Goodness me -
This season, perhaps more than ever, we are getting lots of requests for plant ideas for smaller plots. Climbers, screening shrubs and long-
This year we are inviting local schools to get involved in our Sunflower Competition to grow the largest sunflower head. We are hoping for some super-
Enjoy your early summer garden -
SHOP UPDATE: LIFESTYLE & WEBER® BBQ ACCESSORIES PT1
Great news! Not one but three exciting ranges of Kettler furniture look set to add stylish seating and dining to the garden this summer.
If you are looking for a new dining set then the Cora range blends wood and wicker while glowing white and cream for a bright, elegant summer meal. The set, which features a 150cm Round Dining Table in smoked white acacia wood, and stylish Cora Round Back chairs (sold in pairs) in the same colours, brings a fresh look to alfresco dining.
The Cora Lounge Set gives you the best of both worlds, mixing wood and wicker in the Lounge Armchair featuring Acacia legs with waterproof wicker in smoke white (cream cushions are included). A two seater Sofa compliments the Armchair, in the same distinctive style, again cream cushions are included. A crafted 130cm x 74cm Coffee table in Acacia wood in smoked white completes this particularly elegant set.
When the Royal Horticultural Society wanted a partner for Garden Furniture there was only one choice -
The RHS Rosemoor range features high quality acacia wood painted in a sage colour with a PU coating for extra protection with the RHS branding etched into the wood for added style. Available as a 5ft bench you can also buy a 5ft cushion separately which also carries the distinctive RHS logo stitching.
SEE OUR RANGES OF ALEXANDER ROSE AND KETTLER FURNITURE ON OUR WEBSITE HERE
OR BUY ONLINE ON OUR WEB SHOP HERE
SHOP UPDATE: LIFESTYLE & WEBER® BBQ ACCESSORIES PT2
Weber are well known for their clever innovation and practical designs when it comes to all things BBQ, consequently the latest development, the new Gourmet BBQ System®, is sheer genius. The Gourmet BBQ System® and accessories work by utilising a multi-
The Weber Gourmet BBQ System® consists of a cooking grate and a range of different inserts, which are available separately. The inserts include Cast Iron Griddle (pictured left) -
Just a reminder that we also have good availability of Weber’s best-
As we’re chatting about the patio, you’ll notice a wider range of solar lighting this summer in the Shop as we’ve introduced a new brand, Smart Garden Products into the fold. Solar technology is moving on in leaps and bounds now and its exciting what innovations the manufacturers can offer.
Look out for the new solar flower designs, which are not only practical they look gorgeous in the day and illuminate beautifully at night. They all feature the latest solar technology and feature hand painted glass together with robust metal construction. You can take your pick from a number of floral designs including Bluebell, Foxglove, White Rose and Poppy. They also make great gardening gifts too -
BUY WEBER BBQ PRODUCTS ON OUR WEB SHOP HERE
WOOD PRESERVATION, NEW TIMBER LINES & POT COMICS
If there’s one task that needs to be popped onto the ‘To Do List’ this month then it must be donning the old clothes, grabbing a half decent brush and doing a spot of wood preserving! Yes, it’s repetitive and it often involves a bit of move around and planning but it’s definitely worth the effort in the end, breathing new life into wood by extending its life as well as some welcome colour and vitality into fences and garden structures.
Look out for the range of Cuprinol Garden Shades in the Shop as this can add eye-
As we enter the busy seasonal bedding time of the year, there’s always new planter ideas to consider. Our pots area has undergone a move and makeover this spring so there’s plenty of inspirational pots to choose from, including glazed, plain terracotta and the Royal Horticultural Society range, all available in a range of colours and sizes to suit.
We have also introduced a range of classic painted planters, available square or as a trough, perfect for that topiary Bay tree, Olive or standard rose or to create a lovely mixed display to brighten up the front door area, paved patio or deck. The planters themselves feature strong mortise and tenon joints, a heavy-
This supplier also produces a robust and elegant classic cottage painted arbour -
Finally, as the popularity of patio display pots and indoor plants grow, so the various methods of accessorising them in various funky and unusual ways increases. We have a new range of colourful fun comic characters/bees from Cococcinelles® complete with a plastic support for displaying them in and around the garden. These quirky products are great fun and are priced from £2.49 each.
