Gardening is the perfect antidote to get you back into the stride of life after the festive season. Getting out and about, doing a bit of New Year gardening, a country walk or a visit or two to the Garden Centre soon gets us re-
Enjoy your winter garden -
SUMMER BULBS AND DAHLIAS
All change in the Shop as the new season brings in new and exciting additions to our Summer Bulb range. There is nothing more wonderful or satisfying than a warm garden, full of colour. The secret is to plant a variety of bulbs which will last all summer, from Spring until late Summer. Bulbs are not just a spring thing; a wide selection of Summer flowering bulbs will be available in our main shop from the beginning of February. Summer-
For the best displays, a little forward planning is required. Begin to plant summer flowering bulbs, corms and tubers in borders and containers in spring, just as the weather starts to warm up. As a rule of thumb, most bulbs should be planted at three times their depth, but there are a few exceptions.
Some new bulbs to look out for include Bessera elegans, described best as a cross between a Fuchsia and Snowdrop! The corms are quite small, but this belies the truly spectacular displays that erupt from inside. Each one a lovely coral red colour, with a contrasting creamy centre, and often creamy stripes. Set between 5-
There are three splendid new Dahlias to add summer and autumn colour to our borders. ‘Paso Doble’ (£2.49, pictured left) is an anemone type dahlia and this excellent all-
New this season is a range of pre-
Look out for our multi-
POTATOES AND ASPARAGUS
NEW MAIN CROP SPUDS There is nothing quite like growing your own crop of spuds, especially First and Second earlies which don’t take up acres of space and you can even grow these in pots if space is short. ‘Kingsman’ (pictured right below) is a new early main crop potato variety which produces excellent yields. The oval tubers have a pale-
GARDEN CENTRE DEVELOPMENTS
Throughout winter we have been busy preparing for the exciting new season ahead. You may have noticed our stripy tunnel has been re-
Elsewhere in the Shop we have plans afoot for changes in the Food Hall and Restaurant, so we’ll keep you posted on these developments over the course of the next few months.
EVENLEY WOOD GARDEN SNOWDROP WEEKENDS
Over at Evenley Wood Garden, February is a very special time of year, writes Alison O'Hare. The wood is awakened with drifts of creamy white snowdrops set to lift spirits and embrace the beginning of a new season. Just a short drive from Buckingham this beautiful woodland garden re-
There are over 80 varieties of these popular bulbs springing back into life throughout this 60 acre woodland haven. A few of these are rather special indeed. One such example was initially found amongst Galanthus nivalis ‘Viridapice’, having been singled out for its unusual markings and size. It has since been propagated and is now available to purchase as ‘Timms Hill Poe’, named after the late Timothy Whiteley. It was selected due to its larger size and stature when compared to a regular ‘Hill Poe’ which sadly no longer grows in these woods.
One of the most striking snowdrops in the garden is the double Galanthus ‘Lady Elphinstone’ (pictured left). ‘Lady Elphinstone’ is somewhat of an enigma. Although it is only supposed to have a yellow centre, out of a clump of 20 flowering snowdrops, only three will be yellow and the rest will be green! This is somewhat of a mystery as they are planted in various locations within the wood and in differing soil types, yet they still haven’t managed to get completely yellow clumps. However this colour variation does not divert from the beauty of this small double snowdrop. G. ‘Cedric’s Prolific’ is another spectacular snowdrop that grows extremely well in the wood. This particular snowdrop started as a modest clump then almost doubled in size over 2 years. It was then divided and spread out. This larger clump has then doubled again, certainly living up to its name!
There really is nothing more impressive than being met by a carpet of white snowdrops, dancing and swaying in the wind.
Evenley Wood Garden’s Snowdrop Days run daily from the 3rd – 28th February, with the café open at the weekends. The garden’s opening season will extend right through to the end of December this year, offering a variety of stunning natural highlights and exciting events in between. Visit in March to see a vivid display of blue when the garden's 800m stream of Scilla siberica weaves its way along the paths and amidst the trees. Plenty of daffodils, rhododendrons, and magnolias also start to bloom, and in the summer an impressive collection of lilies and roses comes to life. Then, watch the leaves change for autumn colour as the growing season begins to slow down. Pumpkins galore for Halloween and for the first time Evenley Wood Garden will be opening for two very special weekends in December where the holly will be glistening with a frosty covering. Open Air Foods will remain in the pavilion every weekend throughout the season. Group tours are available by appointment. Opening times: 9:30am – 4pm. Admission: Adults £5 and Children £1. Closed on selected dates – please check the Garden’s website before travelling at https://www.evenleywoodgarden.co.uk
WHAT WILL THE GARDENING TRENDS BE IN 2018?
