The New Year is, for many, the start of the new gardening season. A time to re-
We are planning some rather special garden visits this year, including the amazing Kew Gardens and the National Trust garden at Biddulph Grange -
Improving our skills as novice and advanced gardeners is something our Garden Talks try to help you with and this spring we are running our first ‘Spring Propagation Course’ so you can benefit from some hands-
Finally, as we celebrate Snowdrops at Evenley Wood, we also say a sad farewell to the Evenley Wood Garden creator, Timothy Whiteley. Tim spoke to our gardening club many times and with his passion, knowledge and connection with plants he will be sorely missed.
Enjoy your late winter garden -
SHOP UPDATE: CANDLES, SPUDS & A NEW COURSE PT1
ONE POTATO, TWO POTATOES We have some new seed potato varieties added to our already extensive range this season. The first of these is a second early variety called ‘British Queen’. This variety has the coveted Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. ‘British Queen’ is over 100 years old and still highly prized for its yield, shape, floury texture and delicious flavour. Interestingly, ‘British Queen' is Ireland's favourite summer crop variety. The oval, white skinned, floury-
ARDEN LIFE -
SPRING INTO SUMMER Pre-
PLUG PLANTS APLENTY We always get a tad excited when the young Kinder Garden plug plants arrive in mid-
SHOP UPDATE: CANDLES, SPUDS & A NEW COURSE PT2
ROOT CANDLES You may have noticed a new name in our gift department -
SPRING PROPAGATION COURSE We are running a new half-
We have only 15 places available, so it will be on a first come first served basis, however we plan to run another session if numbers allow on Friday 21st April, running to the same morning schedule as the 15th March.
Later in the year we are planning two further courses -
MEDICAL DETECTION DOGS NEWS & FINAL DONATION TOTAL
We would like to take a little space in this Newsletter to thank all our customers who have donated their money during last year in various ways towards our last year’s charity of the year Medical Detection Dogs. When we added it all up the total we had given in cash and equipment came to £3,718.89. A token cheque was presented to Medical Detection Dogs Chief Operating Officer Daniel Howard (pictured with Pauline and Kiwi).
We are still in close contact with Medi-
As many of those reading this are keen gardeners we set out below an appeal Medical Detection Dogs have at present. If anyone has a few hours to spare we would urge them to consider volunteering.
Finally, the charity is looking for volunteer gardeners for The Memorial Garden at the Medical Detection Dogs HQ in Great Horwood. This garden offers the staff, volunteers and visitors a quiet place in which to sit, reflect and enjoy the lovely peaceful space. If you have a passion for gardening and enjoy being outdoors, and want to share your interest thereby making a meaningful contribution then this role is for you! If you are interested in volunteering at all for this gardening role then contact Medical Detection Dogs, 3 Millfields, Greenway Business Park, Winslow Road, Great Horwood, Milton Keynes MK17 0NP or call the charity on 01296 655888. Thank you.
ENJOY YOUR EDIBLES -
There is nothing like the flavour of Horseradish sauce to liven up your roast beef, steak tartare or as a garnish for your fish dish, so here are a few useful things you need to know about growing this useful herb!
HOW TO GROW
Let’s make no mistake this plant grows large and really needs to be restricted otherwise it’s likely to smother other plants in the immediate vicinity! To establish a new crop plant in March – either by planting bare-
Allow 60cm (2ft) between plants and make a decent planting hole -
In October or early November lift all the plants and use the larger ones in the kitchen and retain the smaller ones for re-
1 tablespoon (18ml) of freshly grated Horseradish
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) Granulated Sugar
1 tablespoon (18ml) Vinegar
½ pint (284ml) White Sauce
1 tablespoon (18ml) Single Cream (Elmlea is perfect!)
A pinch of English mustard -
Put all the ingredients into a bowl and beat up well with a fork. This sauce keeps for some time if put into a corked bottle or screw top jar. Extra Horseradish may be added if liked extra hot. Roots store well in the freezer if cleaned and washed and cut into 3-
DID YOU KNOW…?
• Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana, syn. Cochlearia armoracia) is a perennial plant of the Brassicaceae family (which also includes Mustard, Wasabi, Broccoli, and Cabbage)
• Sales of bottled horseradish began in 1860, making it one of the first convenience foods.
• In the American South, horseradish was rubbed on the forehead to relieve headaches!
• Horseradish is added to some pickles to add firmness and “nip”.
• Before being named ‘Horseradish’, the plant was known as ‘Redcole’ in England and as ‘Stingnose’ in some parts of the United States.
* Our special thanks to Patrick Quartly from Winslow for sharing this recipe with us.
Up for a challenge? Would you like to win a £25 Buckingham Garden Centre Garden Gift Voucher? Then why not have a go at our crossword competition below. Use the clues to fill in the answers and then take the letters from each of the shaded boxes which will make up an anagram of a popular cherry variety.
1. Underground stem, such as that of the bearded iris (7)
3. Britain’s favourite flower (4)?
5. Small leaved scented evergreen flowering now (bottom middle photo) (10)
9. The Garden Centre’s chosen charity for 2017 (6)
10. Young tree
11. Now is the perfect time to plant a bare ____ 10 across (4)
12. Would you want to mess about with this fruit (top right photo)? (6)
14. ‘Fiesta’, ‘Laxton’ and ‘Scrumptious’ are all popular varieties of this fruit (5)
2. The main ingredient in Rootgrow (11)
3. Humphry _______, English landscape designer (bottom left photo) (6)
4. TV Gardener Monty Don’s four legged senior side kick (top middle photo) (5)
5. Galanthus are more commonly known as? (8)
6. You can do this with Hazel, Willow and Dogwoods and they benefit from it! (7)
7. The technical term for sprouting seed potatoes(8)
8. Useful tool to help transplant young seedlings (6)
13. A soil with roughly equal proportions of sand, silt, and clay
Once you have solved the anagram, send the variety of cherry you have discovered by e-
The letter below appeared in the January 2017 edition of The Garden, and as it is so relevant to our Charity of the Year 2017 we thought it worth reproducing. During the year we shall be trying to raise money for THRIVE, but we hope we may also encourage some of our keen gardening readers to actually offer their services as volunteers for the charity. If you are at all tempted do get in touch with them to see what it would involve.
Since joining the RHS as a mature student in 2015, and through my studies in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) I have been interested in references in The Garden to gardening as therapy. I was not surprised at the reports of physical, mental and social benefits. As Nicola Stoken says (Comment, June 2015): ‘There is nothing new about the idea of gardening as therapy’. Indeed, the modern-
I have been surprised that little mention has been made of the many therapeutic gardening charities and projects in the UK and beyond. These use STH to support people with physical disabilities, mental illness, autism, post-
I encourage all gardeners, whether novice or experienced, if you also have an interest in people and some spare time, to seek out your local STH project and ask if it would welcome the support of a garden volunteer. You will see the therapeutic benefits for the clients you support as well as feeling them for yourself.
Clare Farley, Oxfordshire.
In each newsletter we hope to be able to impart more information of the work carried out by the charity. THRIVE don’t have a garden project any nearer than Reading, but their Information Service is available to everyone wherever they are.
Through their Information Service, they offer free support and advice on all aspects of social and therapeutic horticulture. Anyone wanting help can call on 0118 988 5688, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
THRIVE can help, if you:
• are looking for a place at a garden project for yourself or somebody else.
• want to know how to make gardening easier for yourself.
• are looking to volunteer at a garden project.
• are seeking more information because you are working at or involved in a project.
THRIVE do also train Social & Horticultural Therapists -
SEVEN WAYS TO KEEP YOUR GARDEN HEALTHY IN 2017 PT1
We get asked so many gardening questions in the Plant Info Office over the course of the year ranging from the caring of newly planted stock, to identifying pests and diseases usually transported to us in a variety of plastic bags and envelopes to the usual “What can I spray my Begonia or Tomato plant with?” However, as we are all aware the availability of chemicals to control many pests and diseases is becoming an issue as chemicals and their active ingredients are being removed from the market with no suitable replacements in sight.
