The popular children’s TV programme Blue Peter celebrates its Diamond birthday -
We all can make a difference and remember however small these appear they can translate to a much bigger picture. Have a great Christmas and we hope to see you very soon.
Enjoy your winter garden -
CHRISTMAS, NEW CHILDRENS’ CLOTHING AND FOOD PT1
Each year we like to build our Christmas displays a little differently and this year is certainly no exception. You enter through the main foyer, which features one huge Christmas tree with thousands of lights and Santa's living room complete with a comfy chair. Through the electric doors and you enter our Woodland themed area -
You’ll find here our range of exclusively festive tinsels designed by the Team at the Garden Centre. These tinsels come in the following colour combinations (pictured right from top to bottom) -
Extending through the shop we have a new range of festive homeware products including festive nut holders, plus fireplace art including reindeer, angels and stars.
You’ll also find a great range of gift boxes, which are new for us this season together with wrapping paper, gift wrap bags and tags along with Christmas cards, calendars and crackers. Seasonal gift ideas include a lovely collection of novelty soaps in a selection of different fragrances and designs at £4.99 each and Christmas mugs for just 99p! These two items would make great inexpensive stocking fillers.
Our new range of children’s clothing is from the award winning ‘Blade & Rose’. Not only are the items a fantastic price, they are also made from high quality materials too! With 8 different designs to choose from, you will find the right one for your little one. Ages range from 0 to 4 years. The most popular items are the tractor, bunny and flower face designs and are already proving popular so they will make ideal Christmas presents! Why not check out ‘Blade & Rose’ for yourself next time you come to the garden centre – they are in the children’s area of the shop. Set within this area there are plenty of children’s themed toys, Johnsons Little Gardeners range, games and books.
CHRISTMAS, NEW CHILDRENS’ CLOTHING AND FOOD PT2
Look out for a great photo opportunity through the Christmas build-
Christmas food is covered tastefully again this season with a full Christmas menu being offered in our Restaurant, see right. Booking is essential on 01280 827907.
Our real Christmas trees arrive late November and will be beautifully shaped. They are sourced from the best Scottish growers and will include cut Nordmann Fir and Noble Fir which have excellent needle retention, provided you follow the care instructions.
Finally, over the four weekends commencing 1st December and running up to Christmas we’ll have delicious mince pies and fruity mulled wine (fruit squash as a non-
RECYCLING ISSUES AND MAKING YOUR OWN COMPOST PT1
Ever since Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II brought attention to the blight of plastic pollution in the world's oceans everyone has been talking about it. Whilst gardening is perceived as very much a green pursuit, environmentally we gardeners use masses of plastic products in the pursuit of achieving our green oasis.
Over the past few months we’ve seen some encouraging initiatives from the gardening trade to try and green up our plant pots. There are to be trials of a fully recyclable plant pot next year -
“I am going to try and drastically cut down on the amount of plastic we use in the garden," he told BBC Gardeners’ World magazine. “Longmeadow might look very artisanal, but behind the scenes we get through a lot of plastic, from seed module trays to sacks of vermiculite. “I’m not going to ban it, but I will be interested to see how little I can use.”
Monty demonstrated through this year ways gardeners can make a difference and has pledged to keep Gardeners’ World viewers updated on his programme, including any significant nursery trade developments.
Monty reminds his viewers regularly on the importance of composting -
Here are a few practical tips for your new compost heap:
RECYCLING ISSUES AND MAKING YOUR OWN COMPOST PT2
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 ‘festive favourite’ plant (10).
