Monthly Archives: November 2014

Black Friday 28th November | 15% off Christmas Lights

In the US, Black Friday refers to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day (the third Thursday in November) – it marks the start of the Christmas shopping season and the biggest shopping day of the year.

However, Black Friday has only really taken off in the last 5 or so years in the UK – we only ever knew about it from seeing images on television of crazed shoppers fighting over discounted products in big-name shops such as Macy’s or Bloomingdales. The phenomenon finally travelled right across the pond to the UK and we are pleased to announced that we are joining in on the hype this Friday 28th November 2014!

Black Friday Longacres Flyer

For Black Friday we will be offering a whopping 15% off all of our Christmas lights* when you purchase them in store at our Bagshot and Shepperton branches.

We have a fantastic range of quality lights from specialist companies such as Premier and Kontsmide.

Whether you want them for indoor or outdoor use, want to decorate your tree or front porch with lights, or even if you want to treat yourself to an LED reindeer or a Lemax lit-up building – you name it, it has 15% off!

*Offer ONLY applies to purchases of Christmas lights made in store

Premier Christmas Lights
So come on, grab yourself a bargain and we look forward to seeing you shopping with us on Friday!

Christmas Tree Branch with Snow

Your Cyber Monday Choice: Real or Artificial Christmas Tree?

The holiday season is all about giving and sharing. It is now about making the most of great deals as well. We are not just talking about January Sales; this year, we are celebrating Cyber Monday as well!

Cyber Monday

At Longacres Garden Centre, we offer great deals on the most iconic decoration every household must have: Christmas trees. We feature only the best real and artificial trees, meaning we have a tree to suit every home. What makes this festive season even more special is that for the first time, we are offering Cyber Monday deals! You can now purchase among our selection of Lemax products, Christmas trees, and all lights and decorations for a full 24 hours on Monday December 1st.

As Christmas is just around the corner, you can benefit from the discounts we have on all our tree ranges, be it the real thing or the artificial kind. The problem is, some people are not sure which tree to buy. After all, there are great reasons behind both!

Real or Artificial?

Artificial trees have become a more feasible choice in the eyes of many. The first artificial tree came around during the 1800s in Germany. It is assumed that the prevailing economic condition of the time contributed to this development. What has become clear is that the latest generations of artificial Christmas trees are so similar to the real thing, it has become difficult to spot the difference.

There are many people, however, who point out that the similarities end there. It has been the tradition of many households in the UK and around the world to buy a real tree and decorate it with their favourite decorations. The Christmas spirit, for them, will always have to feature the tree that comes complete with the scent only the real thing can offer. Artificial trees have a new weapon in this area now though – an amazing new product which makes your artificial tree even more realistic – Scentsicles.

This December 1, enjoy 15% off Lemax ranges, real and artificial Christmas trees, and all lights and decorations including acrylics. Grab that amazing opportunity this Cyber Monday only at Longacres Garden Centre.

Visit the one-stop online shop for all your gardening needs, from plant seeds to gardening tools and accessories.

Win a Springfree Trampoline courtesy of Rainbow Play!

Are you and your children planning a visit to meet Santa in his grotto at either our Bagshot or Shepperton stores? Then you can be in with a chance to win a Springfree Trampoline courtesy of Rainbow Play worth a whopping £775!

Longacres and Rainbow Play Trampoline Competition Flyer

To enter the draw is simple:

  • Pick up a Grotto Activity Sheet near to the entrance of the grotto
  • Keep an eye out for all of the woodland critters around the grotto and tick them off the sheet as you go along
  • ‘Like’ the Longacres & Rainbow Play Facebook pages when you next get a chance
  • Leave your contact details on the activity sheet and place in one of the post boxes around the grotto before you leave (so that we can let you know if you’re our lucky winner!)
  • Keep your fingers crossed!

There’s no need to book your entry to the grotto, but if your time is limited then we advise you phone ahead to check on the current queue cut off time.

The prize draw will take place on December 24th so best of luck and enjoy your visit to Santa!

Gardening

Gold Leaf Gloves | Free Delivery When Purchased Online!

The biggest problem with gardening gloves is that quite often they don’t fit properly even when they come in separate sizes for men and women. As a result of this (and in general) they can be uncomfortable to wear, often feeling heavy and awkward to move hands freely which can in turn make gardening more difficult than it needs to be. And what’s more – they aren’t always the most attractive of gloves!