So, let us look at how in 2017 you can keep your garden healthier and one of the most mystifying things that can happen in your garden is when a plant gets a disease. How did it happen? Will it spread? Will all my plants die? How can I get rid of it? The most important thing to understand about disease prevention is something called the disease triangle (pictured). Disease can only happen when three things coincide: you have a plant that can get sick (a host), a pathogen (like a fungus, bacterium, or virus) that can attack the plant, and environmental conditions (like humidity or drought) that promote the disease. If any one of these things is not present, the disease will not happen, so prevention involves knocking out at least one side of the triangle. Rather than waiting for a problem to pop up in your garden, consider the best defence against disease to be a good option and here are a few.
1. Check your plants carefully before buying The easiest way to limit disease in your garden is to avoid introducing it in the first place. Getting a disease with a new plant is not the kind of bonus that any of us wants. One of the hardest things to learn is what a healthy plant should look like, making it difficult to know if the one you want is sick.
It is a good idea to collect a few books, magazines, and catalogues that show what a healthy specimen looks like. Don’t take home a plant with dead spots, rotted stems, or insects. These problems can easily spread to your healthy plants and are sometimes hard to get rid of once established.
Inspect the roots. Dark or mushy roots are often not a good sign. Even when the tops appear healthy, it’s just a matter of time before a rotted root system kills a plant.
2. Use fully composted waste Not all materials in a compost pile decompose at the same rate. Some materials may have degraded sufficiently to be put in the garden, while others have not. Thorough composting generates high temperatures for extended lengths of time, which actually kill any pathogens in the material. Infected plant debris that has not undergone this process will reintroduce potential diseases into your garden. If you are not sure of the conditions of your compost pile, you should avoid using composted waste as mulch under sensitive plants and avoid including possibly infected debris in your compost bin.
SEVEN WAYS TO KEEP YOUR GARDEN HEALTHY IN 2017 PT2
3. Keep an eye out for bugs Insect damage to plants is much more than cosmetic. Viruses and bacteria often can only enter a plant through some sort of opening, and bug damage provides that. Some insects actually act as a transport for viruses, spreading them from one plant to the next. Aphids (pictured left) are one of the most common carriers, and Thrips spread impatiens necrotic spot virus, which has become a serious problem for commercial producers over the past 10 years. Aster yellows is a disease carried by leaf-
4. Apply the correct fertiliser You need to take care when fertilising plants since too much of any fertiliser can burn roots, reducing their ability to absorb water. This, in turn, makes the plants more susceptible to stress from drought, cold, and heat. Plants starved of nutrients are smaller and can be badly affected by leaf spots, while a stronger plant can fight off the diseases. An overabundance of a particular nutrient is another way to put stress on a plant.
5. Plant disease-
6. Prune damaged stems at the right time Trimming trees and shrubs in late winter is better than waiting until spring, apart from the Prunus (Cherry) family when summer pruning is a must. Wounded limbs can become infected over the winter; allowing disease to become established when the plant is dormant. For other plants late winter pruning prevents disease from spreading to new growth. Always use sharp tools to make clean cuts that heal rapidly, and make sure to cut back to healthy, living tissue.
7. Water properly Watering your garden is a good thing, but since many diseases need water just as much as plants do, how you go about it makes a big difference. Many diseases in the soil and air need water to move, grow, and reproduce. To avoid giving these diseases an environment they love, choose watering methods that limit moisture on a plant’s foliage. Soaker hoses and drip irrigation accomplish this. If you are watering by hand, hold the leaves out of the way as you water the roots.
Check out our range of Soaker Hose Kits -
ENJOY SNOWDROPS AT EVENLEY WOOD GARDEN
It’s that time of year when our winter friends, the Snowdrops, awaken from their yearly slumber, and Evenley Wood Garden is the best place to spot these lovely plants, writes Sophie Cheesman and Justin Litten. This beautiful woodland haven is just a short drive from Buckingham and reopens to the public for 2017 on 4th February, when Snowdrop Days officially begin.
