Category Archives: Summer

Rockin’ Colour – New to Longacres

For when you want something a little bit more eye catching and bright in your garden, you need Rockin’ Colour!

Forget your quite little corner of peace and bliss; some people want a garden that the astronauts can see from the International Space Station! And we can’t blame them; everyone wants something different and there isn’t much that’s more different than our Rockin’ Colour range!

Our 20kg bags are currently £5.99 each or 2 for £10, so you can fill up your garden and make it a unique place to spend time in for less. You can view our range online by clicking here.

Love it or hate it? Let us know in the comments section below!

Flower Display (Large)

Hanging baskets and bedding plants at Longacres

It’s still not feeling too warm outside, but at least you can give your garden a splash of colour with our range of bedding plants and hanging baskets.

We have a large range of bedding plants currently available, starting from just £1.39 for single geraniums, and £2.29 for box bedding (and the range of bedding at Longacres is second to none!)

We have a range of hanging baskets in all sizes and colours available – starting from just £9.99.

hanging baskets at Longacres

If you prefer to make your own hanging baskets up, here at Longacres we provide everything you need from brackets and liners, through to drip feeders and plant selections.  You can even chose the colour scheme you desire from one of our selection packs, especially chosen for the variety of plants they contain to bring out the best in your hanging basket displays.

If you aren’t the greatest at remembering to water your plants, don’t forget we also offer a wide range of artificial hanging baskets, along with attractive artificial Gardman and Cadix Buxus Balls.

For all your bedding and hanging basket needs, we look forward to welcoming you to Longacres soon.

Cuprinol Garden Range at Longacres

Cuprinol at Longacres 1Isn’t it great to get out in the garden again now the sun is shining!  Trouble is, you then tend to notice that your shed could do with a new coat of paint, or your fence needs a treatment to protect it from the weather. Those little garden jobs never go away do they!  At least with the Cuprinol range at Longacres, you can brighten up your wooden garden furniture, and at the same time give it a coat of protection (that sounds like something a modern super-hero would have).

 

If you’re a little fed up with your shed, fence, flower pots and bird box all being a different shade of brown (not that we have anything against brown you understand), you might like to try some Cuprinol Garden Shades.  In a range of amazing colours, the texture of the wood can still seen whilst offering the protection you would expect from Cuprinol products.

If you’re not quite sure what colour is right for you, there are tester sizes available so you can try a few and see what suits your style.

Cuprinol at Longacres 2

Cuprinol Less Mess Fence Care is quick drying (around an hour) and gives great coverage using just the one coat.  The 6L can covers 30m2 or around 10 fence panels and is great value at £7.99.  If you prefer to spray your fences, try Cuprinol Spray and Brush 2 in 1 Pump Sprayer for £37.99.  The unit fits any Cuprinol sprayable products, as well as the Garden Shades range.

Cuprinol Ducksback offers protection for sheds and fences for up to 5 years, is easy applied and shower proof in just 1 hour.  We currently have an offer of ‘Buy 2 Cuprinol Ducksback 5L cans and get a free 4″ brush’.   Remember to give your garden table and chairs a new lease of life with Cuprinol Naturally Enhancing Team Oil once you’ve taken the covers off (full range of garden furniture covers here).

 

If you’re changing the colour of your fence or shed, or letting your imagination run wild with multi-coloured wooden flower pots, you might like to post a picture of your newly coloured items on our Facebook page!

Cuprinol at Longacres 3

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

Understanding Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas have showy flowers that last for a long time. Most hydrangeas enjoy part or even full shade, and they come in a large range of sizes, many being suited to growing in containers. They sound like the perfect garden plant. What else do you need to know about them?

Blue and pink
Pink HydrangeaThe flower colour of hydrangeas that aren’t white are in the blue and pink colour ranges. These shades change in response to the acidity or the alkalinity of the soil they are grown in. If you have chalky soil your blue-flowered hydrangea will gradually change to pink. This can be upsetting if you’ve planned a dreamy blue-flowered garden. If you can successfully grow healthy camellias or any rhododendrons in your garden borders, you have acidic soil. If you can grow blueberries, you have very acidic soil. Otherwise, it is likely that your soil is neutral or alkaline. You can grow your hydrangea in a container with acidic compost, and water using rainwater. It is worth the effort for one fabulous blue specimen.

Blue flower treatments
The acid to alkaline measure or the soil’s pH is, like earthquake measurements, increased by ten with each unit. Neutral soil is pH 7, and acidic soil at pH 6 is ten times more acidic than neutral. Although it is possible to ‘blue-up’ your hydrangeas, it only really works if your soil is slightly, rather than extremely acidic. In the old days, piles of nails were put round hydrangeas to release iron into the soil.

Blue HydrangeaThe mineral aluminium is largely responsible for Hydrangea ‘blues’. Alkalinity “locks up” the aluminium so the plant can’t absorb it, the addition of iron to the soil releases the aluminium content to the plant. Nowadays ’treatment’ comes in packets. Sequestrol which contains Iron chelate, can be watered in to the soil. Aluminium sulphate applied at 250 grams to the square metre, puts aluminium into the soil which the plant can absorb. Sulphur applied at 150 grams per square metre, lowers the pH by a useful 0.5. Treatments are likely to be needed annually, and using rainwater rather than the generally alkaline tap water helps when watering. An old party trick is to blue-up just one side of a hydrangea, so you get different flower colours on the same plant!

Mopheads and Lacecaps
Hydrangea flowers, especially in the case of the common garden ‘macrophylla’ form, have two types of flower. The “mophead” (Hortensia) has big, rounded flowerheads packed with individual florets that are sterile, and tiny fertile flowers that are hardly visible. The “lacecap” heads are flattish, and have tiny fertile flowers at their heart and showy infertile ones, often held on short stems, round the edges. Hydrangea macrophylla Early Blue = ‘Hba 202911’ is a mophead, while Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Taube’ (Teller Series) is a lacecap.

From traditional to trendy
The rather stolid image of the hydrangea has changed in recent years. Some of the new varieties are elegant, even dramatic. Hydrangeas have an important role to play in the most modern and stylish garden. One change to modern forms doesn’t involve the flowers at all. Varieties are now available that have shiny black stems, such as Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Black Steel Zebra’. Other varieties have near black foliage and flowers that change colour with age. These, and many more will be covered in next month’s article “Using hydrangeas in the garden”.

Enjoy!
This blog post was contributed by Susan A. Tindall

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

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.