This is where Jayco, a family-owned and managed company, spotted a gap in the market for much-needed innovative gardeners’ gloves; and so in 2004 Jayco launched the Gold Leaf Gardening Glove range.

The Gold Leaf Gardening Glove range solve all of the problems posed by standard gardening gloves as a result of a combination of innovative designs, high-quality leather and constant perfecting of styles and packaging. They are comfortable, are an excellent fit and make it easier and more enjoyable to complete gardening tasks.

The Gold Leaf Gardening Glove range has been so successful that they were awarded ‘The RHS Chelsea Sundries Trophy’ at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2005. The range is now used by the most professional gardeners at Wisley, Rosemoor and Harlow Carr. Gold Leaf Gardening Gloves are now attractively adorned with the RHS logo, having been endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society – the ultimate sign of quality in the garden!

As an extra special offer we are providing free delivery* on any purchase of Gold Leaf Gloves from our website!

See below for more information on the range of four different Gold Leaf Gloves that we offer:

The ‘Soft Touch’ Gardening Gloves (Available in Mens and Ladies) – £19.95

Gold Leaf 'Soft Touch' Gardening Gloves

The Soft Touch™ Gardening Glove offers an extremely close fit as well as excellent durability. The palm of the gloves are made from high quality grain leather which is used for its softness and flexibility. The back of the glove is made from Lycra, nylon and foam, which with the Velcro fastening make the close, tight fit which helps differentiate this from other Gardening Gloves.

These gloves are all about the feel and fit, and will suit those in search of a robust, comfortable multi-purpose Gardening Glove, with a touch of style.

The ‘Winter Touch’ Gardening Gloves (Available in Mens and Ladies) – £21.95

Gold Leaf 'Winter Touch' Gardening Gloves

The Winter Touch™ Gardening Glove is a unique, hardwearing, yet luxurious glove for use in cold or wet conditions. These gloves feature a Thinsulate™ thermal lining to keep hands warm even in the coldest weather, as well as an additional innovative Ski-Dri™ waterproof, breathable lining which ensures hands remain totally dry when used in wet conditions.

The reinforced palm of this glove also makes it ideal for use with rakes, spades, brushes and a whole array of other gardening tools.

The ‘Tough Touch’ Gardening Gloves (Available in Mens) – £23.95

Gold Leaf 'Tough Touch' Gardening Gloves

Through its unique design, the Tough Touch™ Gardening Gloves offer a high level of protection against thorns and alike, whilst retaining an incredibly soft feel which results in very unusual dexterity for a glove so robust as this. This glove also offers exceptional comfort and warmth, with the added benefit of the gold grain leather having been specially treated to offer resistance to water. The extended cuff provides additional protection for the wrist and forearm.

 

The ‘Dry Touch’ Gardening Gloves (Available in Mens) – £17.95

Gold Leaf 'Dry Touch' Gardening Gloves

The Dry Touch™ Gardening Gloves are very comfortable and durable gloves which have been constructed using a softer, extremely flexible grain leather. These gloves have also had the leather specially treated to provide resistance to water, and would therefore be ideal for those seeking a glove to use in wetter conditions. Additionally, this glove features a full lining throughout for extra warmth and comfort.

The Dry Touch™ is suitable for a variety of gardening purposes, such as potting, weeding and light pruning.

*Free delivery only applies when purchasing Gold Leaf Gloves. Offer will not apply when purchasing any other goods aswell – sorry!

A Christmas Tale – The Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Red Poinsettia
Some say that Christmas would not be complete without the presence of the Poinsettia. So how did this festive brassica become such a symbol of the yuletide calendar?

The poinsettia is native to Mexico where they are known as ‘La flor de la Nochebuena’ or ‘Flower of Christmas eve’. Apparently the ancient Aztecs prized the poinsettia as a symbol of purity and centuries later, Mexico’s early Christians adopted the plant as their prized Christmas Eve flower. The Mexican legend tells of a child who could not afford a gift to offer Christ on Christmas Eve, so he picked some weeds at the side of a road. The child was told that a humble gift, if given in love, would be acceptable in God’s eyes. When brought into the church the weeds bloomed red and green flowers and the congregation felt that they had witnessed a Christmas miracle. The poinsettia was born.

The plant is actually named after former US ambassador to Mexico Dr Joel R Poinsett, who was responsible for introducing the plant to the USA and from there on it has reached a global presence at Christmas.

Not the easiest plant to care for, but these few careful pointers should ensure your Poinsettia looks good throughout the festive season.

