When did you first venture out into the garden and get your hands dirty? When I was knee high to a grasshopper I do remember a ‘mountain’ of turf arriving in our garden and my Dad lugging and moving the turfs in a wheelbarrow in readiness to create a new lawn. Of course this didn’t mean anything to me, apart from the fact I got to use a rake and was allowed to remove ‘big stones’ and level. My next recollection was in my dear grandma’s garden picking border carnations and just remembering the amazing fragrance. Our childhood memories are so important and these days encouraging youngsters with plants, soil and nature usually means prizing them away from screens. At the Garden Centre we continually encourage and engage with local children, from school visits to our annual school challenge so it’s with much delight that we announce the launch of our Junior Gardening Club. We’ll be running a monthly competition to find missing letters behind our secret doors, plus we’ll make sure there are activities aplenty in our newsletters and at our events. We also want to get more local schools involved in gardening and engaged with Nature. So, if you are needing some help with a specific gardening or nature themed project then we would love to hear from you.
Finally, this summer has been a scorcher and we know many of you have been ‘plagued’ by wasps. Local pest controller, Tom Caswell, gives us his wealth of knowledge on these pesky characters on page 7.
Enjoy your late summer garden -
SHOP NEWS: FOOD HALL ADDITIONS, BULBS, CANDLES PT1
Although the recent hot weather may have been hard on our gardens, it does allow us plenty of opportunities to sit out and enjoy ourselves late into the evenings. In our ever-
Newly in, we have a range of breadsticks from Yorkshire based Nibnibs (right) and Manomasa tortilla chips in a great range of unique flavours. Great to nibble whilst waiting for the barbeque to heat up. There is also pork crackling now available from The Snaffling Pig Co. You can play it safe with the perfectly salted variety or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, you could go for Habanero Chilli or Marvellous Maple, or you could even try Cleaver & Keg’s range of dried meats (think gourmet jerky) including chorizo, salami and beef. They all go brilliantly with our wide selection of local ales, including two new varieties from Towcester Mill Brewery -
If you want to invite people over but don’t fancy slaving over a hot stove why not opt for a cheese and wine evening? With a few additions you can elevate your cheese board into something much more impressive. The Fine Cheese Company have crackers with well thought out flavourings. These are ideal for complementing all sorts of cheeses, such as their walnut and honey cracker, a perfect base for blue cheese. They also do a great selection of pickled vegetable and fruit purée that make great accompaniments along with our new range of olives from Silver & Green (pictured left). We have also introduced a range of dipping oils from Charlie & Ivy which, again, come in a wide selection of inviting flavours.
With the cheese board sorted don’t forget to pick up a bottle of wine from the award winning Chafor Wine Estate (see page 11 for details of a visit). They have just added a much-
SHOP NEWS: FOOD HALL ADDITIONS, BULBS, CANDLES PT2
Also in the Shop we have a new range of scented candles from Heart & Home. This company produce unique scented candles, with their team of experts ensuring that each of their beautiful candles has the most sumptuous blend of fragrances because they care about producing the best candles. As well as traditional candles, the range also includes wax melts, Scent Cups and warmers and candle holders. Fragrance names to look out for in the range include Dawn Mist, Guardian Angel, Pink Blossom, Pink Grapefruit and Cassis, Simply Mulberry, Simply Spa, Sweet Cherries and White Jasmine and Freesia. Do please sniff out these exciting additions to our shop range.
The spring bulb season gets underway this month with a riotous selection of Alliums, Crocus, Hyacinths, Narcissi and Tulips amongst others taking centre stage in the Shop. Look out for the XL Value range which this season includes the Bulb of the Year, Crocus ‘Prins Claus’ (pictured right). This superb spring-
As we enter autumn and with Christmas just a round the corner we also have our range of 2019 Calendars and diaries on display in the Shop, from traditional wall planners to themed and celebrity wall calendars -
Finally, we will be starting a series of Facebook Competitions at the beginning of September with prizes of a range of seasonally themed goodies. To enter you’ll need to LIKE Buckingham Nurseries on Facebook. We’re easy to find on Facebook simply search for @BuckinghamNurseries
NEARBY ROAD WORKS ON THE A421
As you may be aware there are major road works happening on the A421 as you head towards Buckingham at the junction of Tingewick Road. Developments at Tingewick Road are being accompanied by significant new highway improvements which will see the construction of a new four arm roundabout on the A421. Barretts, the house builders, are in partnership with Buckingham County Council to reduce the impact of the development and alleviate congestion. However, delays are going to be experienced as this work continues so please allow time when planning a visit to us. As we went to press, the road agency and council appear to be discussing the impact on local traffic, so we’ll see what happens over the coming weeks.
