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.
The turning leaves of gold, copper and deep red on trees and shrubs make October one of the most dramatic and colourful months of the year. The sun's rays at this time of the year are growing weaker and the days shortening, both clear signs that winter is not far away. So, it’s a good time then to consider adding some autumnal colour from shrubs and trees, including this spectacular Liquidambar styraciflua (pictured), perfect to help enrich the gardens palette. As well as foliage colour, don’t forget the value of berries and fruits on Cotoneasters, Crab Apples and Snowberry bushes, all helping to bring even more Nature into the garden.
The arrival of frosts will come all too quickly now, so lift any remaining tender plants - Dahlias, Cannas, Pelargoniums - amongst others, and bring them in under cover. If you are over-wintering plants in a greenhouse, take the opportunity to clean it out first. Sweep up all the dead flowers, fallen leaves and other vegetable matter, from the floors and staging, and then wash everything down with Jeyes Fluid Outdoor disinfectant. To reduce heating costs, tack up some temporary insulation, as a form of 'double glazing'. Rolls of bubble insulation material, which lets in the light but not the cold, are available in the Shop. Even with insulation, you may need to heat the greenhouse on the nights when frost is predicted.
If you haven’t already got one, build or buy in a compost bin (pictured, Grange Fencing Composter Medium, £27.98) and if you have lots of deciduous trees in and surrounding your garden, set up a leaf mould compost heap too to keep all the fallen leaves in. Over time leaves make excellent leafmould, however it can be a slow process. A good compost heap relies on the following - adequate moisture, but not too much, sufficient air circulation, suitable raw materials, preferably a mixture (never large volumes of any one thing) and a good activator (Garotta Compost Maker or Vitax Dried Blood) to start the decomposition process.
Your planters and baskets will need changing over from summer to winter plantings this month. Replace the used compost with a multi-purpose compost and add bulbs to pots in layers starting with Tulips at the bottom followed by Daffodils/Narcissus and then finally Crocus and Muscari (Grape Hyacinths) nearest the top. Leave at least 3in (7cm) clear of bulbs before planting the top of the pot with winter flowering Pansies, Violas and Hedera (Ivy) as well as Ajuga, Creeping Jenny, Thymes and ornamental grasses to provide useful foliage colour. Do water regularly as autumnal winds can dry the compost out.
QUICK REMINDERS Continue planting out biennials (including, Forget-Me-Nots, Sweet William and Wallflowers) and spring-flowering bulbs. Sow sweet peas. Plant perennials and lift and divide existing perennials. Finish sowing seed or laying turf. Aerate and spike lawns. Spray against peach leaf curl and bacterial canker as soon as the leaves drop on your Apricots, Peaches and Nectarine. Cut back old fruited blackberry canes and tie in new growth. Finish lifting root crops. Lift herbs for winter use. Plant up mint root for forcing for winter production.