Poinsettia

      • They require sunlight for at least 5 hours a day so make sure you have it placed in an area of good natural light.
      • Temperature must be maintained at a constant level
      • They must be situated where there are no draughts
      • They are a sub-tropical plant so at night ensure the temperature does not drop below 10 degrees cent
      • Keep the soil moist, but well drained

It’s a shame but I would suspect that most of us dispense with the plant once Christmas has passed as it does require some effort to encourage re-flowering, but if you are so inclined, prompting the slogan ‘a poinsettia is not just for Christmas’ the plant requires long periods of uninterrupted light free nights… about 2 months to be precise. Even a sudden, tiny exposure to light during this time could prevent re-flowering. So good luck with that one.

For the rest of us..enjoy the poinsettia in its prime this time of year and be assured that the presence of the bright red brassica in store spells that Christmas has definitely arrived.

This Longacres blog post was contributed by Jo from our plants department

Kusa Grass Flip-Flops: feel the grass between your toes!

Kusa Flip Flops
Imagine this: the birds are singing, the sun is shining, the children are playing and you’re taking a barefooted walk across your freshly mown garden whilst the Summer breeze blows through your hair; bliss right?! Now allow us to recreate that feeling for you!

…Okay, so we might not be able to recreate an ACTUAL outdoor Summer’s day – but what we can give you is that feeling of walking on cut grass with the revolutionary flip flops that are KUSA Flip Flops.

KUSA Flip Flops are your typical flip-flops with a twist; they have added quality synthetic turf for super comfort. Over time the turf bed will conform to the shape of your feet – the ultimate pleasure for your tootsies!

Inspiration and Development
So where did KUSA Flip Flops come from? They’ve travelled right across the world from where they were launched in 2011 by a small family company based on the Central New South Wales Coast in Australia.

Yashin Radhakrishnan – MD of KUSA Flip Flops:

“I am an Industrial Designer based in Sydney. During the course of my work I am exposed to many and varied design briefs, manufacturing processes, materials, consumer information and insights, brands and visions of the future.

First and foremost in any designers mind must be innovation and change. Not just for the sake of it but with the open intention to “Surprise and Delight” the end user.

One particularly project we worked on involved synthetic grass (as project which never came to fruition). Talk in the design office inevitably went to the extreme thought… why don’t we carpet the office in this stuff! I was all for this, being the type of person who removes his shoes as soon as he sits down at his desk.

The idea grew and I thought “what if I could walk barefoot on grass anywhere, anytime”. Who doesn’t like that?

I made a single pair of grass flip flops. Just for myself at first. I wore them to work and the reaction there and on public transport was stunning.

It took a few months of wearing them to decide that I had an idea worth marketing. Another six months of design and development, sourcing the right type of grass, patents, manufacturing research, samples after samples and they were finally ready for market.

KUSA Grass Flip Flops were released in the first week of January 2012. I sent images to 2 blogs. 1 ran with the images. The rest, as they say…”

Kusa Flip Flops Soles
At £17.99 these flip flops are perfect as a gift or as a treat for yourself. You can choose from a selection of four different colours (Blue, Mustard, Orange and Pink), and from three different sizes (Small (2-5), Medium (5-9) and Large (9-12)), so you are sure to find a pair that’s just right. Best to check out their size chart to make sure your pair are the right fit for you!

Don’t panic if they feel too tight for your feet at first – after a bit of toe-wriggling your KUSA’s will conform to your feet.

One last reminder: Do not mow – the grass won’t grow back!

Shrubs for flowers from Winter to Autumn

Winter RoseOne of the most difficult things to do in a garden is to provide for a long season of interest, so that when you look out of the window, or walk in the garden, there is always something that is “strutting its’ stuff”, capturing your attention so you enjoy the plants in your private kingdom. The first thing that most people look for from a plant is flowers. The following collection of shrubs are all suited to what is termed ‘background’ planting. They have their period in the limelight when in flower, and provide a pleasing backdrop to other plants the rest of the year.

These shrubs are generally quite tall and could be placed near the boundaries of your garden so smaller plants can be placed in front of them. They might be positioned round a seating area which you decorate with pots of annuals for the summer, or they might edge a lawn. All these plants can grow in any reasonable soil that is well drained or moisture retentive, and all but one takes both sunny or partly shaded positions.

