pretty flower can be. Join me on a journey through Myth, Magic, Passion and Murder. Be warned, you may never view a garden in the same way again.” Sounds great fun! To book a seat contact our Customer Service Desk. Garden Club Members free, £3 for non-
FRIDAY 16th OCTOBER We will be visiting two gardens reflecting the autumnal flavour of the season. First stop will be Mill Dean Garden, a relatively small but plant-
FRIDAY 16th OCTOBER Join us and join in one BIG PINK DAY for women facing breast cancer organised by Breast Cancer Care. Come and join the pink fun and enjoy tea and pink cake! All the Garden Centre staff are being encouraged to wear something pink too so should be fun!
Advanced notice: Our final Garden Centre talk for 2015 is on WEDNESDAY 11th NOVEMBER and will be on Houseplants Made Easy with BGC’s Chris Day. Practical advice on looking after your plants and how to get the best from seasonal plants as Christmas approaches. Book at Customer Services Desk.
CLICK AND COLLECT
We are now pleased to offer a Click and Collect service on over a 1,000 products. Please check our web shop HERE for full details.
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 -