Evenley Wood Garden houses over 80 different species of Snowdrop, spread throughout 60 diverse acres, and some of these are rather special. One such example was initially found amongst Galanthus Viridapice, having been singled out for its unusual markings and size. Since then, it has been further developed, propagated, and honoured with the unique name ‘Evenley Double’. Another interesting variety is ‘Tim’s Hill Poe’, which was selected in a similar way and named after the garden’s owner, the late Mr. Tim Whiteley. However this unique species rarely grows these days.
Still, there are plenty of the more well-
Evenley Wood Garden’s Snowdrop Days run daily from the 4th -
The garden’s opening season then extends until 29th October; offering a variety of stunning natural highlights and exciting events in between. Visit around 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. Finally, watch as the leaves change and the fruiting begins for autumn colour as the season begins to slow. The café will also remain open every weekend until 28th May and during all special events. Group tours are available by appointment. Open: 11am -
GREAT SNOWDROP DESTINATIONS FURTHER AFIELD
As well as Evenley Wood Garden, there are many Gardens which feature snowdrops from around the third week of January onwards.
National Trust Anglesey Abbey and Gardens, Quy Road, Lode, Cambridgeshire. Snowdrop season from around 27th January 2017.
Check website for details www.nationaltrust.org.uk/anglesey-
Bosworth House, Oxendon Road, Arthingworth, Near Market Harborough Northamptonshire LE16 8LA. Just under 3 acres an almost completely organic garden and paddock with fabulous panoramic views. Sunday 19th February (12 -
Coton Manor Garden, Guilsborough Northamptonshire. Snowdrops & Hellebores: Sat 18th February -
WHAT’S ON THIS WINTER AND EARLY 2017
EVERY SUNDAY Stock up on your fresh fruits and vegetables as Aston Clinton-
SATURDAY 4th & SUNDAY 5th FEBRUARY Our Special Weekend is in two halves -
GARDEN CENTRE TALKS Our Talks Season resumes on Wednesday 8th March at 4pm with BGC’s Chris Day talking about Small Garden Trees. A look at native and non natives species, plus the best of the ornamental types for where space is limited. See end of “Wednesday 12th April” (next paragraph) for booking details.
WEDNESDAY 12th APRIL We welcome Dale Coleman, a top horticulturist with over 40 years in the horticulture and a National Carnation Society judge with his talk, “Auriculas: Growing and Showing”. All our talks are in the Talks Room in the Restaurant, at 4pm, and will last approximately 45 minutes with time for questions afterwards. To book a seat contact our Customer Service Desk. Garden Club Members free, £3 for non-
UPDATE: GARDEN VISIT DATES AND PRICES SO FAR …
National Trust Biddulph Grange Garden Tuesday 13th June BGC Members £48, Non Members £53. National Trust /BGC Members £41 NT /BGC Non Members £46.
Highgrove Gardens Tetbury We are currently awaiting a release date for this visit. BGC Members £58.00, Non Members £63.00.
Kew Gardens Richmond on Thursday 20th July. BGC Members £50.00, Non Members £55.00.
RHS Hyde Hall & Flower Show on Thursday 3rd August BGC Members £43, Non Members £48. RHS /BGC Members £36.00. RHS /BGC Non Members £41.00.
Two Centre: Batsford Arboretum & Bourton House Garden Thursday 12th October BGC Members £48.00, Non Members £53.00.
Buckingham Palace State Rooms & Garden Tour We are currently awaiting a release date for this visit. BGC Members £58.00, Non Members £63.00.
Please see individual posters for coach pick up times etc for trips listed above.
Self drive: Steane Park Thursday 25th May, 2pm. £4.50 entry, refreshments extra. Must be booked through Garden Centre, payable on the day at the venue. See posters for full details and map for directions.
Self drive: Thenford Arboretum Saturday 10th June from 2pm, £12 per person. Must be booked through Garden Centre.
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 -