3. A growing glass structure? (10)
7. Japanese maple (4)
9. Two stroke ___ (3)
10. Silver bedding plant Dusty Miller (9)
12. Anise flavoured aperitif (4)
13. Where would you often aerate? (4)
14. Apple with a cockney name! (4,6)
15. Add coarseness to a potting compost (4)
17. Rose of the Year 2019 ________
19. Sloe ___ (3)
20. Tool for making small holes (6)
21. Spindle tree (8)
1. Storage for a hose pipe (4)
2. ‘Midwinter Fire' is a popular form of which shrub? (6)
4. 'Elsanta', 'Hapil' and 'Honeoye' are types of which fruit? (10)
5. A term for an off-
6. Fruits from Quercus? (6)
8. Fragrant evergreen shrub (10)
11. Alan Titchmarsh's ITV garden show? ____ ____ Garden (4,4)
12. A gathering of fruit treesmaybe? (7)
13. A deciduous conifer popularised by Monty Python? (5)
16. Pyracantha ____ Thorn (4)
18. ___ week stocks (3)
Once you have solved the anagram, send the plant name you have discovered by e-
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER CROSSWORD ANSWERS
Did you try our crossword in the last newsletter? See if you were correct, the answers are below:
3. Another name for Bellis perennis (5) DAISY
8. Crassula argentea, _____ Tree (5) MONEY
9. Cornish horticultural attraction____ Project (4) EDEN
10. Common, Grey and Italian are types of what? (5) ALDER
12. Designer of the 1974 Blue Peter garden (5,7) PERCY THROWER
14. Pomology is the study of growing what? (5) FRUIT
17. Lump of soil? (4) CLOD
18. Honey producer (3) BEE
19. Tree cedars (6) CEDRUS
21. The colour of the flowers of Verbena bonariensis (5,6) LILAC PURPLE
22. Variety of Laurel (4) ETNA
23. Xyella has already killed many ____ oil producing trees (5) OLIVE
24. Sunken fence or ditch (2,2) HA HA
1. Rhus Typhina? (6) SUMACH
2. TV presenter, Monty ___ ? (3) DON
4. Evergreen blueberry variety (8,4) SUNSHINE BLUE
5. A friend of Bill and Ben? (4) WEED
6. Evergreen or semi-
7. A kind of garden structure? (6) GAZEBO
11. Naked autumn flowering bulbs (9) COLCHICUM
13. A herb which has soothing and cooling properties (4,4) ALOE VERA
15. Lancashire rose colour? (3) RED
16. Monty's dogs Nigel and _____ (4) NELL
19. Plant support (4) CANE
20. A suffusion of colour (3) HUE
So the solution to the anagram we were looking for was RAMBLING RECTOR
REACH FOR THE PLEACH FOR PRIVACY PT1
Due to the fact that land prices have risen considerably over the past few years, new housing estates now often have houses with small or very small gardens and due to the proximity of other houses these can be overlooked by neighbours’ windows, writes Pauline Brown. As nearly all of us like to have privacy whilst out enjoying our garden the challenge is to provide the privacy but without taking up too much of the precious space, preferably as soon as possible.
The obvious way is to erect some trellis above the close boarded fence which was provided, then cover this with fast growing climbers such as evergreen Honeysuckle, Montana Clematis, Russian Vine, Trachelospermum (Star Jasmine) or Virginia Creeper, but the danger of this is that high winds can sometimes bring such structures down.
Less prone to wind damage is to plant and train a pleached hedge of, for example Hornbeam, so that it screens an area above the fence line, whilst leaving plenty of space below to plant an attractive border. The photo, above, shows such an effect outside one of the bio-
Hornbeam is not an evergreen but retains much of its foliage in the winter having turned from orange to brown, but if an evergreen screen is wanted this can be achieved using Photinia ‘Red Robin’ or Portuguese Laurel, but this will take a little longer, unless ready trained plants are purchased but these will be extremely expensive. Also as a semi-
REACH FOR THE PLEACH FOR PRIVACY PT2
If it is felt that evergreen was not so important a very attractive screen can be achieved with Crab Apples or Fruiting Apples, the later bearing a delicious edible crop and both with beautiful blossom in the spring. In both cases one would need to start with a maiden tree which will have a single, straight stem. Many other species can be recommended for pleaching.
If you are interested in creating such a screen, the above is only a brief outline but more information is available by talking to a member of the plant team at the Garden Centre.
Another way of blocking a neighbour’s view into your garden is to plant a tree in a strategic position. Obviously one does not want something which will get far too big, possibly creating shade or even damaging the foundations of any building nearby. We stock a wide range of suitable trees, both pot grown or bare root in the season when plants are dormant, that is between November and the end of March. The bare root trees are listed on our website, www.hedging.co.uk and in our catalogue but some examples are Flag Pole Cherry (Prunus ‘Amanogowa’) a narrow ornamental cherry with its masses of semi-
So, if you have moved in to an otherwise perfect house but with the one problem of being overlooked, all is not lost, carefully chosen planting could easily solve this for you and we at the Garden Centre are more than happy to give advice.
WIN A £10 VOUCHER,SHARE YOUR XMAS PHOTO WITH US
Christmas is all about making special memories with family members. New this Christmas at the Garden Centre we have created a lovely photo opportunity for you and your family members to get involved in. The seasonal display is in the main shop this Christmas -
WELCOME TO OUR JUNIOR GARDENING CLUB PAGE PT1
We launched our new Junior Gardening Club at the Garden Centre in August. Each month we will be running a special competition 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 a torch, stickers, bubbles, word search puzzle and monster key ring,
Please collect your Competition sheet from the Customer Service Desk and get searching on your next visit!
Kids practical project -
You can create a simple terrarium from a fizzy drinks bottle.