5 MINS WITH GERRY EDWARDS, TOP RHS FRUIT EXPERT PT1
As our Apple and Honey Show is fast approaching we spent a few minutes with our favourite apple guru, Gerry Edwards, to discover more about his garden and his thoughts on fruit growing amongst other things. Gerry was recently awarded the prestigious Veitch Memorial Medal, an international prize awarded by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement and improvement of the science and practice of Horticulture.
Where do you live and perhaps describe your garden?
I live in Pinner in Middlesex and have around one acre of garden. Approximately one quarter of this is for my fruit growing and bees!
Do you have your own orchard?
Yes, I do have my own orchard of approximately 300 top fruit trees. Mainly apples and pears but some plums and apricots.
What do you love about your job?
I am lucky enough to have two great jobs. I work for the RHS as a fruit advisor and apple identifier. I am also Chair of the RHS Fruit Group, Vice Chair of the RHS Fruit, Vegetable and Herb Committee and a member of the RHS Fruit Trials Panel. Additionally I work for myself as Gerry Edwards Orchard Services. I travel round the country advising on orchards old and new, giving talks on fruit growing and writing. I love both of these jobs and get out and about and actually enjoy what I am doing!
Your favourite plant...
Very hard to say but I will probably go for Bougainvilleas (pictured right) grown in the wild as they always cheer me up! But these are close run by Cistus or rock roses. I just love these sun roses flowering all year round and have many of them.
Your favourite gardening activity...
Apart from the odd beer in the sun it has to be fruit tree pruning! Yes, that sounds bonkers doesn’t it!
5 MINS WITH GERRY EDWARDS, TOP RHS FRUIT EXPERT PT2
What’s the best orchard you have visited and why?
Very difficult as they are all so different. Therefore I have to nominate three! The first is the fabulous orchard at RHS Wisley Gardens where so many historic and heritage cultivars are grown. The second is at West Dean Gardens in West Sussex which I have watched grow from its earliest days. The third is an orchard that I saw earlier this year when I was on a speaking tour of Jersey. This is owned by Vincent Obbard who is the Seigneur of Samarès at Samarès Manor. He has experimented with growing fruit trees in various shapes exceptionally well and I am hoping to write a piece on him for the RHS The Garden magazine soon.
In your opinion what is the best thing that has happened in fruit growing this decade?
Without doubt the banning of many horrible chemicals for the garden. As an organic grower of many years I have real proof that nature does its bit very well and I am delighted that many gardeners are following this lead.
If you could have one ‘Super Power’ what would it be?
An interesting question but I think that the answer has to be to have a full identifiable knowledge of all apples and pears that are grown. If this “super power” is nothing to do with gardening then I would use it to ensure that my football team -
Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter but almost prefer Instagram!
Do you have a gardening tip you would like to share with us?
Always grow autumn fruiting raspberries on to achieve a second crop the following summer!
Final question Gerry. What’s the most unusual fruit/variety you have been asked to identify?
An Asian pear that the enquirer was determined it was not a russet apple! I think they went home unhappy that it was not an Asian pear but a ‘Brownlees’ Russet’ apple (pictured right)!
Gerry will be offering his wealth of fruit knowledge throughout our Apple and Honey Show Weekend. If you are wishing to have an apple variety identified please bring in 2-
SCHOOL CHALLENGE RESULTS
Back in February we launched our annual School Challenge to over 20 local pre and primary schools in Buckingham and the surrounding area. This year we threw down the gauntlet to grow the best Calendula or Pot Marigold. This easy to grow hardy annual provides valuable nectar and pollen for our bumble and honey bees! Our gardening expert and tutor Clare Price, pictured left, kindly came along and judged the entries for us. The first prize of £50 of Buckingham Garden Centre garden vouchers went to Maids Moreton School (pictured right with BGC’s Chris Day) with their well grown pot. In second place Lace Hill Academy in Buckingham and in third place Thornborough Infant School. Well done to all the entrants particularly given the trying growing conditions.
