There is no doubt when it comes to the weather, gardeners are never happy! As we celebrated Fragrant February in all its glory with some of the most amazing Snowdrops, Daphnes, bulbs and early spring blossom displays in years, many of the experts have suggested it’s been down to the hot summer of last year coupled with a lack of frost and mild temperatures that has lead to much bigger flowers on our plants. So, I suppose it is with some trepidation we enter the start of the meteorological spring which commences on the 1st March through to the 31st May. Our gardens are certainly romping away and there has never been a better time to make a start -
If you are a fan of the hugely popular BBC’s Antiques Road Show then you may well be interested in our special event on Wednesday 13th March. Woburn-
Enjoy your spring garden -
SHOP MOVERS AND SHAKERS AND CHAIRS PT1
Nothing stands still in business that’s for sure, so as the seasons change our plans for the shop and the plant area develop for the spring season. You will have no doubt noticed we have been moving some of the departments around with the Bird Care department taking up new residence in the old shop, neatly sandwiched between Bonmarché and the Houseplants department. The area where Bird Care resided now houses a much expanded Weber BBQ display of the latest must-
The Shop has a host of new products including a range of foldable chairs from Leisure Quest (pictured). Featuring robust Q-
These practical chairs are £129.99 each or two for £250.00. Also included in this range is the Hampton Relaxer which has an all-
Our gift department sees the introduction of some new tempting fragrances -
We have two fabulous new ranges of toiletries based on a flowery theme. Daisy Garland is Heathcote and Ivory’s new Royal Horticultural Society’s branded range with the tag line ‘Inspiring everyone to grow’. The fragrances include Evening Primrose, Daisy and Marigold and are available in a range of hand creams, body lotions, soaps and lip balms.
The English Soap Company have introduced a range of luxury Kew Gardens Botanical themed soaps and hand creams. The fragrances in this range include Elderflower and Pomelo, Magnolia and Pear, Lemon grass and Lime, Sandalwood and Pink Pepper and Bluebell and Jasmine. Look out for this fragrant range which is presented in specially selected packaging complete with beautiful images from Kew’s historic archive.
SHOP MOVERS AND SHAKERS AND CHAIRS PT2
Our Children’s Department includes a selection of children’s clothes, fun games and puzzles as well a toys and books. Look out for a new spinner in the kids’ section full of collectable stickers. They start from only 99p each and include popular subjects such as Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig and The Gruffalo.
We also have a new range of children's super bright personalised torches in stock. You will find these located at the back of the children's area.
In the Food Hall we have several new varieties of flour in our range from FWP Matthews (pictured right).These include Dark Rye (perfect for rye bread, rich in colour, with a traditional full flavour); Wholemeal Spelt (rich in flavour and perfect for bread making. This is a great, healthy option which is easier to digest than normal flours); also Plain and Self-
The kitchen store cupboard favourite, Cottage Delight, looks a bit different now as their packaging has been redesigned but the ingredients are still delicious!
We have expanded our range of drinks, which now includes Foxdenton Gin locally produced in Buckingham. Look out for Damson, Golden Apricot, Rhubarb, Sloe Gin, Raspberry and Winslow Plum. Leicestershire-
The really popular pure apple juices from New Creation Farm which we used to sell last autumn with the fresh apples from the same farm, are now available from the drinks area of the Food Hall.
PLANT AREA NEWS
In the Plant Area we have had some fantastic new benches built to display our range of pot-
This spring you’ll see a new grape on sale in our Fruit Section called Vitis ‘Crimson Seedless’ (pictured left). The ‘Crimson Seedless’ grape is a very heavy cropper with bunches of elongated pinkish-
Fuchsia ‘Pink Fizz’ (pictured right) is said to be one of the most floriferous climbing fuchsias on the market and we are looking forward to stocking it very soon.
Described as the next generation of climbing fuchsia it offers a huge improvement over the climbing favourite 'Lady Boothby'. The dangling pink blooms are showy, free flowering and they are produced along the entire length of the stem and not just at the tips. The vigorous upright stems can extend by up to 1.5m (5ft) a height with a spread of 90cm (36 inches) in a single season, making it ideal for covering walls, fences, arches and obelisks. It is hardy down to -
The warmer days of March see the start of the aquatic plants season once again. We’ll have a great range of shallow marginals including Acorus, Lobelia ‘Queen Victoria’, Marsh Marigolds (pictured left), Myosotis, Houttuynia cordata and Iris; pond side plants such as Canna, Gunnera, Cotula, Equisetum, ferns, Iris and Hosta (pictured right); oxygenating plants, deep water plants, floating water plants and water lilies (named varieties). We’ll also stock a range of ready planted contour baskets which you can simply drop into your pond for instant effect.
THE ENVIRONMENT -
The answer to whether we care about the environment as a company, and for that matter as a family, is ‘Yes, we most certainly do’, writes Pauline Brown.