WHAT’S NEW IN THE PLANTS DEPARTMENT
The growing season is now in full swing with deliveries coming in almost daily from UK growers so there’s plenty to get excited about. The regular stalwarts of the bedding season – 6, 12 and 24-
We know many of you like the ‘recipe style’ Hanging Basket Kits (10 pack) and Planter Kits (10 pack), both priced at £6.99 each. These kits really do take the guess work out of getting the right mix and balance of colours and offer gorgeous results just a few weeks after planting them up in the container. Do make sure you use a good quality potting compost such as Levington’s Original Potting Compost, £4.99 a bag or 2 for £8.00 to give the young cell-
If you remember the popular cool house Cineraria a few years ago then Senetti are a very close relatively a tad hardier as well. The floriferous daisy-
If you are looking for something a little unusual yet hardy then a new range of Bletilla Garden Orchids just might be worth a look! This terrestrial Orchid, sometimes called the Hyacinth Orchid, is available in three colour and requires shade in summer, moisture while growing but cannot stand constant wetness. Where frosts are not severe, Bletilla Striata can be grown outside all year, but need covering with a mulch of composted bark or similar during winter to protect the rhizome. It flowers between June and July, 2-
PUZZLE CORNER -
Would you like to win a £25 Buckingham Garden Centre Garden 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 variety of Tulip.
1. Gardeners like to create them (6,4)
7. Useful weed control with clogs on maybe (5,3)?
8. Monty Don's 2-
11. Cornwall is famous for spring displays of which flowering shrub,originally from the Himalayas (13)?
12. You can grow Dahlias from seed or a ______ (5)?
14. Parsley the Lion starred in which children's TV programme (3,5)?
16. ‘King Alfred' and 'Cheerfulness' are two popular varieties (8)
2. The common name for Kniphofia (3,3,5)
3. Inspired by Great Maytham Hall, Kent, this mysterious garden is discovered by Mary Lennox. Name to book “The _________ Garden” (6)
4. What sleepy gardeners prepare (8,3)
5. A gardener's escape building or somewhere to store (4)?
6. Local National Trust Garden designed by Capability Brown (5)
9. Top brand for gardeners? Miracle-
10. Gardener's Delight' and 'Moneymaker' are popular varieties of (6)?
13. A layer of material to retain moisture, suppress weeds and improve soil (6)
15. The common name for Buxus sempervirens (3)
Once you have solved the anagram, send the variety of tulip you have discovered by e-
FEB/MARCH CROSSWORD ANSWERS
Did you try our crossword in the last newsletter? See if you were correct, the answers are below:
1. Underground stem, such as that of the bearded iris RHIZOME
3. Britain’s favourite flower ROSE
5. Small leaved scented evergreen flowering now SARCOCOCCA
9. The Garden Centre’s chosen charity for 2017 THRIVE
10. Young tree WHIP
11. Now is the perfect time to plant a bare ROOT whip
12. Would you want to mess about with this fruit? MEDLAR
14. ‘Fiesta’, ‘Laxton’ and ‘Scrumptious’ are all popular varieties of this fruit APPLE
2. The main ingredient in Rootgrow MYCORRHIZAL
3. Humphry REPTON, English landscape designer
4. TV Gardener Monty Don’s four legged senior side kick NIGEL
5. Galanthus are more commonly known as? SNOWDROP
6. You can do this with Hazel, Willow and Dogwoods and they benefit from it! COPPICE
7. The technical term for sprouting seed potatoes CHITTING
8. Useful tool to help transplant young seedlings DIBBER
13. A soil with roughly equal proportions of sand, silt, and clay LOAM
So the solution to the anagram we were looking for was MORELLO
Congratulations to Lorraine Carter of Tingewick who was the winner of the £25 Garden Centre voucher for getting the answer correct.
THRIVE is the leading UK charity that uses gardening to bring about positive changes in the lives of people who are living with a disability or ill health, or who are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable.
Known as social and therapeutic horticulture, it is the process of using plants and gardens to improve physical and mental health, as well as communication and thinking skills. It also uses the garden as a safe and secure place to develop someone’s ability to mix socially and make friends, learn practical skills that will help them to be more independent or study to gain nationally recognized horticultural qualifications that could lead to new employment.
