Monthly Archives: August 2015

Autumn Bulbs at Longacres Garden Centre

It seems like Autumn has arrived doesn’t it? Hard to believe we’re only just approaching the end of August.  At least the rain is good for our gardens (and ducks apparently). Whilst many of your plants are still blooming in the garden, the weather is definitely beginning to change and it would seem a good time to consider the next crop of flowers that you would like to see in your tubs and borders.  Bulb planting time has arrived.

At Longacres you can choose from a wide range of bulbs.

At Longacres you can choose from a wide range of bulbs.

One of the advantages of bulbs is that we tend to forget about them a bit after planting, and then get a lovely surprise the following spring.   Having a range of bulbs within your garden or pots can mean you are treated to flowers almost year round.

Many of us probably think of plants in terms of those that traditionally bloom in spring – daffodils, crocus, tulip – and those that bloom in summer.  However, there are many that happily bloom in autumn and even mid-winter. Cyclamen, for example, can survive in temperatures from zero degrees upwards and come in a range of stunning colours.  Winter Aconite, with their look very similar to that of the humble buttercup, can flower from late winter to early spring.  The Lance Leaved Lily produces fragrant flowers from late summer through to early autumn.  Not forgetting the Chinese Chive, or to give it its Latin name – Allium Tuberosum. Doesn’t that sound like a great Harry Potter spell?

Autumn Bulbs at Longacres

Bulbs are an ideal choice for young children.

At Longacres you can choose from a wide range of bulbs for your pots and borders; some of which are on fantastic deals of 3 for £10 and 3 for £12.  Bulbs are an ideal choice for young children as, unlike established flowering plants, they cannot really damage a bulb when planting – especially if they are as enthusiastic about gardening as their parents!

Both children (and adults, of course) may like to take advantage of our ‘cram a pot’ section.   A large pot of daffodil bulbs is just £3.99 – and you can even keep the pot!  Also on offer are a range of specialist bulb planters, starting at just £1.99.  You can find them all around the bulb section.

Autumn Bulbs at Longacres

Longacres offers a ‘cram a pot’ section in their bulbs area.

We look forward to seeing you at Longacres soon.

Using Hydrangeas in the Garden

HydrangeaIn a container:
Hydrangeas all enjoy plenty of moisture. If you can’t, or don’t wish to spend time watering the garden but can manage a few containers, fill one or more with hydrangeas. Paired pots of hydrangeas are round in shape, have a formal look and look good placed one each side of a path or entrance. Try the stylish white-flowered Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Black Steel Zebra’ which is around a metre in height and spread, with a floral season that starts in July. For a really compact container plant the 45cm high Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Papillon‘ which has flowers that are pink in alkaline soil and shaped like some begonias. This could be placed with containers of Begonia (Nonstop Series), to intriguing effect and they should both start to flower during July.

In the border:
Hydrangeas can be surprisingly effective as part of a mixed planting in a flower border. The more delicate flowers of the lacecap forms with their domed heads can be interesting.  For pink flowers try with frothy magenta pink Astilbes such as Astilbe chinensis var. tacquetii ‘Superba’, or as a contrast to elegant hardy Lobelias such as Lobelia ‘Compton Pink’. Alternatively the exuberant whorled flowers of Monarda such as pale pink Monarda ‘Fishes’ make good companions.

If you have acidic soil and can grow those elusive blue hydrangeas (for example 1.5 metre high lacecap Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Zorro’, try them with the dark blue columnar flowers of monkshood such as Aconitum napellus, the warm lavender-blue of Phlox paniculata ‘Eventide’, or the stately pale blue spikes of Veronicastrum virginicum. All these border selections enjoy plenty of moisture.
Hydrangea

For something dramatic:
Hydrangea paniculata forms can stand 3 metres or more in height and are at their best from late summer, going through autumn. They develop large heads of conical flowers, often white or pink, and turn pink with age. They are spectacular in flower, yet often overlooked. These need plenty of moisture and acidic or neutral soil. Try 3 metres tall Hydrangea paniculata ‘Brussels Lace’, or for a small garden use modern cultivars at half the height such as Hydrangea paniculata ‘Silver Dollar’. Smaller Hydrangea macrophylla or serrata forms can be grown in front of them. They can also be grown in the company of other stalwart garden favourites with different seasons of interest such as spring flowering Forsythia, the colourful winter stems of dogwoods such as Cornus sanguinea ‘Magic Flame’, or evergreens such as Camellia and Pieris.

