Monthly Archives: June 2015

Oak Furniture Showrooms at Longacres Shepperton!

Trying to shop for furniture can be stressful enough without having to browse in a cluttered and busy environment; it also makes it a whole lot more difficult trying to envisage it in your home!

That’s why we have displayed our stunning range of oak furniture within our spacious summer showrooms at Longacres Shepperton, complete with ornaments and accessories! Here you will have the opportunity to walk around and look closely at the furniture on offer to view all of the choices available, to check the quality, take measurements and check prices. You might even find other furniture/ornaments/pictures that you may not have considered otherwise.

Longacres Shepperton Summer Showrooms

In our summer showrooms (situated outside) you will find a range of furniture including dining tables and chairs, corner tables, bookcases, chests of drawers, bedside tables and more in warm oak and cornish cream colours at competitive prices.

Allow us to tempt you over to take a look at the range in our peaceful showrooms and to speak to a friendly member of our team!

Shepperton Summer Showrooms

Hebes in the Garden

Garden centres and online sites usually have a gathering of Hebes. The featured plants are generally small with long shiny leaves that may be green or carry bright, even curious variegation. There are often ‘tussocks’ of flowers in just about every shade but yellow or orange. They are indeed hard to resist, and are ideal subjects for containers on the patio. Surely one can do more with them.

Hebe 'Sparkling Sapphires'

Hebe ‘Sparkling Sapphires’

Containers have their uses. They are a good setting for many modern cultivars that have variegated foliage, Hebe ‘Sparkling Sapphires’ for example could be used in a pair of containers set on each side of a pathway. The golden foliage of Hebe ‘Golden Anniversary’ can provide a warm gold backdrop to busy containers that froth with annuals.

They can also look remarkably good planted in a border or as a feature, primarily for foliage interest. Invest in a group of three, choosing plants with a good solid form, such as Hebe ‘Autumn Glory’ with glossy green leaves and purple flowers in August and September. Plant in a triangle set half a metre from each other and this will develop as a striking feature for year round interest. This would contrast well with other variegated and showy plants. If you want just one plant, the willow-like foliage of Hebe salicifolia and its frothy mass of white flowers in summer, is a delight.

Hebe Bronze Glow = 'Lowglo'

Hebe Bronze Glow = ‘Lowglo’

Hebes also look surprisingly good planted singly in borders, or round the feet of roses. The rather unattractive rose stems can be completely hidden by a compact Hebe. Try Hebe Bronze Glow = ‘Lowglo’ with its bronzed foliage and blue spring flowers that combine so well with tulips in spring and pink or red roses in summer.

In addition to these lush, leafy Hebes there are other distinctive varieties. For sheltered spots the silvered grey and blue leaves of dainty Hebe ‘Glaucophylla Variegata’ can make an exceptional contribution. Use it as a tall highlight above low-growing herbaceous plants in a sunny spot. Even more exquisite is silvered Hebe pimeleoides ‘Quicksilver’ which has outreaching horizontal branches, wonderful as an edging plant or on a raised bed.

Hebe 'Mrs Winder'

Hebe ‘Mrs Winder’

Hebes that have close-textured foliage such as the tight dome of Hebe recurva ‘Boughton Silver’ make a huge contribution to often shaggy and characterful plants in a Mediterranean-style garden. The whipleaf Hebes with their conifer-like branches can make tiny specimens in a rock garden. Hebe ochraceae ‘James Stirling‘ (a curious shade of burnt gold, is highly distinctive.

Finally, Hebes for winter colour. Many Hebes have foliage that changes colour in cold weather, a valuable asset indeed for those long dull months. If you have space, try the magnificent Hebe ‘Mrs Winder’ coloured red-mahogany in winter, or the smaller Hebe ‘Caledonia’ which is rose-purple is equally good. There are others, worth a bit of research in your Plant Finder, if you have trouble choosing the one among many that are on offer.

Enjoy your Hebes.

This blog post was contributed by Susan A. Tindall

Shere Open Gardens – Sunday 28th June 2015

Shere Open Gardens

Shere, one of Surrey s most unspoilt villages is opening its garden gates for charity on Sunday 28th June 2015

For over a century, Shere has been hailed as the jewel in the crown of the Surrey Hills.  Set at the foot of the North Downs between Guildford and Dorking, this pretty village offers great architecture from wonky little Tudor cottages and Lutyens lodges to more than its fair share of manors and mills. Historically it has been called home by many artists and now with a population of about a thousand it is a popular destination for walkers, cyclists and tourists who take advantage of the many pubs, tea shops, eclectic gift shops and its famous ice cream parlour.

Shere Open GardensFor it’s 37th year running, Shere will be opening it’s garden gates for one afternoon and inviting
the public to view a record number of 28 beautiful private gardens on Sunday the 28th June 2015.

Whether you are a keen gardener or simply curious to see behind the lichen covered walls and manicured hedges, Shere Open Gardens gives a glimpse into quintessential England. Come along and enjoy an afternoon strolling from quaint colourful cottage borders and elegantly landscaped water gardens to little patio suntraps and vigorous vegetable plots. There will be an over-the-wall gardeners’ question time at the Shere allotments with a couple of the keenest allotment holders, a pimms stall and homemade teas in the village hall.

Says Annabel Alford, Chairman of the organising committee:

“2014 was a record year for Shere Open Gardens. We welcomed over a thousand visitors and raised about £10,000 for local organisations and causes.  We hope the sun shines again this year so we can have an equally successful day.”