THRIVE’S aim is to enable those touched by disability or ill health to transform their lives using gardening, such as John, who after 15 years of homelessness and social isolation, found the courage to re-
As a gifted student studying Music at Cambridge, John’s future looked very positive. But having found it difficult to make friends, after graduation he retreated into himself. Things deteriorated and John became homeless as he withdrew further. Fifteen years on, he was living on the streets and deprived of social contact. With escalating mental health issues he was eventually hospitalised in 1995 with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Six months later, still struggling to re-
“Becoming a THRIVE gardener gave me my first real opportunity in 20 years to experience ordinary human affection in a social group. My confidence grew and I was eventually able to transition into paid work. Getting my first salaried position at the age of 50 transformed not only my life but also my personality.”
When the opportunity arose to apply for a role within the THRIVE office, John bravely took it on, including the associated steep learning curve. Today he is a valued colleague among the people who once supported him and is a key member of THRIVE staff. “I will be grateful to THRIVE for the rest of my life for giving me the chance to prove my capabilities.”
If you would like more information on THRIVE or to take advantage of their free support and advice on all aspects of social and therapeutic horticulture, phone 0118 988 5688, e-
You can help us to help THRIVE by purchasing our range of herb plants. We will donate 10p from every sale of 9cm and 1-
SUMMER POND CARE TIPS & MUST-
People often think a pond is a totally gardening-
So, the first of these rears its head every spring when, instead of crystal-
New ponds are the most badly affected by ‘pea soup syndrome’ and may not clear until well into summer or even the following year, but older ponds clear more quickly as they have already achieved the right biological balance to sort themselves out.
Meanwhile, pond plants are ready for a manicure. It is not until the marginals, such as Zebra Rush, Bogbean and moisture-
Now is a good time to introduce some newbies -
Choose one strong, healthy, fair-
Most congested marginal plants can be divided and repotted now, but the big exceptions are Water Irises and Marsh Marigolds. Wait a few weeks after they have flowered so you don’t lose next year’s blooms. Don’t divide water lilies just yet, either. Their fat tubers rot if they are disturbed too early. If you must divide them, wait until the end of April.
If the pond is choked with oxygenating plants, reduce the density by a third and leave a clear track round the edge of the pond for fish to swim in. You may need to repeat this about once a month all summer, but be sure you always leave enough behind to keep manufacturing the pond’s oxygen supply.
SUMMER POND CARE TIPS & MUST-
The other grotty green gunge to look out for is blanket weed, whose long, slimy, cotton wool-
Please do ask for specific water plant advice at our Aquatic Department where we can also offer technical advice on all aspects of fish management.
Here are a few products worth considering for your pond and water features this summer. Keep the algae down naturally this summer by adding some Barley Straw to your pond. A bale costs £5.99 and treats up to 1,200 gallons. Another pond menace is the water covering Duckweed, which can be easily treated using Duckweed Buster applied, as directed, to the pond in the early part of the summer. Duckweed Buster is a natural product and it works by preventing the growth of duckweed by modifying the water chemistry and creating conditions which prevent the spread of this problematic plant in your pond. This is a mild chemical and is perfectly safe for your fish, wildlife and plants. Available in two sizes, 250ml £11.99 and 500ml £19.99.
Improve the well-
A couple of accessories to consider include the Pondtec Solar Pump with four different fountain heads, available in a couple of flow rates 250 litres per hour (lph) at £69.99 and a larger 600 lph unit at £99.99. This is a convenient way of creating a perfect pond in a location well away from mains electricity. Unlike many solar kits, these two models include a rechargeable battery unit which is charged by the solar panel. This ingenious fountain operates during the day and the pump is powered by the solar module with any surplus power being used for charging the rechargeable battery. After dusk the pump and LED can be programmed to automatically run for 1, 2, 3 or even 4 hours each night as long as the battery has been sufficiently charged.
To create ambience to your pond why not consider installing some Pondtec Underwater Spotlights? These are available in sets containing three (£39.99) and six (£69.99) lights. Each light can be submerged underwater down to 1 metre deep or alternatively you can place them above water level or around your pond or even to illuminate a feature such as a statue to brighten it up at night.