For exceptional foliage:
The oak leaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia forms) have large leaves, like those of an oak in their shape. They have rich autumn tints as well as beautiful flowers and can look sumptuous. These come in a range of sizes but at 1.5 metres, with a greater spread, try Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Sikes Dwarf’. These hydrangeas look beautiful when grown with witch hazels such as the pale yellow winter flowers of Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Pallida’ which has fine autumn colour that complements the hydrangea.

For that awkward wall:
Hydrangeas can be the perfect solution. In the mildest parts of the country try Hydrangea serratifolia. For north-facing walls, Hydrangea anomala subsp. Petiolaris with its white lacecap flowers in spring, is a first rate choice.

Enjoy!

This blog post was contributed by Susan A. Tindall

Lemax Twas The Night Before Christmas

New Lemax Products for 2015 | Longacres Garden Centre

Lemax is a popular way to decorate your home for Christmas with traditional style buildings and characters. Our Lemax products prove to be best sellers year after year and we are pleased to add to our collection for 2015.

The Station Dining Car

This tram carriage has been converted into a dining car. It has a typical festive scene including holly, wreaths and a Christmas Tree complete with presents underneath. The Station Dining Car is battery operated with LED lights.

Christmas at the McCleary Estate

Add to your collection with this stunning home complete with a snowman, children sledging and festive garlands. The McCleary Estate is also battery operated and features LED lights.

Lemax continue to offer high quality products with these two new products and, as expected, are made from porcelain. We are delighted to expand our Lemax offering, available online now. Longacres are committed to helping you decorate your home beautifully over the festive period. Our other Christmas ranges are available online now and include artificial and pre-lit Christmas Trees.

Back To School Stationery at Longacres Shepperton!

We’re over half way through the Summer Holidays now (booo – where has the time gone?!) – time to start thinking about getting your children’s Back To School essentials!
Back to School

Longacres Shepperton can get your kids fully prepared for the start of the school year with their range of pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, pencil cases, note pads, ring binders and plenty more in a selection of fun and stylish designs to make your child the envy of their classmates!

See below for our checklist of must haves to buy before school starts:

  • Fountain Pen and spare ink
  • Pencils
  • Sharpener
  • Ruler
  • Eraser
  • Geometric Set
  • Pencil Case (a clear see through one if there are tests or exams this year!)
  • Colouring Pencils
  • Tipex (if it’s allowed!)
  • A4 and A5 note pads
  • Glue Stick
  • Calculator

Come and visit Longacres Shepperton on Nutty Lane, Middlesex, TW17 0RQ to view the full range!

Back to School Range at Longacres Shepperton

Back to School Range at Longacres Shepperton
Back to School Range at Longacres Shepperton

Wild Flower Tillers Turf featured on Love Your Garden!

Did anyone watch last night’s (Tuesday 11th August) final (and emotional!) episode of Love Your Garden with Alan Titchmarsh? If so, you probably spotted the beautiful wild flower turf from Tillers Turf. We here at Longacres are very proud stockists of Tillers Turf, with fresh deliveries coming in daily!

What are the benefits of wild flower turf?

  • It boosts the biodiversity value of the built environment by attracting in a wide range of pollinators
  • It helps to re-establish wildflower species that are under threat
  • It provides outstanding visual interest from early spring to late autumn
  • It creates an immediate visual effect
  • It is cost effective and requires low maintenance

If the wild flower turf particularly caught your eye and is something you’d like for your own garden, it is available as a special order; speak to a member of our friendly information staff for more details by calling us on 01276 476778.

Below are some behind the scenes photographs from the show!

Tillers Turf on Love Your GardenTillers Turf on Love Your GardenTillers Turf on Love Your Garden

Bursting Juicy Bubbles for your drinks – available at Longacres!

Juicy Bursting Bubbles; the still relatively young phenomenon that has swept through cities and high streets is finally reaching our homes! Bursting Bubbles from PopaBall are now available to buy from Longacres in a range of fun and fruity flavours!

PopaBall Bursting Bubbles Packs

PopaBall comes in a selection of 8 fun and fruity flavours!

What are PopaBall’s Bursting Bubbles?
A 125g pot full of bursting juicy bubbles in a selection of different fruity flavours!

