Celebrating our gardens is something we Brits take great pride in. Whether you visit local gardens open under the National Garden Scheme or opt to explore larger, grander gardens we can learn so much from them, especially when it comes to making them wildlife friendly. As our Apple & Honey Show approaches, it’s good to know garden plants are making a significant contribution to the plight of our honeybees. So, do please come along on Sunday 25th September and immerse yourself into all things bee-
Oh, by the way our regular Tasks of the Month feature has now moved to its new home on our website. We thought it would free up some space in the main printed newsletter for more features and stories which have a much wider appeal. You can check out the tasks at HERE.
Finally, as the nights draw in there’s some good news for Gardeners’ World fans as through September the BBC 2 programme runs for a full 60 minute rather than its usual potted 30 minutes. Monty Don has already mentioned ‘changes afoot’ so we look forward to at least extra GW at a time of year we can really appreciate it, and not forgetting scene stealers Monty’s two dogs Nigel and of course Nell!
Enjoy your summer garden -
SHOP: NEW BEER, MIX96 AND AIRPLANTS
ABINGTON ALES We are delighted to welcome an exciting addition to our Beer range in the name of Nelson, a tropical light and refreshing golden ale. Nelson is the first beer from Abington Ales and it is designed, crafted and perfected by Head Brewer Peter Brown. Yes, our own Peter, General Manager, has spent many hours creating Nelson and he is very proud of it. It has been very well received by enthusiastic testing panel so you’ll need to discover the taste for yourself! The beer features tropical notes of New World hops and a mixture of Maris Otter and Golden Promise Malted Barley. We will be giving you the opportunity to sample it soon. A 500 ml bottle of Abington Nelson costs £2.69.
JOIN THE MIX96 VIP CLUB If you are a regular customer you might be interested in the Mix96 VIP Club. The Garden Centre is one of many North Buckinghamshire based businesses taking part in this promotion and you will find offers exclusive to this club which you won’t necessarily find at the Garden Centre or through our Garden Club! Joining the Mix96 VIP Club is absolutely free, however to get the advantages you will need to visit HERE to sign up. There is also an app which you can download to your smart phone too. To check on offers directly on the Mix96 website please follow this link HERE.
AIR PLANTS or correctly called Tillandsia (or ‘Tillys’ for short) are making a welcome return to the houseplant scene. They were hugely popular during the 1980's as with many foliage houseplants and we suspect this was due in part to holiday makers jetting off to Florida and seeing the Spanish moss, undoubtedly the most famous air plant, literally hanging from the trees and telegraph poles and surviving by ‘living off the air’! Well, of course there’s a bit more to it than that. The humidity of foreign climes can be easily achieved by lightly mist spraying the plants with water, rainwater is best! Temperature wise keep them at 8°C or above. Like all flowering plants, yes they do flower in time, feed with air plant fertiliser every 14 days from March-
As air plants absorb their moisture directly from the atmosphere they can also take in other contaminates so its best to move the plants out of the room temporarily if you plan to use an aerosol air freshener or furniture polish, just to be on the safe side!
Air plants can grow or hang on anything -
SHOP: POPPY POWER
POPPY POWER We are delighted to report that Gardman, the UK’s leading garden products and wild bird care supplier, is joining forces with The Royal British Legion to help raise £200,000 for serving members and veterans of the UK Armed Forces and their families through the launch of a charity version of the popular poppy design bird feeder and a charity wild bird feed blend available in two sizes.
We will be stocking The Royal British Legion branded Poppy Bird Feeder alongside two sizes of the charity branded premium Wild Bird Seed Blend. The Poppy Bird Feeder will be £6.99 with the Wild Bird Seed Blend selling at £4.99 and £14.99 for 1.8kg and 12.55kg sizes. Gardman will donate 50p for every sale of its Poppy Bird Feeder, 50p for each pack of 1.8kg bird feed and £1.50 per pack of its 12.55kg charity Wild Bird Seed Blend to the Charity.
The Gardman Poppy Bird Feeder has already proved popular with our customers and is a stunning garden ornament that can be used all year round, bringing style and colour to any garden display or outdoor space. The practical, yet elegant cast iron feeder is decoratively painted to look like a colourful, red poppy and is mounted on a strong metal stake for secure, easy positioning in borders, lawns or pots -
The Royal British Legion charity premium Wild Bird Seed Blend is ideal for introductory bird feeders -
PLANT INTROS FOR THE NEW MAIL-
It is always exciting when the new plants are finally selected for our Mail Order catalogue and website. This year is no different with a plethora of new and recently introduced varieties making the mark.
