Author Archives: Alex

Plants Online – March 2017

Lighter evenings creeping in and a slight increase in the temperatures only points to one thing….It’s time to start planning your gardens!

Whether it’s a stunning climber you’re after to cover that old fence panel or wall, a glorious Azalea or Rhododendron to produce a burst of colour to that dull corner of your garden, some beautiful good old fashioned Roses to grace your beds or borders, or simply a revamp your old baskets and containers on your patio with our ever increasing range of Perennials and Bedding plants – now is the time to take a look at our even bigger ranges of plants on our website.

We’ve gone all out this year to bring you a huge choice and plenty of variety when it comes to planting in your garden with a brand new selection of Clematis and climbers, a stunning selection of over 100 new Azaleas and Rhododendrons, a brand new selection of Roses including climbers and ramblers, a vast selection of over 500 perennials and not to mention our ever expanding selection of Bedding plants, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Couple this together with our amazing low prices and you really can afford to go all out this year and really make a difference in your gardens.

And don’t forget, we can deliver anywhere within the UK so no distance is too far for us, so check out our website today and start planning your garden!

Find our full range online here!

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What to do in your garden – March 2017

Spring is here at last and now is the time everything is “full steam ahead” in the garden. We have so much to see in store and online so come in and get inspired. Here’s a reminder of what you can do in the garden right now:

  • Plan and plant a colourful herbaceous border with our amazing 9cm pot perennials at a ridiculously low price of only £1.49 each or 6 for £7.99 (promo in store only). There’s plenty to choose from- lupins to lavender, delphiniums to dianthus. Plants in groups of 3 or 5 of each variety for maximum impact at minimum cost!

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  • Dahlias – with colours to suit every taste, dahlia’s have come back into fashion and are fantastic for late summer colour in your borders or containers. They make great cut flowers and varieties with single flowers are excellent for pollinating insects. Plant in a sunny position.

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  • Baby bedding plants- basket and container plants for spectacular summer colour – our Perfect Choice 7cm pot range is now in store! Over a hundred varieties to choose from. Priced at only 79p each, get a head start on growing on your summer bedding. Please note: these plants are tender (i.e not frost hardy) and will need to be grown in a greenhouse or bright frost free place and gradually potted on to larger sized pots. Once the summer comes you’ll be able to place outdoors for a dazzling display. Click here to find out more.

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  • Window boxes and container plants for spring colour: potted spring bulbs – many varieties available for instant impact. Narcissi, tulips, iris plus many more. Bedding packs of spring flowering plants such as viola, pansy, polyanthus (primula) Add to your borders or containers for a pop of spring colour.

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  • Spruce up your rockery: we have a range of 1 litre pot alpines – a snip at 4 for only £10! Aubrieta, Saxifrages and Dianthus are looking superb. These perennial plants are also useful for ground cover in sunny, well drained borders, or filling an empty space in a container.

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  • Heathers are also in – in bud and flower – 9cm pot £1.49 or 11cm £2.49. Available throughout the year, there’s a heather variety for every month, and early spring flowering heathers are nectar rich so a magnet to bees. Best planted in groups of 3 or 5 to make a good show of colour. Most prefer acidic soil (ericaceous) but Erica carnea types are lime tolerant (can be planted in alkaline or chalky soils).

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  • Spring- flowering shrubs: we have so many to choose from it’s hard to know where to start but here are a few favourites: Camellia -fabulous plants full of bud from small to large pot size, spring -flowering fragrant Viburnums such as Viburnum ‘Anne Russell’, V. carcephalum ‘Juddii’ or Viburnum carlesii. Early spring favourites such as forsythia and flowering currant -Ribes ‘King Edward VII’. Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ has the most delicious fragrance with the added bonus of evergreen foliage. Magnolia’s – some good-sized plants with plenty of flower buds.

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  • Now’s the time to grow early seed potatoes – we have a large range in stock. Start them off (sprout or chit them) in a seed tray in a brightly lit frost-free place spot. Find out more on our guide by clicking here.

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  • Plant onion sets- as soon as the ground is “workable”, to have a crop ready in late summer to early autumn. Plant 5-10cm (2-4in) apart with the rows 25-30cm (10in-1ft) apart. Depth of planting 2cm (¾ in). Only the tips of the onion sets should be showing. You may need to net the crop or cover with fleece to stop birds damaging the onions, until they are established.