Our customers looking at the products we sell would probably conclude that our business is more environmentally friendly than, for example, a car manufacturer or even a large supermarket, so I thought I would look at a few figures regarding the ‘plants’ side of the business. In an average year we sell approximately a quarter of a million bare root plants. These have been produced in the field with no use of plastic pots, the only plastic involved being the labels used for keeping the varieties identifiable. The hedges and trees when planted out by our customers are very beneficial for the air conditions and also for making our gardens and countryside more attractive and providing habitat for wild life.
All the thousands of pot grown plants we sell are in plastic pots and up till recently these pots have been a problem as local councils cannot re-
Some of our ‘older’ customers may remember that about ten years ago we had dug out a very large reservoir (pictured right) to take the water from the buildings and the run-
Back in 2014 we decided to put solar panels on the south facing shop roof . On our Garden Centre web-
We recently decided to take a closer look at our re-
I hope from these few facts you will see that we do care about the environment, but we are not complacent and we are constantly looking for more things to do.
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 herbaceous plant with a strong family Garden Centre connection (8,7).
4. Opposite of spindly? (5)
7. There are English ones and less desirable Spanish ones of what? (9)
10. The stem of a raspberry or blackberry plant (4)
11. The biggest ______ in the world? (10)
13. Prunus spinosa? (10)
14. Making more plants from one plant? (8)
16. Compact and slow growing? (5)
17. High tea treat? (6)
18. The willow family (5)
19. The theme of one of our workshops this Spring (11)
1. Name for a type of potato storage (5)
2. Garden mignonette (6)
3. Snappy, insect eating plant (5,3,4)
5. Popular herb (4)
6. 'Nelly Moser' is a popular choice of ? (8)
8. Found under oak trees by squirrels in autumn? (5)
9. Another name for Daffodils? (8)
10. Garrya elliptica produces these from late winter onwards? (7)
12. To place seedlings and cuttings into containers to grow on (3,2)
15. Mountain _____ (3)
Once you have solved the anagram, send the plant name you have discovered by e-
JANUARY/FEBRUARY CROSSWORD ANSWERS
Did you try our crossword in the last newsletter? See if you were correct, the answers are below:
6. Skill used to control plants? (5) TRAIN
8. What flower could be said to have a good memory? (6,2,3) FORGET ME KNOT
10. Our chosen charity of 2019 (10) LINDENGATE
12. Siliceous sandstone (4) GRIT
13. King Louis XIV is famous for building which famous French gardens? (10) VERSAILLES
15. Magnesium sulphate (5) EPSOM
16. Hardy's evergreen partner? (6) LAUREL
18. Common name of Ilex aquifolium (5) HOLLY
19. Blue shade (3) SKY
20. Soil type (4) CLAY
21. Variety of lettuce (3) COS
22. Garden of Europe famous for its display of spring-
1. Galanthus nivalis (8) SNOWDROP
2. Perfect tool for weed control in the border (3) HOE
3. Tuberous root vegetable (3) YAM
4. Herb in the celery family (4) DILL
5. Of which fragrant plant is woodbine a variety? (11) HONEYSUCKLE
7. Lawn, garden or leaf ____? (4) RAKE
9. Slugs and snails are _______ (10) GASTROPODS
11. Curly, broad-
13. Abound in grapes (4) VINY
14. Bowl, Trumpet and Turk's cap are all forms of which type of flower grown from bulbs? (4) LILY
17. A small stream (4) RILL
So the solution to the anagram we were looking for was NOSTALGIA
LINDENGATE CHARITY NEWS
There is always something exciting happening in the Lindengate garden, writes Anne Mills. In November of last year we were thrilled and honoured to welcome our own special Tilia platyphyllos into the Lindengate gardens. Better known as a Linden or Lime tree, our namesake is a beautiful tall youngster (for a tree), well over 30 years old.
The Linden tree produces fragrant and nectar-
Tilia is a genus of about 30 species of trees native throughout most of the temperate Northern Hemisphere. In the British Isles they are commonly called Lime or Linden trees although they are not closely related to the tree that produces the lime fruit. Tilia species are mostly large, deciduous trees, reaching typically 20 to 40 metres tall, standing like a pillar and the branches divide and subdivide into numerous ramifications on which the twigs are fine and thick. In summer, these are profusely clothed with large leaves and the result is a dense head of abundant foliage. Limes are hermaphroditic, having perfect flowers with both male and female parts, pollinated by insects.
The leaves of all the Tilia species are heart-
Come and say “Hello” to our Linden tree at one of our “drop ins” (see dates on next page) and walk around our stunning 5-
Contact details: Lindengate, The Old Allotment Site, Wendover Road, Weston Turville, Aylesbury HP22 6BD. Tel: 01296 622443 www.lindengate.org.uk
LINDENGATE DROP IN DAYS
• FREE ENTRY • REFRESHMENTS AVAILABLE
Saturday 16th March anytime between 10am and 12noon.
