Friday, 30 September 2016

Feature in 'Essex Life' magazine

Many thanks to 'Essex Life' magazine for the excellent feature about Beeches in the October edition - very much appreciated.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Suffolk NCCPG Autumn sale Helmingham Hall

After a break of a few years we decided to show our faces again at this event. It turned out to be a great day, beautiful weather and lots of eager plant buyers. Thanks to the team for organizing such a well run event. A couple of quick pics for those who didn't make it.

Kevin taking a 'breather', having set up the stand with Phil, before the gates opened

'Oooh that's looks, good', 'Never seen that plant before'

Sunday, 11 September 2016

You've never seen the nursery like this !

Many new visitors are really surprised what lies beyond our modest entrance and hopefully the following will convince you we are not offering a few plants in assorted yoghurt pots :). The following views of the nursery captured by Andy Hollis.

An overall view showing entrance & shop top centre, shrubs, roses & trees around the greenhouse & herbaceous retail beds, shade tunnels and growing area adjacent to the wildlife meadow.

 Similar areas from the east

 Herbaceous perennials, grasses and fruit trees:

 herbaceous again from the south

 A portion of the shrub, rose and tree retail area

 The wildlife meadow - the grass cut for hay 2 days after this shot was taken

 Our 4th full time member of staff! Ellie now feeling her age at 12 but determined to get herself into nearly every one of the above images

Friday, 29 January 2016

It's Hellebore time !

Always popular and each year brings more introductions of these long lasting beauties! New stocks have just arrived - and they are looking good - really good so no better time to indulge your senses with their colours and form.
So lets have a peep at some of the current crop.
Below a selection of the Harvington x hybridus group available in 1.0lt pots:
Above -  Clockwise from top left: Harvington x hybridus 'Red', H x h 'Golden Glory', H x h 'Purple Csacade' & H x h 'Dusky'

Below again clockwise from top left: H x h 'Yellow, H niger 'Double White' ( a double 'Christmas Rose'), H x h 'Speckled White' & H x h 'Double Chocolate'

Above are Helleborus x ericsmithii hybrids available in 2lt pots. From top left: H x e 'Winter Sunshine', H x e 'Shooting Star', H x e 'Pirouette' & H x e 'Winter Moonbeam' 
and a few more 'beauties' From top left Helleborus 'Molly's White', H. 'Penny's Pink', H x hybridus 'Harvington Smokey Blue' & H. x hybridus 'Lily'

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Harbingers of Spring

Happy New Cheer!

Welcome to the new gardening year and a time to savor and delight in the first signs of colour re-appearing in the beds and borders. Here are some of the 'must have' plants to have in any garden. The sight yesterday of the first Snowdrops and Winter Aconites lifts the spirits and starts us looking forward to the unfolding tapestry of colours to follow throughout the year. 

The 1st snowdrop saying 'hello' yesterday. Even the narcissus (so early for the time of year) was enjoying the warmth of the winter sun. 

Above we have the invaluable Cyclamen coum (left). Available in shades of pink and often with attractive leaf markings they freely spread from seed if left to naturalize. As do the winter aconites (Eranthis hyemalis) and snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) the latter, being bulbous, forming large clumps which can be lifted and divided immediately after flowering.

I would never be without the winter flowering jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) on the left. A sprawling, ground covering shrub with flexible stems by nature but usually trained against a wall or fence to give flushes of flower from mid November until early spring. Excellent too as a cut flower for a small arrangement indoors. Mahonia x media 'Winter Sun' does what it says on the tin!! Large, highly fragrant spikes of sunshine yellow flowers over a long period from late November. A striking, architectural, large evergreen shrub for sun or shade.

The bright red stems of Cornus alba 'Sibirica' lend drama to the garden throughout the winter. Along with other members of the Cornus family with attractively coloured stems, these dogwoods are easy to grow in any reasonable soil in sun or shade. For the brightest winter colour remove old wood on a regular basis. To the front we have Skimmia japonica 'Rubella' (left) and Skimmia x confusa Kew Green. Slow growing. compact evergreens the heads of flower buds add interest from mid autumn until the white, highly fragrant flowers open in April. Female varieties will also carry bright red berries in autumn if pollinated by a male clone. Best in a neutral to acid soil in part shade.

Prunus x subhirtella 'Autumnalis' (left) carries sprays of small flowers in flushes from November until finishing in a magnificent cloud of white flushed pink as the leaves emerge in spring. A medium size, open tree with smallish leaves on twiggy stems. The highly fragrant 'winter sweet' (Chimonanthus fragrans) flowering now. Takes a few years to come into it's own but well worth the wait!
I hope you have enjoyed my ramble through some of the plants which add so much to the garden during winter. There are many more to be seen in the nursery including a large selection of Birches with superb bark and winter tracery. May I suggest take a visit to Anglesey Abbey and Cambridge Botanic Gardens now to see winter gardens in all their glory. I am sure they will inspire you to think of what you can achieve even on a small scale. Happy winter gardening!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Our big autumn 'spring clean'......!!

NO ... this is not the new nursery gnome!! It's Philip tackling the job we all love to hate - the big autumn clean up. It's dank, gloomy, getting colder, on-site customers (except the very keen and brave) have gone into hibernation - oh dear!. Never mind, put on a smile, on with the layers, out we go and time to get the vulnerable. more tender plants cleaned up and put under cover for the winter. 
(The glorious red haze in the background btw is Cornus alba 'Sibirica').

The greenhouse has been scrubbed clean both outside and in and is already filling up with plants that need some frost protection - dahlias, cannas, some of the S African bulbs etc. In a few days time every available space will be taken up in here.


Meanwhile the crated plants below, and many more yet to be sorted, will be overwintered in well ventilated polytunnels mainly as a precaution not knowing what the next few months will throw at us!. These can withstand frosts but can suffer from winter wet when in pots of water retaining compost. In the garden situation with reasonably drained soil they will be fine. Come the spring they will be back in their outside beds, looking good and saying 'buy me'!

And finally the toughest (plants not staff) will be left to overwinter in situ (as above) once the beds have been sterilized, shingle replaced where necessary. If all goes to plan before the end of November after which we start the same process with the shrubs! 
And you thought we spent the these quieter months sitting in  the office playing cards ... ha !!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Mail ordering

Mail order is now in full swing and here we see Kevin packing boxes ready for dispatch by courier later in the day (has just arrived to collect today's consignment as I type) arriving at our customers within 24 hours. Plants are carefully packed in sturdy boxes using plenty of fresh straw to ensure they arrive in good condition. Each year we send out hundreds of boxes, mainly in the seasons when plants are dormant, with many repeat orders from satisfied customers.

Customer requests are received via telephone, email or an order form available to download from our website - then click on the 'Ordering' section on the left column. If certain items are out of stock we can recommend a near alternative or a more suitable plant - a system which ensures our customers can often complete a planting scheme in one hit!   

Plants are dispatched in our standard pots complete with descriptive label. We can send up to 25kg per box. We are able to send any plants from our huge range, ie herbaceous, shrubs, roses up to 1.0m tall but regret no trees. However we now have an arrangement with one of our main growers who will arrange delivery of trees and fruit from their huge stock direct to you. 
Payment by card is deducted from the customer account on the day of dispatch.
So if you are looking for plants and want a personal service with good experienced advice why not give us a call? You will find listing of plants on our website - see the link above. In the unlikely event that you are not satisfied with the quality of our plants or service we will offer you a full refund.