Where do they come from?
More than likely you’ve heard of “Bubble Tea”. The concept of putting bubbles into beverages came about in the early 1980s at a small tea stand in Taiwan, a craze that spread quickly through neighbouring Asian countries and then around the globe, reaching the UK in around 2010. Classically, “Bubble Tea” began as a sweetened tea that was shaken to form a layer of foam bubbles at the top of the drink.

It wasn’t until a few short years later when Tapioca pearls were introduced to those drinks; chewy balls made from arrowroot starch that would sit at the bottom of the beverage – they added an extra dimension to beverages by turning them into a snack and a drink.

Over the years variations of “Bubble Tea” have changed, but the delicious concept of adding juicy popping balls to drinks has remained; whether they go into tea or not!

What do I do with them?
Drain the liquid in the pot and add about a third of the pot of bubbles to your drink, suck them up through the specially designed chunky straw, bite and feel them burst with juice. They retain their shape and flavour until they are burst!

What are they made from?
The shell is made from seaweed extract and they have a super juicy liquid middle!

What do they go well in?
They are most commonly used in bubble tea but also go just as well in most cold drinks! Try them in a glass of water, cordials, cocktails, smoothies and even fizzy drinks where they will eventually float!

These bubbles make a fantastic addition to any party (for adults or children alike!) as they can not only go in water, soft drinks, mocktails and alcoholic drinks, they also make a great topping for desserts such as ice cream, jelly, yoghurt and mousse!

PopaBall Blueberry Bubbles on Ice Cream

So simple yet so delicious! Add your favourite juice bubbles to your favourite ice cream and enjoy! PopaBall recommends blueberry bubbles on vanilla ice cream.

Here at Longacres we are stocking the full range of Popaball Bursting Bubbles flavours for just £2.99 per fruity pot (each pot makes 3 servings!):

  • Blueberry
  • Cherry
  • Green Apple
  • Kiwi
  • Lychee
  • Passionfruit
  • Peach
  • Strawberry
PopaBall Peach Bubbles in Champagne

Add Peach flavoured Bursting Bubbles to champagne as a welcome party gift and really get your guests talking!

 

You will find the range located in the Food Hall at Longacres Bagshot.

For a range of delicious ideas to get your taste buds excited, visit the PopaBall recipe page here.

Lemax Twas The Night Before Christmas

Be Prepared Get Ready for Christmas Early | Longacres Garden Centre

Ho Ho Ho Only 21 Fridays to Go!

We may be in the midst of a very changeable British Summer but did you know that there are only 21 Fridays left until Christmas! With the help of Longacres Garden Centre you can be organised for the festive period well in advance and get ahead of the game.

Our full range of eagerly anticipated festive products will be available to purchase online from August. This will include our ever popular range of beautiful items to create your own Lemax Christmas Village as well as artificial and pre lit Christmas trees.

Keep checking our blog as we will be updating regularly to let you know about all our Christmas ranges in store and online. We will also be giving exciting information about our popular Santa’s Grotto opening dates and times.

At Longacres we are committed to providing the best quality products at competitive prices and currently have some amazing offers on festive products available online.

Shere Open Gardens

Build the Compact Garden of Your Dreams | Longacres Garden Centre

You do not have to let go of the garden of your dreams just because you live in a small apartment or flat in the middle of the city – you just need to be clever about the way you use the space available to you. As your leading provider of garden products, we want to help you grow a compact garden of your own.

If you live on the ground floor, you can use whatever space is there, even a small yard can be made beautiful. If your flat is up on one of the higher floors, you can build a petite but perfect garden on your balcony. If you live near the top and have the luxury of a rooftop, you can build an urban rooftop garden.

Pint-size Patio 

If you live on the ground floor you can make a quaint little patio, use any height you may have with climbing plants and a string of lights overhead. The addition of a small picnic table means you can entertain guests outdoors too.

Mini Balcony Garden 

If you are fortunate to have a balcony, you can build a beautiful retreat. Make the most of every inch by layering the foliage and adding built-in planters. Bring out cosy furniture or find a small bench to enhance your mini garden.

Rooftop Hideaway 

Build a make-shift city garden on your rooftop by including large planters and beautiful foliage. You can soften a concrete floor with artificial turf or decorative stones. Complete the hideaway by adding weathered benches and tables.

Living in the middle of the city does not have to prevent you from creating a beautiful garden or outdoor space, it just takes a little imagination and good use of space.

We have a wide range of gardening tools and outdoor products that will fit all your pocket garden needs.

Contact us today for the best deals.