Monthly Archives: June 2014

The scented night-time garden

Some plants emit their fragrance at night. These fragrances are generally intense, even memorable, in the darkness adding both simplicity and mystery to the experience. In practical terms the main night-pollinators in the UK are moths. These insects are attracted by scent at the ‘sweet’ end of the fragrance spectrum. The ‘night-time plants’ therefore have honey, jasmine or honeysuckle scents.

It helps to site these plants in places that are protected from strong winds, so the fragrance can hang in the air. Plants can be positioned by a window that is opened on a warm evening. Where there is a front garden, include a night-scented plant so that late in the evening you are greeted with an exquisite fragrance as you approach your front door.

Plants to consider:

Nicotiana alata ( (Jasmine tobacco) and
Nicotiana sylvestris ( (Mountain tobacco) are tall plants that flower from July to September.

Just two or three of these inexpensive plants, generally grown as annuals, can provide a heavy, delicious fragrance. There are a number of smaller cultivars, some of which will carry some scent but the species are the best, and their white tubular flowers are also visible in the dark. It is possible to grow them in a container.

Oenothera biennis ( (Common evening primrose) opens its fragrant flowers at dusk and can be allowed to naturalise in a wilder part of the garden.

Much more modest in height, Saponaria officinalis ( (soapwort) has a sweet fragrance, especially noticeable in the evening. It is likely to flower in July.

If elegant foliage is required Hosta plantaginea ( (the August lily) is fragrant at night, flowering in August.

There are several climbers which are night fragrant and these include the desirable, borderline tender Trachelospermum jasminoides ( (Star Jasmine) and Wisteria floribunda ( (Japanese wisteria). Lonicera periclymenum ( (the common woodbine) is also worth considering.

Usually grown for the beauty of their foliage but having flowers in April that have an exceptional honey fragrance, Pittosporum tenuifolium ( and its many hybrids are excellent. Lonicera syringantha ( (the lilac honeysuckle) is a late spring flowering shrub with a sweet fragrance that is very noticeable in the evening and night. Since the fragrance of these plants is generally carried for several yards, they can easily be incorporated in planting that is grown for its flowers or foliage effect in the daytime.

Finally, in order to provide some visual interest after dark, grow a few white flowers that will be attractive at night. These could include white Cosmos ( and white Phlox (, the latter is also fragrant and attracts hawk moths at night.

This Longacres Blog post contributed by Susan A. Tindall

BBC and RHS ‘Designs on Chelsea’ competition

This could be of interest to any of the Longacres gardeners out there – the BBC and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) are looking for keen amateur gardeners who would like to compete for a chance of going to the RHS Chelsea show and have their own garden design shown on the Main Avenue stand!

They are looking for amateur garden designers and garden design students or graduates to take part. Filming for the BBC 2 show will take place in July, August and September. You can see details and apply on the following link:

The competition is open to anyone 18 or over, and it’s amateurs only – professional garden designers may NOT apply! Don’t delay – the entrance window closes very soon.

PowerPoint Presentation

David Domoney at Longacres Garden Centre Surrey

We have the talented David Domoney in store this weekend doing talks on how to improve your garden! David is no stranger to the weird and wacky garden (especially not after his chocolate garden in 2010) so it promises to be a very fascinating and interesting talk!

The talks will be taking place at the Jacuzzi sheds by our exit at 11.00am & 2.00pm so be sure not to miss out!

David Domoney at Longacres

Oriental Lily from bulb

A Colourful Summer: Best Bulbs to Grow for the Season | Longacres Garden Centre

For gardening lovers, the approach of summer means a garden full of colour. It is the season when the garden comes to life with colourful bulbs and perennials in full bloom. While summer-flowering bulbs should be planted early in spring when the weather starts to get warm, there are plenty of plants you can grow before the season ends that will give off colourful blooms in late summer.

Brighten up your garden with these flamboyant summer-flowering bulbs:

Oriental Lilies

The family of lilies is a big one, but there’s one particular flower that shines during summer: Oriental lilies. Oriental lilies bear large, star-shaped blooms in shades of yellow, white, pink, and crimson. The flowers give off a sensational fragrance that you can detect from metres away. From tall tree to ground cover lilies, you’ll surely find one that suits your garden. Traditional oriental lilies grow more than six feet, while dwarf varieties grow to become about a foot tall.

Fragrant Gladiolus

Fragrant gladiolus is somewhat considered an old fashioned bloom, but thanks to modern hybrids, this flamboyant summer bulb has returned to the limelight. Fragrant gladiolus looks great when planted along garden borders, but they also look fabulous in a vase indoors. The plant’s flowers are beautiful, while its grassy foliage is nice, but its best feature is its sweet fragrance. Fragrant gladiolus can grow up to three feet tall and prefer full sun and well-drained soil.

Tuberous Begonia

Tuberous Begonia is perhaps the most glamorous summer-bulb you’ll ever plant. The plant produces gorgeous rose-like blooms in different shades over an incredibly long period; it can beautify your garden from summer until autumn. Tuberous Begonia grows well in containers, too. They’re best planted in hanging baskets and window boxes. Choose a fragrant variety to hang on your doorway, where you can appreciate the plant’s blooms at their best.

It’s not yet late to plant summer-flowering bulbs. Plant the above bulbs before the spring ends and have a colourful, fragrant, and lovely summer. For a wide selection of plants to grow in your garden, contact us. We’ll help make your garden come to life.

Barbecue like a pro with Longacres and Weber!

We recently hosted the Weber BBQ Roadshow – a very enjoyable evening with lots of expertly cooked food and a whole raft of tips to get more out of your gas or charcoal barbecue! You can check out the video below. Tickets to the sold-out event also gave customers a 10% discount off any Weber product that evening. Watch out for next year’s promotion!

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