Saturday 13th April anytime between 10am and 12noon.
Wednesday 1st May anytime between 5pm and 7pm.
• Explore Lindengate’s stunning 5-
• Find out how Lindengate helps people with mental health needs.
• Explore our exciting volunteer opportunities.
• Learn about our conservation projects.
EASY HOUSEPLANTS THAT NEVER DISAPPOINT
Never underestimate the power of indoor foliage plants, says Chris Day. Having spent a few years in the world of commercial houseplant growing, one question often asked was which houseplants would be considered the easiest to grow? Well, the popular subjects of the time (1970s and 1980s) would have been Yucca, Rubber Plant, Cane tree (Draceana) and Kentia Palm. Today the houseplant scene is rather different with a greater attention on growing plants with big foliage colour, unusual leaf shape, interesting structure and form. Our homes have changed too. Warmer conditions from central heating, more light from windows and now the ability to use daylight and LED bulbs means room conditions are far more favourable than years gone by.
So, which of the houseplants are foolproof to grow and resilient in character?
The unusual leaves and habit of Pilea peperomioides (pictured above right) has made this plant a bit of an Internet sensation together with its common name Chinese Money Plant which should not to be confused with the normal Money Plant -
The aptly named Monkey Mask plant (Monstera Adansonii, pictured left) is the brother to the popular Swiss Cheese Plant and is fun to grow. The classic Monstera usually has holes at the end of the leaf, as if someone has cut into the leaf. However with the Monstera Monkey Mask the holes are more in the middle of the leaf, by the vein, and the ends of the leaf are closed -
Finally, the impressive and very exotic Guzmania. This is a Bromeliad relative, related to the Pineapple plant. (see opposite page). The coloured part of the star ‘flower’ is in fact a bract, a modified leaf and is very long lasting so can be enjoyed for many months. Guzmanias (pictured right) prefer and are happiest in bright, natural light. An east or west exposure would be best but just be sure they avoid exposure to any direct, hot sun because they’ll burn. They’ll be fine in low light for a few weeks, but won’t be as long lasting. Guzmania have a tank, cup, vase or urn (the central well which the flower stalk arises out of) and this is how they collect a lot of the water they need. You want to keep that vase about a quarter of the way full of water and flush it out with fresh water every 1-
FUN GROWING FRUIT PROJECT -
Did you know that the leafy top of supermarket-
Rooting and growing pineapple tops is easy. Once you bring your pineapple home, cut off the leafy top about half an inch below the leaves. Then remove some of the lowest leaves. Allow the pineapple top to dry from several days to one week prior to planting it up in a pot. This helps the cut surface to heal and discourages the problem of rotting.
Although it’s possible to sprout a pineapple in water, most people have better luck rooting them in a multi-
When growing pineapple tops, you’ll need to provide at least six hours of bright light. Water your plant as needed, allowing it to dry out between watering. You can also feed the pineapple plant with a soluble houseplant fertiliser such as Baby Bio once or twice a month during spring and summer. If desired, move the pineapple plant outdoors in a semi-
Since pineapples are relatively slow-
NAME OUR POTATO CHARACTER!
CALLING ALL JUNIOR GARDENING CLUB MEMBERS!
We are still looking for a name for our new Potato character! We would love to hear your thoughts on a suitable potato name! Please let us know at the Customer Service Desk with the name together with your contact details. We will be giving out a small prize for the best name used!
EASTER SPECIAL COLOURING IN COMPETITION
CALLING ALL CHILDREN -
CLICK ON THE PICTURE ABOVE TO DOWNLOAD AN ENTRY FORM
WHAT’S ON THIS SPRING
WEDNESDAY 27th 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 10th APRIL at 4pm Timothy Walker’s talk ‘Bordering on Insanity’ -
FRIDAY 26th APRIL between 10.00am-
WEDNESDAY 8th MAY at 4pm Our chosen charity of 2019, Lindengate, will be talking on their aims and work. Come and hear how Lindengate Charity supports those with mental health needs using Social and Therapeutic Horticulture. Learn about their stunning 5 acre garden and conservation work, and the part it plays in recovery. Except it is much more than that! See our March 13th talk for full booking details.
SUNDAY 12th MAY is GARDEN DAY The aim of the day is to celebrate the mental and physical benefits gardens bring us all year round and to connect with neighbours, family and friends. We’ll have everything you need to dress your garden for this special celebration so whether you are a family gardener, allotment aficionado or a houseplant enthusiast, do try and take part! Whether it’s for tea and cake, a plant swap or a more-
SPECIAL OFFER COUPONS FOR
GARDEN CARD HOLDERS
If you are a holder of a valid Buckingham Garden Centre Garden card, please print off and use these vouchers at the Garden Centre to obtain discounts with these very special offers exclusive to Garden Card holders only:
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GARDEN CENTRE: Monday to Saturday 9.00am to 6.00pm • Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm
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