New ornamental trees include Cotoneaster ‘Cornubia’ (Award of Garden Merit, AGM, right), a perfect small garden evergreen tree with red berries. Flowering cherries continue to be a popular choice for all gardens, and Prunus ‘Fragrant Cloud' is more suited to medium to large gardens. This is a spectacular tree in the spring with large, white, semi double flowers that turn pinkish as they fade. However, the scent of the flowers makes this cherry pretty unique. The flowers are richly scented, a most unusual feature in a flowering cherry. Prunus ‘Pandora’ (AGM) is upright growing with shell-
Wildlife enthusiasts will rejoice at the inclusion of two new crab apples -
Heuchera continue to capture the gardener’s imagination with their amazing show of evergreen foliage. We’ve added three to our line-
The new Hosta ‘FireWorks’ is one of the showiest new varieties you are likely to come across. The striking crisp white variegation contrasts against the rich green leaves and the lilac-
We’ve been selling Fuchsia ‘Lady Boothby’, the so-
If you are looking for a tasty autumn-
Traditionally we have sold our strawberries in 9cm pots, however this season, for the first time we’ll be offering a wide range of varieties as bare-
We have also added Quince ‘Meeches Prolific’, on a dwarfing rootstock, with its bright golden yellow fruit with good flavour maturing late September or early October. We have responded to the many regular requests we receive for seedless grapes with the addition of the much sought after variety Vitis vinifera ‘Lakemont’. This hardy and super sweet variety ripens from August onwards and is self-
PLANT INTROS FOR THE NEW MAIL-
Whether you grow them in pots or set them in a sheltered shaded garden, Japanese maples never disappoint. We have added Acer ‘Jordan’ with its distinctive bright yellow foliage in the summer, even in full sun, which turns rich red in the autumn, and ‘Koto no ito’, with cascading willow-
We have added some lovely roses to our range again this year, including the climbers Rosa ‘Highgrove’ (prolific garnet red large blooms, repeat-
EVENLEY WOOD AUTUMN COLOUR
Every autumn is special over at Evenley Wood Garden, and once again we celebrate the season’s warm tones during two special Autumn Colour weekends on the 15th-
“Allow our network of paths and rides to lead you through the garden”, writes Sophie Cheesman, “where you’ll spot a variety of trees deep in transformation. Among these is a special oak that was developed on site named Quercus rubra aurea ‘Evenley Gold’, which transforms into a beautiful shade of red every year. The garden’s large collection of Euonymus is also unmissable, and includes Euonymus alatus – with its stunning deep pink foliage and dark red berries. The multi-
Amongst this wave of colour, we have a couple of workshops planned for those interested in flower arranging or sensory nature walks, family activities, and the reopening of our outdoor café. The garden’s excellent staff and volunteers will also be on hand to greet you, answer any questions and, of course, recommend the best routes. We look forward to seeing you at Evenley Wood Garden!” For more details, please visit:
We have 2 Evenley Wood Garden Season Tickets, worth £30 each to give away.
To enter the competition for a chance of winning a Season Ticket, please answer the following question:-
How many acres does
Evenley Wood Garden cover?
A. 10 acres B. 30 acres C. 60 acres
CLICK HERE TO ENTER VIA OUR COMPETITION PAGE
LOCAL ‘NHS’ OFFERS AMAZING HEALTH BENEFITS PT1
Yes – believe it or not the Mid Shires “NHS” offers an incredible “Green Gym” which will help with the conservation and production of local organic fruit and give its helpers great health benefits! OK, you may have started reading this with incredulity, but let me explain. “NHS” here means Natural Health Service – a way you can improve your overall health by engaging more closely with nature.
Medical experts have proved that those who engage with nature, as our distant ancestors had to do, are more relaxed and therefore physically and mentally healthier than those of us who spend too much time on a computer, on a mobile ‘phone or looking at the television.
So what does our local Mid Shires “NHS” offer in their Green Gym?
• Plenty of healthy walks -
• Easy ‘bend and stretch’ exercises -
• Ways to burn off the calories – wheeling the barrow, mowing, raking up the grass.
• Fresh air – in the sunshine, surrounded by trees, flowers and hedgerows.
• Healthy eating – seasonal fruits of the orchard, bramble and vine.
• Brain training – learning new skills to apply in the garden or home orchard.
• Relaxation – working with nature is a great way to leave stress behind.
• The best medicine – laughter! Good company in a supportive atmosphere.
The Mid Shires Orchard Group (MSOG) is responsible for this alternative “NHS”. Some of you have met MSOG members at our Apple Day last year, when they were pressing apples to produce delicious, fresh, natural juice for everyone to try. Or, perhaps you came along to their Springtime Scionwood Swap? We hosted this event just after our Potato Day, when they were grafting traditional and rare fruit trees. MSOG was founded in 2007 and aims to “conserve and promote enjoyment and use of the local orchards and rich 'top fruit' traditions of the four ‘mid-
Recently, some members of MSOG and like-
• A large, mature cider orchard, established in the late 1970s, planted with West Country apples.