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 rose variety (8,6).
3. Another name for Bellis perennis (5)
8. Crassula argentea, _____ Tree (5)
9. Cornish horticultural attraction____ Project (4)
10. Common, Grey and Italian are types of what? (5)
12. Designer of the 1974 Blue Peter garden (5,7)
14. Pomology is the study of growing what? (5)
17. Lump of soil? (4)
18. Honey producer (3)
19. Tree cedars (6)
21. The colour of the flowers of Verbena bonariensis (5,6)
22. Variety of Laurel (4)
23. Xyella has already killed many ____ oil producing trees (5)
24. Sunken fence or ditch (2,2)
1. Rhus Typhina? (6)
2. TV presenter, Monty ___ ? (3)
4. Evergreen blueberry variety (8,4)
5. A friend of Bill and Ben? (4)
6. Evergreen or semi-
7. A kind of garden structure? (6)
11. Naked autumn flowering bulbs (9)
13. A herb which has soothing and cooling properties (4,4)
15. Lancashire rose colour? (3)
16. Monty's dogs Nigel and _____ (4)
19. Plant support (4)
20. A suffusion of colour (3)
Once you have solved the anagram, send the plant name you have discovered by e-
JUNE/JULY CROSSWORD ANSWERS
Did you try our crossword in the last newsletter? See if you were correct, the answers are below:
1. Adds acidity to beers HOP
4. Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium in fertiliser? NPK
5. A big porky fellow! HOG
8. Tool for weed control HOE
10. Ornamental thorn MAY
11. Other name for a Peruvian lily? ALSTROEMERIA
14. Plume flower? CELOSIA
16. Cereal grown in water? RICE
17. Common name for Limnanthes douglasii, POACHED EGG plant
18. Impatiens? BUSY Lizzies
19. Bitter leaved vegetables? ENDIVES
21. Nasty killer wasp, ASIAN hornet
22. Black eyed Susan? THUMBERGIA
2. Process plants use to convert light into chemical energy PHOTO synthesis
3. Measure of acidity or alkalinity PH
4. Biological controllers in the garden NEMATODE
6. Scottish TV gardening show, Beech GROVE Garden (5)
7. The technical term for a seed sprouting GERMINATION
9. Food attractant? BAIT
12. Marks that age trees? Bark RINGS
13. Flower named after Botanist Dr Leonard Fuchs? FUSCHIA
15. Mustard’s mate? CRESS
16. Beefy teasing? RIB
20. Sounds like a letter but is green and sweet TEA
So the solution to the anagram we were looking for was CERCIDIPHYLLUM
WASPS CAN BE A PAIN BUT DO HAVE THEIR BENEFITS TOO
As a pest controller with some 20 years of experience, people often ask me “What is the purpose of a wasp”? The expectation is often that my response will be something to the effect of “They have no purpose other than to scare the living daylights out of grown men and generally be a nuisance at a picnic”, writes Tom Caswell. However, to the surprise of many, I’m actually very fond of the wasp and regularly fight their corner in discussion. Wasps are pretty much the apex predator and master scavenger and the work they do in reducing the numbers of other bugs is invaluable. If you consider that, in order for a wasp colony to reach full size, they may have consumed as much as a tonne of other insects and that on a really busy year there can be as many as 1000 nests per square mile in the UK you will start to appreciate the impact they have on managing the ecosystem. They also like to hunt aphids and other bugs that feed on flowers so they can quite accidentally be fairly effective pollinators
This year we have seen an unusually successful season for the wasps though. In an average year, I would be called to deal with around 70 -
We have seven species of wasp that are native to the UK but the main two are Vespula vulgaris -
So why has this year been so successful? Why did we not notice them sooner? Well firstly, that horrible, long, cold winter we had suited wasps very well. We didn’t really have any warm days to tempt the queens out early and by the time it started to warm up we were well into spring. This meant that there were no frosts to kill off the newly emerged queens. The long winter was then followed by an unusually hot May, June and July meaning that there was an abundance of food. Therefore the wasps were too preoccupied with chasing bugs to worry about our sweet foods. Finally, and this is the most unusual thing, the weather was so good when the new queens emerged that they didn’t hibernate after mating. They went straight out and started building new nests and therefore more than doubling the number of nests again. As the original nests die out the new ones are just getting going so we expect to see wasps around well into the autumn this year.
