We are a family run garden centre that is well known nationally as a specialist for bare rooted hedging plants and young trees. The Garden Centre always has a good selection of shrubs and plants which are not commonly found elsewhere, together with a wide range of the more commonly sought after plants. Established for over 50 years, the Garden Centre has recently been redeveloped to a high standard. Our shop contains the largest selection of seeds and bulbs for miles around, together with garden chemicals, tools, garden furniture and many other goods. Outside we stock peat-based and peat-free composts, paving, fencing, timber decking, garden buildings and greenhouses, and a large range of pots, statues and garden ornaments. Our aquatics centre has a good reputation for their excellent quality tropical, marine and cold water fish. The Gardeners' Retreat, our coffee shop/restaurant, serves fresh home cooked food and is an excellent way to round off any visit to the Garden Centre.
•COLOUR BOOST Look out for some seasonal colour to brighten your winter garden and containers, opt for small potted bulbs, including Narcissi ‘February Gold’ and Galanthus (Snowdrops, pictured with bee), Primroses and Polyanthus, winter-flowering Pansies and Violas, Hamamelis (Witch Hazels) and Hellebores. You can check out national Snowdrop events at: www.greatbritishgardens.co.uk/snowdrops.htm Also, don’t forget the spectacular snowdrop “drifts” in Evenley Woods, just a short drive from the Garden Centre. Further details and opening times at: www.evenleywoodgarden.co.uk
•PLANTERS Good drainage is the key to successful plant growth in pots. Make sure your containers are not becoming too waterlogged; the drainage holes must not become clogged up otherwise problems will occur. Lifting the base of the pot onto pottery feet should help (available in terracotta and glazed in small and medium sizes in our outdoor pots area); alternatively stand the pot on gravel or shingle.
•GO GYO Make a resolution to grow your own vegetables this year and if it’s your second season, throw down the gauntlet and grow even more varieties this year! Start the ball rolling by securing your seed potatoes over the next few weeks. Demand is likely to be even higher than last year, so do your homework, plan and buy as soon as possible. When you have purchased your seed place them in a light, cool, frost-free position in seed trays. You need to stand them with the so-called “rose end” upwards. This is the end of the potato with most eyes and from where they will sprout.
•PREPARE FOR SUMMER No sooner than the spring bulbs decide to pop their leaves tentatively through the cold soil, we now need to think about those glorious summer bulbs and get them sourced and planted. It’s still a tad early for Begonias and Dahlias, although they can be started off under warm glass if that’s available, however, the likes of Anemone cornaria ‘De Caen Mixed’, Liliums such as ‘Stargazer’ (pictured), Freesia and Gladiolius can be planted next month onwards in well-prepared soil.
•TO SOW NOW If you have somewhere sheltered and with a well-drained soil you can sow Beetroot, Rocket, Broad Beans, Summer and Autumn Cabbage, Cauliflowers, Bunching and Spring Onions, Leeks, Carrots, Kales, Peas (‘Kelvedon Wonder’, a good first early, pictured), Shallots and Radish. Under glass and heat: sow Leeks, Onions, Celeriac, Globe Artichokes and Broccoli. This is also a good time to prepare new Asparagus beds – pre-pack roots and small potted plants will be available shortly. If soil conditions remains wet and soggy through the rest of the month, delay sowings until February.