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  • Protect young shoots of perennial plants from slug or snail damage – we have a vast range of products to help you win the battle! From organic remedies like slug traps, physical barriers such as copper tape, or Growing Success Slug Stop granules, to a Slug Bell in which to put pellets out of harm’s way. The latest showerproof slug pellets from Westland Eraza, to Growing Success Slug Killer (organic) -we have all bases covered.

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  • Lily bulbs are now in stock! There’s no finer fragrance on a warm summers’ evening, than lilies growing in your garden. If your soil is too wet and heavy, why not grow in containers and plunge into the border – better still in pots on the patio so you can enjoy them close-up. Click the image below for our guide on getting the best from planting lily bulbs in pots:

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Plant lily bulbs in pots

It’s not too late for planting lilies in pots (although you may have already done this in autumn).

Many lily varieties are suitable such as the ever popular and richly fragranced Lilium regale, ‘Stargazer’ or the pollen-free but scented bloom types like ‘Polar Star’ or ‘Broken Heart’. Choose a large, deep pot at least 25cm (10in) in diameter for three to four bulbs and make sure there is a layer of drainage at the base, for example crocks or gravel. Use a mixture of 60 percent loam-based potting mix (John Innes No 3) with about 20 percent added horticultural grit to improve drainage, plus 20 percent leaf mould or ericaceous peat free compost. Incorporate controlled-release fertiliser granules in the mixture to ensure plants are fed through the growing season. Bulbs should be planted with the pointed tip facing upwards and the basal plate with hairy roots dangling down. Plant stem rooting lily bulbs – those that root from the base and also the stem just above the base (Lilium longiflorum for instance) at a depth of 2-3 times the bulb height, and those that are basal rooting lilies such as the Asiatic hybrids for example Lilium maculatum, (although they are not normally scented) at a depth the same as the height of the bulb. Position in sun or part shade and water regularly. Taller plants may need staking.

NB lilies are potentially harmful to cats: see RSPCA website: www.rspca.org.uk or the feline advisory bureau: https://icatcare.org

You can find a range of bulbs online or in store right now.

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Starting off seed potatoes

First and second early potatoes are sprouted (chitted) before planting. This helps reduce the time the tubers spend in the ground and may lead to increased yields.

Put the seed potatoes in a single layer on a seed tray (or an egg box) with the end with the most ‘eyes’ or buds facing upwards. Keep in a cool, light, frost free place (an unheated room is ideal, but avoid direct sunlight). Dark shoots should grow to about 5cm (2in) within around 6 weeks. If conditions are too dark and warm – shoots will be pale and leggy. Choose four strong shoots and rub off all weaker shoots.

The tubers are now ready to plant in the ground, as long as soil conditions are suitable – around March in sheltered areas; April in colder places.

You can find a range of seed potatoes online or in store now.

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Baby bedding plants from Perfect Choice

These are great value for money costing only a fraction of fully grown plants with the added bonus of being past the tricky germination stage.

The best place to grow them on is a greenhouse or conservatory (temperature 16-18°C is ideal). Alternatively, grow on a well-lit windowsill. Carefully water the pots (using a watering can fitted with a fine rose) and allow them to drain. Gently remove the plants from their pots and replant into 9cm pots using a multi-purpose compost. Water in and feed fortnightly with a liquid fertiliser ( such as tomato fertiliser, Phostrogen or Miracle-Gro all-purpose plant food).

Alternatively incorporate continuous release fertiliser granules into the compost (such as Miracle-Gro or Gro-Sure). Make sure the plants have good ventilation and are spaced apart and not over watered; to avoid diseases like grey mould, damping off and mildews. Harden off plants (acclimatise to outdoor conditions) once weather conditions are much warmer (around mid-May) by putting outdoors in a sheltered position during the day, but covering with fleece to prevent leaf damage. Take plants indoors at night. In the second week, remove the fleece during the day but bring in at night. Once night temperatures are above 7°C, plants can be left uncovered unless frosts are forecast.

You can find a range of bedding plants online and our full range in stores.

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Longacres Bybrook Barn Restaurant Refurbishment

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The Restaurant at Longacres Bybrook will be closing for refurbishment from lunchtime on Sunday 26th February and will reopen on Saturday 11th March. The New Restaurant will be renamed as The Gardeners Restaurant.