Turn a coffee mug upside down and rest your marker pen on top. This will help you draw a straight line around the plastic bottle. As you place your bottle next to the marker pen, spin the bottle around slowly to draw the line. Take some sharp scissors and cut along the line. Later you will be putting the top half of the bottle back onto the bottom half of the bottle, so to make the top part fit better cut a little over 2.5cm (1-
First fill the bottom of the bottle with some pebbles. The purpose of the pebbles at the bottom is to allow excess water to flow to the bottom of the bottle. This will prevent it from soaking the soil and making it muddy.
Next you can add some soil. How much soil you put in depends on if you are planting a plant or seeds. Since we are planting small plants, we didn’t put much in. If you are planting seeds you will want to fill the bottom section with enough soil so that there is about an inch of space left to the top.
WELCOME TO OUR JUNIOR GARDENING CLUB PAGE PT2
Next add your plant, and add some more soil to fill in the spaces. If you are planting seeds opt for 6 to 10 seeds and later as they grow you can take out some of the weaker ones and leave 2 or 3 of the best ones. Next water your soil so that it is moist. Put the top on the bottom section to make a cover.
There are two important factors you have to consider when it comes to your terrarium: the amount of sunlight it gets and the amount of water that is inside.
Once the plants have sprouted you should make sure it gets sunlight but do not leave it in direct sunlight for the entire day. It is a closed environment and it can get very hot inside.
While the cover is on look carefully at the soil in the ‘terrarium’. It should look moist but not soaked or too dry. Beads of water should form on the top inside near edge and these will run down the sides and continue to water the soil. If it appears to be too wet you can take the top off and leave it uncovered for a day or two. Once plants are growing well you can take off the cover.
BBOWT: OUR CHOSEN CHARITY OF 2018
The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) protects wildlife across the three counties. Wildlife needs space to feed and breed. For example, hedgehogs can roam an average distance of 2km per night. To give wildlife more space and protection we have created broad areas of land called ‘Living Landscapes’, which allow wildlife to move between suitable habitats, and reduce isolation between populations. This also reduces the risk of local extinction. Across these areas we work with farmers, local authorities and other landowners to encourage wildlife-
One of the greatest threats to wildlife is roads. More than 50,000 badgers are killed on roads each year. It’s a road that is the focus of a legal case that BBOWT has launched against the government. The Oxford to Cambridge Expressway and ‘Growth Arc’ will include a dual carriageway road and up to one million new homes. We are concerned that the government has chosen a corridor of land for this development that contains many sites that are protected for wildlife.
During a consultation earlier this year BBOWT told Highways England – the government company that operates our motorways and major A roads – that ‘corridor B’ was the worst option of three that they were then considering. In September the government announced that it has chosen ‘corridor B’, but thankfully safeguarded some land in the middle, thereby saving RSPB Otmoor – an expansive floodplain to the north east of Oxford that is home to wading birds and wildfowl. However, many protected areas are still under threat. We are concerned about the potential impact on the Upper Ray Valley and ancient woodlands in the vicinity of Calvert, including Finemere Wood.
The government also wants to build one million homes along the length of the Expressway, which could see the number of homes across Oxfordshire, Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire nearly double. The current population of those three areas is very roughly 1.5 million, and the average number of people per home is 2.45, so there are currently more than 600,000 homes. Even if only half of the proposed new ‘Growth Arc’ homes are built across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes (and the other half in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire) it will still represent a near doubling of the current number.
BBOWT launched a legal challenge to the government’s plans in September, making the case that they did not conduct a Strategic Environmental Assessment or Habitats Regulations Assessment before choosing ‘Corridor B’. There is also a lack of commitment by Highways England to preventing a net loss of biodiversity along the length of the development. If you are concerned please contact your local MP, and also District and Parish Councillors. If you would like to keep up to date with progress please see the web link below.
To find out more about the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust please visit www.bbowt.org.uk
To find out more about the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway and our legal challenge visit:
WHAT’S ON THIS AUTUMN AND EARLY WINTER
EVERY SUNDAY Between 10am-
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. 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-
WEDNESDAY 5th -
SATURDAY 8th DECEMBER Cottage Garden Delight food tasting day. Plenty of tasty goodies to sample from our Christmas range of products. Taste before you buy!
FRIDAY 14th DECEMBER is Christmas Jumper Day We are encouraging the Team to don their favourite festive attire and help Save The Children charity too! You can get involved at the following link www.christmasjumperday.org
MONDAY 17th to SUNDAY 23rd DECEMBER Special Garden Card Event Week for our Garden Club Members with 10% discount across our Christmas department.
SATURDAY 22nd to 23rd DECEMBER Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust will be joining us from 10am-
SATURDAY 2nd FEBRUARY 2019 is 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.
WEDNESDAY 13th MARCH 2019 at 4pm Twelve Months of Colour with Chris Day. This talk aims to encourage year-
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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Buckingham Nurseries and Garden Centre,
Tingewick Road, Buckingham, MK18 4AE, UK.
Tel: 01280 822133 -