• A young perry pear orchard, with two hundred trees.
• A recently planted, mixed apple and pear orchard featuring over 110 different heritage varieties.
• A row of old plum trees, of unknown varieties, but currently they are very overgrown and neglected!
LOCAL ‘NHS’ OFFERS AMAZING HEALTH BENEFITS PT2
In addition to these, there is plenty of space still available, for possible future planting
When working in these orchards, which are not far off the A421, it seems so cut off from the bustle of life and so peaceful. It’s a perfect antidote to the stresses of life. As can be seen from the photos taken on a “Green Gym Workout” recently, it really is a green and beautiful setting. Only the occasional siren from an ambulance heading to the nearby “other NHS” facility (Milton Keynes’ hospital) is a reminder that the orchards are hidden away in the middle of a vibrant modern city!
The orchards are owned by the Parks Trust, a charity that takes care of the 5000 or so acres of parks and green spaces in Milton Keynes. Until now, the orchards have been maintained by a small group of cider enthusiasts, but with commitments to work and young families, they have asked for help.
If you would like to help out with this venture and enjoy the Woughton orchards’ amenity, health benefits as a “Green Gym” and of course partake of the delicious autumn harvest, then Claire would love to hear from you. Please contact her HERE.
Note: Fruit from these orchards, including heritage and rare varieties of apple and pear, will be on display at our Apple and Honey Weekend over 24th/25th September. MSOG will also be holding a Traditional Cider Making course on Saturday September 17th, to make good use of the Woughton cider apples! For full details, please see the Training Courses section featured on the MSOG website HERE.
OUT AND ABOUT IN THE GARDENS OF MADEIRA
The island of Madeira situated in the North Atlantic Ocean and just under 400km (250 miles) north of Tenerife, is often described as ‘the floating garden in the Atlantic’, writes Chris Day. Our ‘day trip’ from a P&O cruise ship in July allowed us to visit a couple of gardens, both involving cable car journeys from the delightful capital of Funchal. Madeira is of course Portuguese but its subtropical climate makes it poles apart from Lisbon, the capital of Portugal.
Around a million tourists flock to the Island for its wonderful year-
To get to both of the gardens you can hire a car, grab a taxi, get a bus or best of all and to take in the great views, take the cable car. The ascent from Funchal to Monte Palace Tropical Gardens takes around 15 minutes and you climb a staggering 3,700m. You see lots of local horticulture – allotments, banana plantations, normal family gardens as well as amazing colourful tropical oasis gardens perched on and very nearly off the cliff edge, all from the cable car!
Open to the public since 1991 this masterpiece of a garden was designed by the Madeiran entrepreneur José Berardo. Although the plants take centre stage, this garden houses one of the most important tile collections in Portugal. The tiles exhibited amidst the tropical vegetation represent several ages, coming from palaces, churches, chapels and private houses throughout the former Portuguese empire. You get a real ‘feel’ for the Island by viewing the tiles and this helps your appreciation of the Island’s history. However the fabric of the garden is through the plants, thousands of them in a wonderful mountain setting as Berardo takes you on a journey to the Far East and beyond. This is the reason for the existence of the two oriental gardens and among many Chinese and Japanese elements you see are two ‘Fó’ dogs in marble, mythological animals usually put in the temple’s entrance as guardians. Also there are several Buddhist sculptures, a dragon surrounded by children representing fertility and several stone lanterns used in Japan to light the way to the tea house.
There is water in the form of lakes, streams, waterfalls, fountains and rills. Many of the plants are irrigated by extensive mist watering systems which increases the humidity and gives many of the areas a very jungle-
There are great vistas to stop and enjoy, however you need to get there early as we did before the hoards of coaches stop and spill into the garden. You can have a rest in the seated areas, perch in the restaurant and enjoy your free samples of sweet and dry port. Oh, there’s plenty of animal life too – Koi, Peacocks and Swans all play a role in the visit and a memorable one at that -
MEDICAL DETECTION DOG NEWS
Barking up the right tree! Our Guess The Number of Dog Treats Competition to help raise funds for the Medical Detection Dogs proved popular. We’re pleased announce the winner, Jo Vipan from Steeple Claydon and her two sons, two and a half year old Jackson with his older brother Hayden, six, who guessed 148 biscuits. This was the nearest to the 150 biscuits in the containers. The winners pictured being presented with the prize of Garden Centre vouchers by Pauline Brown with the two Medical Detection Dogs Kiwi and Lexy, pictured left.
Please have a go at our new Competition, Guess The Weight of the Dog Treats, located in our main Foyer, next to the Medical Detection Dogs Wishing Well and Restaurant.