Will this affect next year’s wasp populations? 2016 was fairly busy for the wasps but last year was probably the quietest we have seen in a good ten years so it doesn’t necessarily follow that next year will be another bumper year for our stripy friends.
You can contact Tom at Reliance Pest Management on 01327 857031 or e-
LATEST NEWS FROM EVENLEY WOOD GARDEN
Well what a summer it has been so far! We have had a spectacular lily season with the highlight being the Giant Himalayan Lily (Cardiocrinum giganteum, pictured below). This only flowers once every seven years and looked stunning, if only out for such a short time. We also saw a lovely display from one of Tim Whiteley’s favourite lilies, the red-
It has been a tough couple of months at Evenley Wood Gardens with the high temperatures and the extreme lack of rain putting all plants to the test to see if they can survive this unusual British summer.
This month at the woods a lot of time has been spent trying to be selective over what plants to water and which would benefit from more. In the gardens our large farming water container, which holds thousands of litres of collected rainwater, has for the first time in several years, run dry in aid of our flowering lilies to try to prolong their flowering period.
One benefit of the dry weather is the weeds and vegetation has slowed down meaning we have had an opportunity to start clearing the pond area, raising the tree canopy and stripping back the island to allow our Gunneras to take over and have the space they crave. The pond and stream is going to be a major focus over the next few months to bring it back to its former glory. So please do keep checking in on our progress.
With our water system deployed and the cooler temperatures creeping in we are looking forward to our late summer events such as our upcoming theatre performance, Canopy of Stars, on Saturday 25th August which looks set to be a dazzling display of acrobatics in the trees. Along with our camping experience, Go Wild In The Woods, on 1st September, allowing our customers to experience the garden in a whole new light.
And of course, this is followed by Autumn Colour, which is set to be an exceptional display of fiery oranges, yellows and red – certainly a highlight of the year. Halloween activities will bring Autumn Colour to a close with pumpkin carving, spooky trails and other crafts before we brace ourselves for our first ever Christmas opening -
COMPETITION TIME We have two Evenley Wood Garden Season Tickets up for grabs, worth £30 each! To enter the competition simply answer the following question. Can you name the red flowering lily bred by Tim Whiteley and seen flowering in the garden this summer? Please send your answer together with your name and address to competitions@buckingham-
EVENLEY WOOD GARDEN is open daily between 9:30am to 4pm. Admission: Adults £5 and Children £1. Café open at weekends. Group tours are available through the season by appointment. Closed on selected dates – it is advisable to check the Garden’s website before making your journey. www.evenleywoodgarden.co.uk
WELCOME TO OUR NEW JUNIOR GARDENING CLUB PAGE
We are excited to launch our new Junior Gardening Club at the Garden Centre this August. Each month we will be running a special challenge to find hidden letters behind secret doors carefully located around the Garden Centre. Simply find all the letters to make the mystery word! There will be prizes to be won, including fun stickers and bubble tubes.
Please collect your Competition sheet from the Customer Service Desk and get searching on your next visit!
Gardening with Kids practical project -
This is fun and easy to do and will give instant appeal and lots can be learnt from it. If possible read the story of Jack and the Bean Stalk together if the child is not very familiar with it.
Kebab stick or a twig or wooden lolly sticks taped together for length, some paper/cardboard and optional cotton wool, a clear plastic cup and a saucer, small amount of compost.
1. Draw a castle surrounded by blue sky and glue on some cotton wood to give the cloud effect. Glue the castle/sky onto the stick leaving about 15cm of clear stick between the picture and the top of the pot after the stick has been inserted into the pot.