Shere Open GardensIn 1978 the local village hall was in desperate need of repair; the local villagers all came together to figure out a way to try and raise the money needed – Shere Open Gardens was decided as being a suitable event. Unexpectedly. it proved to be so popular that it quickly became an annual event in the village’s calendar and in this, the 37th year of Shere Open Gardens, the residents once again looks forward to welcoming visitors come rain or shine!

Last year, Shere Open Gardens raised over £10,000 and they hope to match (or exceed!) that this year with your help. The funds raised by the event are split between around 17 local causes aimed at all ages and stages in the community, from the Toddler Group and Village Nursery to the Pensioner’s Christmas Party and the local Veterans (of which there are still three!).

Event:  Shere Open Gardens
Date:  Sunday 28th June 2015
Time:  2pm – 6pm
Location:  Shere is just to the south of Newlands Corner off the A25, half way between Guildford and Dorking.
Parking:  FREE. The main car park for the event is at the junction of Chantry Lane and Upper Street – GU5 9JA. Disabled parking is available at the Shere school in Gomshall Lane – GU5 9HB.
Parking will be well signposted.
Refreshments:  There will be a Pimms Stall run by the Cricket Club and Homemade teas and cakes will be served in the Village Hall by the village school mums
Entry:  Adults: £6; Over 60: £5; Children under 16: FREE. Tickets are available at the Village Hall and selected gardens – ask parking attendants for the nearest points.
Are dogs allowed?:  Sorry, no dogs (other than guide dogs) will be allowed in the gardens

Further information can be found at www.shereopengardens.co.uk

Shere Open Gardens

© Images courtesy of GuildfordPhotographer 

Steaks on a barbecue

What Every British Barbecue Party Needs

Summer is right around the corner and the weather is warming up. Nothing defines the summer season better than beach escapades, cold drinks and a barbecue with friends.
Barbecue parties are one of the best ways to welcome summer bliss. After all, the delectable scent of grilled meat completes the essence of the season. You get to enjoy delicious barbecue while you chatter with your buds or play some outdoor games.

Barbecues are a great way to celebrate the season. Proper planning plays a pivotal role in successful parties. To enjoy an ace of a party, make sure you have the following essentials:

The right equipment

How can you cook the barbecue without the necessary equipment? You can spend as much as you want on grillers and charcoal, but one should restrain oneself from spending hundreds of quid for your first party. Cheaper models work just as well as the expensive ones.
Decide which equipment suits your need. Will you be holding another party or is this your first and last barbecue? Will you need a deluxe multi burner or kettle barbecues? Make sure you have the right equipment before throwing your bash.

The right accessories

A griller is not enough; you’ll need other accessories to complete your grilling party. Complete your barbecue inventory with the following:

Charcoal
Gas canisters
Cooking tools (tongs, grill brushes, skewers, spatulas, branding irons)
Plates and other flatware
Matches

The right food

Your shopping list should be complete with the food essentials. Barbecues are not always about spare ribs, burgers and sausages. Other options are available, especially for your health-conscious guests. Fish, chicken and vegetables make delicious barbecues; just experiment with different coatings and marinades. Also, shop for salad, corn on the cob and dips.

The right decoration

Emphasise the summer season by decorating your home for the party. Select a theme for your party; go Hawaiian or use popular culture for your themes. Search your local party shop for cheap and fun decorations. Welcome the summer heat with a party. Barbecue parties are one of the best ways to enjoy summer bliss. Longacres offers the essentials for a successful barbecue party with your mates. Browse through our selection and call us now.

Cheese on a barbecue

More Than Meat: Cheese Grilling | Longacres

Most people will agree that cheese is great, but not all cheeses are good for everything. There will be some cheeses that excel with certain foods where others fail, and it is in the best interest of any cook to find which cheese works best for what. In this case, we will look at the cheeses that taste the best with food cooking on the grill.

Dairy Heat

This is actually a difficult subject to discuss since cheese does not normally do well in high temperatures, the variety best suited to the grill should be able to taste good as it melts. Fortunately, there are cheeses that do exactly that, though it may take a bit of exploring beyond the local store to find them.

Just to be clear, any kind of cheese will work well on a grill as long as it is melting on top of something. Bread is the best mattress for normal cheese to lie on when grilling, since it transfers heat easily without burning to a blackened husk. Meat is also acceptable in this regard, but the griller/chef should pay close attention to the food and ensure nothing goes black under the yellow and white.

Hot Cheese

The cheeses discussed here are the ones grillers will have no fear of placing directly on top of the fire for a unique culinary experience. The first of these cheeses is the Haloumi, a salt-brined goat and sheep cheese variety from Cyprus whose curds are heated before processing. This cheese tastes best when lightly grilled and brushed with olive oil, and then served as an appetizer with tomatoes, ripe onions, and cucumbers.

Another goat and sheep cheese variety that does not mind taking the heat is the Grecian Kefalotyri. The same recipes of the Haloumi can apply to this cheese; the only notable difference is that the Kefalotyri becomes firmer as it ages. This may change the rate it cooks on the grill, but it should not greatly affect the taste of the final product.

We should all remember that the art of the barbecue and grill is not exclusive to cooking and serving meat. There are other ways to grill a special meal, just as long as there is enough imagination and knowledge to do so. If you are looking for quality equipment that can cook a wide variety of food, contact us today. You can also browse through the rest of our website for other products and services that we have on offer.