A new year and the pundits like to have their say on what we might be tempted to buy this growing season. Colour trend-
Using your garden as a retreat seems to be a popular angle suggesting that peace and quiet from noise may increase sales of wooden structures, including seated arbours, chalets and sheds. We have added Shire Garden Buildings to our Garden Centre website HERE.
Visiting public gardens is becoming increasingly popular as people search for inspiration and planting ideas to take away and use in their own garden. Between 2014 and 2016, gardens and country parks saw a 7% and 4% increase in visitor numbers respectively.
The National Garden Scheme includes over 3,700 privately-
Despite the unpredictable weather, Brits remain keen to enjoy their garden as much as possible by transforming it into a functional extension of the home and even embracing a Mediterranean-
The continued rise in smaller garden space in new builds is seeing better use of space. Gardeners are looking for innovative products that allow them to plant more in a confined area. Containers, planters and vertical gardening will continue to be popular. Gardeners are increasingly keen on natural fertilisers and seaweed products so they could become more popular this year. Seaweed products are a good source of potassium, magnesium and trace elements and are useful for organic gardeners wishing to avoid synthetic fertilisers or fertilisers made from animal products. Seaweed and seaweed fertilisers are usually from a sustainable, renewable resource -
PUZZLE CORNER -
Would you like to win a £25 Buckingham Garden Centre Gift Voucher? Enter our crossword competition below. Use the clues to fill in the answers. Take the letters from the shaded boxes which form an anagram of a popular native hedging plant.
4. Cornus also known as ___ wood? (3)
5. The Royal Estate gardens hold the National Collection of these fruits (10)
9. RootGrow® is a friendly form of this fungi? (10)
10. Hosta enemy? (5)
11. Which Lingonberry variety can you grow in the UK? (3)
12. Favourite Beatles' rose perhaps? (5,4)
15. A local Tayberry? (10) 16. Latin name for heather (5)
17. ‘Christmas Pippin', 'Katy' and 'Surprize' are all dessert forms of this fruit? (5)
1. A prickly large evergreen shrub or small tree famed for its berries? (5)
2. 'Aros', 'Golden Hornet' and 'Rudolph' are well-
3. Latin name for box (5)
6. Fast growing evergreen tree from Down Under? (10)
7. The Geranium voted RHS Flower of the Century (7)
8. Both flowers and berries are widely used to make delicious wines, cordials and teas? (5)
13. Essential tool for planting? (5)
14. English ____, aromatic herb (4)
Once you have solved the anagram, send the plant name you have discovered by e-
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER CROSSWORD ANSWERS
Did you try our crossword in the last newsletter? See if you were correct, the answers are below:
1 Prepared bulbs with varieties 'Paperwhite' and 'Ziva'? (9) NARCISSUS
6 Decorations commonly hung on trees (9) ORNAMENTS
7 The loudest of all of Santa's reindeer? (7) RUDOLPH
11 One of the three gifts the wise men brought to the Christ Child (12) FRANKINCENSE
12 Christmas or sweet box? (10) SARCOCOCCA
13 Viscum album is better known as? (9) MISTLETOE
14 Christmas book by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda Bell (3,3,2,3,5) THEELFONTHESHELF
15 Popular Christmas carol The Ilex and the -
1 Santa's home and workshop are located here (5,4) NORTH POLE
2 Naughty children may find a lump of this in their stockings (4) COAL
3 Who do MI6 have to look out for at Christmas? (1,5,3) A MINCE SPY
4 This type of Christmas tree may be used year after year (10) ARTIFICIAL
5 Popular Euphorbia pulcherrima? (10) POINSETTIA
8 The colour of Rudolph's nose (3) RED
9 A round object often hung on a door (6) WREATH
10 These spicy holiday cookies are often shaped as people (11) GINGERBREAD
So the solution to the anagram we were looking for was CHRISTMAS CACTI
Congratulations to M. Short from Milton Keynes who was the winner of the £25 Garden Centre voucher for getting the answer correct.