There are so many Daisy flowers currently in flower for your garden! Some of the best ones include Achillea, Aster, Erigeron, Gaillardia, Leucanthemum and Rudbeckia (above right). Look out for the special pot sticker when you are browsing the herbaceous beds and by purchasing one you will help support the Medical Detection Dogs.
BRING ON YOUR SPRING BULBS THIS AUTUMN
We have a great range of spring flowering bulbs available with the highly popular XL packs on a cracking offer -
We also have a Buy One Get One Free Offer on Tulipa ‘Queen of the Night’ (pictured right) and Narcissi 'Tête á Tête'. Each pack costs £5.99 and all these bulbs would be perfect if you are planning to fill pots to the maximum using the bulb layering or lasagne bulb planting method. We will be running demonstration on how to maximise the effect of bulb planting in containers by layering 'lasagne' planting of spring and summer bulbs. There will be three sessions throughout Wednesday 28th September starting at 11:00am, 2:00pm and 4:00pm. No need to book just come along and we’ll explain how it is done!
TAYLORS BULBS CHANGING THE WAY WE BUY BULBS
Taylors Bulbs are the UK’s leading supplier of flower bulbs. They supply pre-
It was in 1919 that the Government set up a number of smallholdings for returned servicemen of the First World War. One of these Crown Colonies was at Holbeach in Lincolnshire. Otto Augustus Taylor, as a result of being gassed in the war, was unable to return to his occupation in London. He applied for one of these new holdings and was successful. With his wife and two sons, Stanley and Percy, he moved to the new settlement with a house and 4 hectares of land.
He soon realised that working the holding, as a small-
By 1968 the family owned some 120 hectares of prime Lincolnshire silt and the nursery facilities had been expanded. John, Roger and Brian had joined their father Percy, and uncle Stanley, and in 1970 O.A. Taylor & Sons Bulbs Ltd was formed by the younger generation to supply bulbs to nurseries and garden centres. With the retirement of their father and death of their uncle in 1982 the management of their father’s business passed to the three brothers.
In 1985 the company was awarded The Royal Warrant as Bulb Growers to Her Majesty The Queen. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s Warrant followed this in 1991.
In 2016, Taylors won their 23rd consecutive RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal for the Walkers Daffodil Collection as well as being voted GIMA (Garden Industry Manufacturers Association) supplier of the year.
Two members of the fourth generation of Taylors have now been made directors of O. A Taylor & Son Bulbs Ltd illustrating the progressive thinking and future prospects of the business.
Still a thriving family business employing over 200 staff at peak times, training continues to play an important role in ensuring high standards. In addition, courses for garden centre staff are held regularly ahead of the autumn bulb selling season -
Facts and figures: Taylors now farm over 750 hectares of which over 150 hectares are daffodils (636 varieties). Taylors are one of the largest bulb companies in the country sourcing all types of bulbs from around the world, to be packed on their site at Holbeach. Already this year, millions of bulbs have passed through the packing sheds.
They will have in excess 3,000 tonnes of daffodil bulbs pass through the yard each summer, and at peak times more than 20 vehicles from 24-
EVERY SUNDAY Stock up on your fresh fruits and vegetables as Aston Clinton-
WEDNESDAY 14th SEPTEMBER BGC’s Chris Day delves into the world of Great Plants & Ideas For Small Spaces. All our talks are in the Talks Room in the Restaurant at 4.00pm, 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-
WEDNESDAY 14th SEPTEMBER Tool Marking event with AVDC & Thames Valley Police between 11am -
SATURDAY 24th & SUNDAY 25th SEPTEMBER Our Apple and Bee Weekend goes from strength to strength and this year the Honey Show now includes Beekeepers from the whole of Buckinghamshire on the Sunday! We’re delighted to have Gerry Edwards, top RHS fruit expert and judge on hand over both days identifying your mystery apple varieties. Do check our website for regular updates.
WEDNESDAY 28th SEPTEMBER As part of the Aylesbury Vale’s Holiday At Home Older People’s Programme we will be hosting some Layered Container Bulb Planting Talks. A demonstration on how to maximise the effect of bulb planting in containers by layering 'lasagne' planting of spring and summer bulbs. There will be three sessions throughout the day starting at 11:00am, 2:00pm and 4:00pm. Approx 30-
WEDNESDAY 5th OCTOBER Orchid Day Event Dr Manos Kanellos will be here to help and answer your questions, Orchid Clinic from 11am-
WEDNESDAY 12th OCTOBER Unusual Vegetables by Sally Cunningham. "Where do you go beyond the broad bean? Find out about weirder vegetables than you ever thought of.... and you may not even need a greenhouse to grow them successfully here in the UK!
Sally has been growing Asian vegetables for many years, more recently unusual vegetables from all over the world as part of Garden Organic's Sowing New Seeds programme. The talk starts at 4pm and see Wednesday 14th September for booking details.
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 -