2. Puncture a few drainage holes in the base of the pot and fill with moist compost.
3. Push a bean or two into the compost and push the ‘castle skewer’ in to the pot.
4. Put the pot onto a saucer and place on a sunny windowsill.
5. Keep the compost moist and soon the bean will sprout roots then a shoot.
6. Measure how much the shoot grows each day and get the child to guess how long it will take to reach the castle.
7. When the bean has reached the castle the plant could be planted outside where it will grow on until the frosts come.
NEW IN: Look out for a new Unicorn range of enchanting soft toys, bedroom wall and door plaques, book ends, necklaces, pin badges, trinket boxes, jewellery boxes, key rings and bags amongst others. These items are perfect for creating your own individuality to a room or making it a theme to a new room -
BBOWT: OUR CHOSEN CHARITY OF 2018
The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust is the only voluntary organisation in the three counties that is concerned with all aspects of nature conservation. Our experts work with more than 1,400 volunteers to look after more than 80 nature reserves and four environmental education centres. We run hundreds of public events every year including nature walks, talks, and workshops.
By connecting people with wildlife we hope to inspire them to protect the natural world and reap the benefits for their physical and mental wellbeing. Each year thousands of primary school children visit our environmental education centres to connect with nature and take part in curriculum-
Our nature reserves are havens where wildlife can thrive and spread into the wider landscape if conditions are favourable. Our Living Landscapes scheme allows wildlife to move between suitable habitats, and reduce isolation between populations. This reduces the chance of local extinction. We also work with farmers, local authorities and other landowners to encourage wildlife-
Gardens are also increasingly important havens for wildlife as habitats in the wider countryside shrink and fragment, and climate change takes its toll. Our gardens represent a vast living landscape and the way they are managed can make a big difference to wildlife. We encourage people to think of wildlife when they are gardening, for example by planting wildflowers, putting up bird boxes, leaving piles of leaves for hedgehogs to nestle in, and creating ponds -
Butterflies can be attracted with nectar-
To find out more about the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust please visit http://www.bbowt.org.uk
To find out more about wildlife gardening please visit http://www.bbowt.org.uk/wildlifegardening
To find out more about events happening this summer please visit http://www.bbowt.org.uk/whats-
WHAT’S ON THIS AUTUMN AND EARLY WINTER
EVERY SUNDAY Between 10am-
WEDNESDAY 12th SEPTEMBER at 4pm Roses with Andrew Mikolajski. Roses are amongst the most versatile plants and no garden should be without them. Andrew looks at their history and explores the range available. The talk will begin at 4pm in the Talks Room in the Restaurant, as part of our Garden Centre talks programme, and will last approx 45 minutes with time for questions afterwards. To book a seat call us on 01280 822133. Garden Club Members free, £3 for non-
SATURDAY 22nd to SUNDAY 23th SEPTEMBER 10am-
WEDNESDAY 10th OCTOBER at 4pm. The Gardening Influences of Beatrix Potter. Chris Day delves into the history of Hill Garden and how gardening became as much a part of Miss Potter’s life as being a hugely successful author. Chris asks if this was the original start to how we create our cottage gardens today!
FRIDAY 12th OCTOBER at 6.30pm until 8.30pm. A vineyard tour, talk and sample tastings of Chafor award winning wines at Chafor Wine Estate in Gawcott. The cost is £10 and to register your interest contact our Customer Service Desk.
SATURDAY 20th OCTOBER Autumn Essentials Workshop with Clare Price. What to do in the garden as we move from Autumn into Winter? Whilst plants are dormant there are still plenty of useful jobs to be getting on with to prepare and enhance your garden for the following season. This Workshop covers three of the essentials to get you on your way. An introduction to Autumn and Winter pruning to include Apples/Pears, shrubs and roses. An exploration of plants to propagate including using some of the pruning material -
WEDNESDAY 14th NOVEMBER at 4pm Designing A Border From Scratch with Lucy Hartley. This talk aims to guide the gardener who is faced with the prospect of turning a bare patch of ground into a new garden border. Lucy looks at the essentials, the pitfalls and the designer tips – old and new. She will start with good ground preparation through to ending up with plants which work well aesthetically for the onlooker and work well together for sustainability.
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:
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 -