WE HAVE A LARGE RANGE OF POND PRODUCTS ON OUR WEB SHOP HERE
MAKING GARDENING EASY FOR THE NEWBIES GENERATION
Does proper gardening terminology put you off gardening, writes Chris Day? Well, late last year a news story grabbed the headlines and created a bit of a stir in the world of gardening. The news story centred on Tim Clapp, who is head buyer at B&Q, and he said that long words (gardening terms) and Latin plant names are putting the Ipad generation off gardening! He even suggested that there were a host of words he would like to ban because they, in his opinion, confused people.
These words include; hardy, deciduous, evergreen, ericaceous, shrubs, perennials, herbaceous, annuals -
However, it does bring up a strong point about the new generation of gardeners. Do they simply want plants that are listed as ‘plant and forget’ and ‘bombproof plants’ – effectively simple solutions to the Ipad generation?!
At the Garden Centre we don’t simply over simplify things for the sake of it – the last thing we don’t want to do would be to alienate our customers. The terms listed are pretty descriptive to what they actually are and I think as someone going into growing stuff and working with plant material in developing a garden a basic knowledge of the terms should be part of the learning process, don’t you think?
The Ipad generation have access to information technology which helps explain stuff – you only have to look on You Tube to see how this is greatly benefiting gardeners with lots of tutorials to explain many of the processes we gardeners have to do – like planting trees and shrubs, sowings seeds, taking specific types of cuttings, applying a mulch, performing a graft, etc. This free resource is available for everyone to tap into and with information at your fingertips learning about gardening in all its principles has never been more accessible and straightforward.
We are more than happy to explain any of the terminology to our customers, its part of the job of the retailer. We do have a keen and refreshingly younger customer entering the home ownership and first garden scenario so this is where we do need to take the time to explain those garden terms which may crop up in conversation.
What is amazing is how this Ipad generation bring their smart phones and tablets into us with photos of their garden, pictures showing awkward areas where plants will not grow and ideas are needed, plant identifications as well as close-
One of the newspaper reports also suggests that declining home ownership is hitting gardening. This is due to a greater number of people renting properties. ‘Don’t want to leave the plants for the landlord’ is the regular cry we hear from our customers and the best plan of action is to grow everything in containers and baskets which can be simply moved on with you.
So, what do you think? Should the gardening industry ‘dumb down’ gardening or do you think we need to make gardening more accessible to everyone? We’d love to hear your comments. Pop your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can message us on our Facebook page.
WHAT’S ON THIS EARLY SUMMER
EVERY SUNDAY Stock up on your fresh fruits and vegetables as Aston Clinton-
WEDNESDAY 10th MAY Composting With Worms with recycling expert Rod Weston. Rod will cover the types and care of wormeries, worm compost and making liquid feeds from the compost and liquids from worms. 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 on 01280 822133. Garden Club Members free, £3 for non-
A reminder of the dates of our planned Garden Visits
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. More information HERE.
National Trust Biddulph Grange Garden Tuesday 13th June BGC Members £48, Non Members £53. National Trust /BGC Members £41 NT /BGC Non Members £46. More information HERE.
Kew Gardens Richmond on Thursday 20th July. BGC Members £50.00, Non Members £55.00. More information HERE.
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. More information HERE.
Batsford Arboretum & Bourton House Garden Thursday 12th October BGC Members £48.00, Non Members £53.00. More information HERE.
Buckingham Palace State Rooms & Garden Tour We are currently awaiting a release date for this visit. BGC Members £58.00, Non Members £63.00.
SUNDAY 25th JUNE Evenley Wood’s Lily and Rose Festival. In celebration of two of our favourite flowers! Food, stalls, children’s activities, talks, and more. The Garden Centre will be attending and Chris Day will be giving an inspirational talk on Re-
SATURDAY 23rd & SUNDAY 24th SEPTEMBER Apple and Honey Show Weekend. Top RHS fruit expert Gerry Edwards and Moulton Colleges Fritz De Zutter will be joining us over this celebration weekend of the apple. The Mid-
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.
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Buckingham Nurseries and Garden Centre,
Tingewick Road, Buckingham, MK18 4AE, UK.
Tel: 01280 822133 -