The interior will be light and airy with tones of grey and green to give a fresh new look. The restaurant boasts an outdoor seating area overlooking the gorgeous lake.

The menu will have a wide selection of freshly prepared hot food serving some wonderful dishes such as Beer Battered Fish & Chips, daily hot dishes , omelettes freshly prepared by our chefs and a range of freshly made sandwiches & panini. One of the key features of the restaurant will be the new bakery display, filled with delicious treats such as freshly made scones, handmade cakes and pastries.

The Restaurant can seat up to 120 customers and is particularly perfect for families with its fabulous new kids play area and children’s menu, with a pick n mix and hot food offer.

Come along and stop off for breakfast, lunch or an afternoon treat with your friends or family, we are sure it will be your new favourite eating destination.

Please note that the rest of the centre is open as usual whilst this work is happening.

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If you are in store between now and the 26th of February then be sure to pick up a voucher for a free hot drink when the restaurant re opens (T&C’s apply)

A Colour Guide to Your Roses

With love in the air as we approach Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d put together this helpful little guide to let that special person know exactly what you’re trying to say with your roses.

  • Red is a passionate colour; the colour of love, respect & courage
  • Pale pink is a sign of grace, admiration & elegance
  • Deep pink is a sign of gratitude, refinement & appreciation
  • Orange is for fascination, passion, desire & pride
  • Peach says “believe me”, modesty & sweetness
  • Yellow shows joy, happiness, caring & true friendship
  • White is the colour of innocence, purity & loyalty
  • Burgundy shows undying love & unconscious beauty
  • Lavender is love at first sight & enchantment

Now you’re armed with all of the information you need to tell someone exactly how you feel, it is time to start taking a look and finding the perfect bouquet for your significant other.

We have a huge range of Valentine’s Day flowers and other options to select from, so be sure to take a good long look and pick out the ideal bouquet.

You can also find a helpful video on how to help them make their flowers last a little long by clicking here.

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Festive Flowers @ Longacres.co.uk

The floristry team at Longacres have been working hard to create some stunning Christmas bouquets, arrangements and wreaths to help you set the ultimate jovial feel for your home.

To help you choose, we’ve created a little list of our favourite top sellers that would be ideal as a present for a loved one or a treat for yourself!

However, if none of these suit your tastes, you can view our full range of beautiful flowers online by clicking here.

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  1. Carnation & Berry Long & Low Arrangement with Candle – £29.99
  2. Christmas Pudding Festive Arrangement – £35.00
  3. Christmas Luxury Terracotta Pot Candle Arrangement – £22.50
  4. Christmas Luxury Raspberry & Apple Hand Tied – £44.99
  5. Winter Scented Hand Tied Bouquet – £29.99
  6. Wish Upon a Star Hand Tied Bouquet – £25.99

You can order all of our flowers for local delivery or collection, and a large selection can be sent nationwide; perfect for surprising someone far away this Christmas (details for delivery and collection can be found on individual product pages.)

A full range of our flowers can be found online here. Alternatively, you can visit your local store, or give us a call on the numbers found in the footer of this message.

Win Christmas at Longacres Bybrook Barn!

Would you like to win the ultimate Christmas bundle for your home this year? We are offering one lucky person the chance to win a door wreath, 6ft Christmas tree, Christmas food hamper and a Christmas table arrangement!

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is head to the Longacres Bybrook Barn Facebook page, Like & Share the competition post (which is pinned to the top of the page) and leave your answer to the following question in the comments section of that post:

How many Christmas door wreaths did Longacres sell last year?

It’s as simple as that! Make sure you hit us up and give us a Like & follow on the page to find out if you are our winner. Be sure to take a look in store or on our website to view our stunning range of wreaths, Christmas trees and festive flowers. All our festive flowers and wreaths are lovingly made in store by our new team of talented florists.

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Terms & conditions – Competition ends on the 11/12/16 at 23:59. For an entry to count you must Like & Share our competition post. Answers to the question must be left in the comments section of the pinned post at the top of the Bybrook Barn Facebook page. In the event of two winning answers, the first to post will be winner. Competition prizes cannot be exchanged and have no cash alternative. Winner must collect items from store and be happy for a promotional photo to be taken of them with their prizes. And finally, good luck everyone!