A TIME TO PLANT: BARE-
The winter has been relatively kind so far, therefore many of you will be up to date with your plantings, however if you are planning to establish some new bare-
Our full range of potted bulbs is also available now in both 9cm and larger 1-
The changing seasons are perfectly highlighted with the arrival in mid-
One of the best winter interest plants to grace our display beds through the winter months are the delightful and colourful Lenten Rose or Hellebores. There are new ranges coming available this winter so look out for them on your next visit. A few notables include Helleborus ballardiae 'HGC Pink Frost' which represents a breakthrough in Heuger’s breeding, H. ‘HGC Pink Frost’ (right) is an incredibly vigorous, heavily budded selection that blooms from late January into March. It produces loads of burgundy buds which open to 5-
UK UNDER THREAT FROM ‘GAME CHANGING’ XYLELLA
“Gardeners should buy British plants to avoid a killer foreign bacteria which is due to hit UK gardens next year”, the Royal Horticulture Society (RHS) has warned. This sentence resonated across many of the newspapers last month as the UK comes to grips with a bacterial pest Xylella fastidiosa, which restricts water movement in the stems of the plants (see photo below right) causing their eventual death. It has caused widespread problems on the continent, wiping out entire groves of ancient olive trees in Italy. It has not arrived in the UK -
As a Garden Centre and Nursery we are deeply concerned that this pest could arrive in the UK on imported plants, threatening traditional British gardens. As a company we are being diligent with all our suppliers, but the onus its not just on us, all plants purchased in good faith as tourist souvenirs could also pose a more serious threat to our UK plant health. All imported plants require by law a Plant Passport (so they can be traced to the primary grower), so these plants will have been scrutinised and checked prior to export. Our concern lies with opportunist holiday makers unwittingly bringing in affected plants with little or no knowledge of this disease -
To get a better ideas of how this disease is different from others, here’s a few facts to help give a greater understanding of what to look out for together with its effects …
The recommendation from the RHS is that gardeners and the horticulture industry should "future-
The European Commission approved greater protections against the spread of Xylella, after Environment Secretary Michael Gove urged Brussels to bring in tougher measures including more checks on high-
But RHS head of plant health Gerard Clover warned it was probably only a matter of time before it spreads to the UK. Thanks for reading this and let’s embrace the clear message that we definitely don’t want Xylella in the UK.
BOOK REVIEW: LADY BY CHRISTOPHER HAYES-
Lady by Christopher Hayes-
Here’s the synopsis … On his eighteenth birthday David is given a six-
Our thoughts: As a fan of animal books, such as Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse I was quickly immersed into the story of Lady. The narrative is beautifully simple and you are taken on a journey. However, it is so provocative to the history which surrounds it and the human interaction which it explores -
ANNOUNCING OUR CHOSEN CHARITY OF 2018
We’re excited to officially announce that we’ll be supporting the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) as our 2018 Charity of the Year!
One of 47 Wildlife Trusts throughout the UK, BBOWT brings people and nature together to protect our environment.
Working with more than 1,400 volunteers, BBOWT looks after over 80 nature reserves, four education centres and runs hundreds of amazing events each year.
Founded in 1959 (as the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Naturalist Trust – BBONT), the Trust was set up by local ecologists who could see the extent of harm being done to the wonderfully rich natural environment of the three counties. For more than 55 years the Trust has worked with local people to make Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire rich in wildlife.
From the management of nature reserves to inspiring the next generation, even introducing a bursary scheme so that children from underprivileged backgrounds have the opportunity to experience nature, the work of the trust is as valuable as it is diverse. BBOWT aims to help people recognise their dependence upon nature, and its value to their physical and mental wellbeing.
We believe that everyone can make a positive difference to their local environment, so join us in supporting BBOWT and be part of nature’s recovery!
We’ll be announcing talks from experts at Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust shortly. We’ll have literature and details available at the Garden Centre together with video information and leaflets available in the main Foyer.
A MASSIVE ‘THANK YOU’ FOR HELPING THRIVE IN 2017
Throughout 2017 we actively promoted and fund raised for THRIVE, a national charity that uses gardening to bring about positive changes in the lives of people who are living with disabilities or ill health, or are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable. People at THRIVE develop new skills, learn about food growing and what is good and healthy to eat; they become fitter and boost their confidence because of their new-
We have raised £1,626.52 for THRIVE over the past twelve months through a donation of 10p for every Herb plant we sold, also through Raffles at our Event Days, our Foyer Wishing Well and using collection tins in the Restaurant and Tills. We of course couldn’t have done this without you -
EVERY SUNDAY Between 10am-
SATURDAY 24th FEBRUARY 2018, GRAFT AND GROW DAY Our apple scion wood exchange, grafting demonstrations and vegetable growing day will feature members of The Mid Shire Orchard Group offering an opportunity to swap scion (apple varieties) from wide and far and get them grafted (for a small charge), plus expert vegetable growing advice from members of the local National Vegetable Society. Details can be found on our Events page on the website HERE.
SATURDAY 10th and SUNDAY 11th FEBRUARY The Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust will be joining us in the main Foyer from 10am -
SATURDAY 3rd -
Closed on selected dates – before travelling please check on their website HERE.
WEDNESDAY 7th MARCH Join us for an ORCHID DAY in the company of the ‘Orchid Master’ Peter White. Peter is President of the British Orchid Society and President of the International Phalaenopsis Alliance. His no-
WEDNESDAY 11th APRIL at 4pm Colour is the key essential in every garden and this talk -
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 -