The shrubs

Winter FlowerChoisya x dewitteana ‘Aztec Pearl’ is the cornerstone of the selection. This is a rounded shrub with slender leaves and white flowers that come from pink buds. It flowers in April and May and will eventually reach a height of 2 metres.

Deutzia crenata ‘Pride of Rochester’ follows on with masses of double white flowers, also coming from pink buds. It flowers in June and July and stands around 3 metres in height (it can be pruned to a shorter height). It has chestnut brown stems and the bark peels attractively – a feature in winter. This is the shrub that needs a sunny position.

Rosa Avon = ‘Poulmulti’ is a semi-double white rose, the flowers again coming from pink buds. It should flower from the end of May all through summer providing you deadhead (remove the dead flowers). This stands around 1.5 metres in height.

Abelia x grandiflora ‘Hopleys’ is an attractive variegated plant with an arching growth habit and delicate pink flowers from July, and is still flowering in September. This stands around 1.5 metres in height when mature.

Euonymus grandiflora is grown for its foliage. It makes a large shrub or a small tree, reaching 4 metres in height. It is glorious in the autumn when its leaves turn rich shades of red and purple; they are accompanied by interesting green fruits.

Viburnum farreri reaches around 3 metres in height. It comes into flower as early as November and may still be in flower in March. The flowers are white, from pink buds again, and enticingly scented – so place near a pathway.

And that pretty much wraps round the year.

Enjoy making the most of your garden.

This Longacres Blog post was contributed by Susan A. Tindall

Longacres Shepperton Christmas Open Evening | Thursday 20th November

For those of you who missed out on the Bagshot Christmas Open Evening or live closer to the Shepperton store, the Shepperton Christmas Open Evening is being held this Thursday 20th November. The evening kicks off at 5.30PM and will include a variety of festive events and promotions!

Santa will be making an extra special appearance and will hand out sweets and treats to all the good girls and boys. This is a great opportunity to spot Santa before he takes up residence in the grotto at our Bagshot store – opening Saturday 22nd November.

Learn how to tie the perfect bow, gain some wreath decorating inspiration and get some gift-wrapping techniques at the Gift Wrap and Wreath demonstrations from 6-8pm.

To get the festive spirit really under way the Choir of St James’ School in Ashford will be singing some of your favourite Christmas Carols.

Come along and taste a variety of foods, or just grab yourself a mince pie and wine!

Try your luck at winning a fabulous prize by taking part in the raffle on the night.

To thank all our customers we will be offering a 10% discount on purchases made between 5.30pm and 8.00pm on the evening (excludes gift vouchers and sheds – sorry!).

Shepperton Christmas Open Evening 2014 Flyer
Shepperton Open Evening 2014 Gift Wrap and Wreath Demonstrations 6-8pm

THANK YOU to all who attended our Christmas Open Evening

We would like to say a huge thank you to all who got involved with and attended our Christmas Open Evening last Thursday evening; just a few mince pies and not a single drop of wine remained – definitely the sign of a successful evening!

You helped us to raise a lot of money for the Breast Care Centre and Special Care Baby Unit at Frimley Park Hospital (exact amount soon to follow!). Big congratulations to those who won prizes.

We hope that we helped you get into the festive spirit and that you enjoyed the evening as much as we did. Hopefully you didn’t miss out on catching a glimpse of Santa!

Here are just a few our of favourite snaps from the night:

Christmas Open Evening 2014The Longacres team all got into the festive spirit

Christmas Open Evening 2014Victor the theatre mouse from Aladdin made an extra special appearance!

Christmas Open Evening 2014Santa had to take the weight off his feet after eating all those mince pies!

Christmas Open Evening 2014The Salvation Army sang popular carols throughout the evening

Christmas Open Evening 2014Lots of money was raised from the raffle for the Frimley Park Hospital Charity

Christmas Open Evening 2014Jennifer Peters from Gisela Graham held a successful workshop on how to decorate your Christmas tree beautifully

Santa’s Grotto | Opens Saturday 21st November 2015

Longacres Bagshot Grotto Opening Times 2015


Santa’s elves and our talented team of seasonal staff have been working tirelessly to get the Christmas grotto ready for Santa’s big arrival on Saturday 21st November at Longacres Garden Centre, Bagshot.

Walk with your children on a magical journey through a Winter Wonderland before meeting the bearded man himself in the heart of his cosy Christmas grotto.

Each visit costs just £5 and includes a present from Santa if they’ve been good this year – an ideal incentive to get them on their best behaviour!