Tag Archives: Flowers

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.

Christmas_Top6sellers_A5Flyer_2015

  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.

Valentine’s Day Flowers from Longacres

It’s not just a hint of snow that’s in the air at the moment, but good old love as well.  Yes, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner now, and as we like to say here ‘The early bird catches the £5 off discount’.  Okay, maybe not such a traditional quote, but one to bear in mind!

Dozen Red Roses BouquetHere at Longacres we are giving you the opportunity to show how much you love that someone special in your life by offering a hand tied bouquet of a dozen red roses in a lovely presentation box for just £34.99!  That’s a great saving of £5 on the usual price.  You need to place your order quickly though as this offer expires at 11:59 on 7th February.  You could then spend that extra £5 on a nice box of chocolates from our food section (we won’t tell anyone if you decide to eat them all yourself) or perhaps add a shiny red heart balloon to your arrangement for £2.99?

Lindor Chocolate Arrangement

Lindor Chocolate Arrangement

If the love of your life is a bit of an orchid fan, how about a vase filled with delicious Lindor chocolates and topped with a stunning arrangement of roses and orchids for £39.99?  More of a traditionalist but want a twist? No problem! 12 beautiful red roses with gypsophila, carefully created by our talented florists, can be yours for just £44.99.

Maybe you prefer that understated romantic gesture of a single red rose, beautifully wrapped for £5.99, or a gorgeous rose gift pack containing 12 short stem roses with delicate diamonte detail, a box of Lindt chocolates and a bottle of rose wine for just £34.99.

Shamrock Hand Tied Bouquet

Shamrock Hand Tied Bouquet

If you are looking for something different this year, we have a stunning hand tied bouquet of gerberas, pink roses and chrysanths for £25.99.  As well as for the romantics amongst you, this is also a stunning bouquet to send to the other special ladies in your life – your grandma, mum or daughter, with love.

To see the full range of Valentine’s Day cut flowers, take a look at the Longacres website. Now, where has that Barry White CD gone?

Stunning Cut Flowers for Any Event | Longacres Garden Centre

Flowers from Longacres's Floristry DepartmentHere at Longacres we know that flowers are an important part of many peoples’ lives (certainly ours!). They are used to mark a range of occasions, from births to funerals. But did you know that we also provide flowers for weddings, corporate events, hospitals, schools, elderly care homes, offices and vehicle showrooms?

In fact, our Corporate Flower Service provides a range of wonderful displays tailored to your business. Whether you are looking for fresh flowers every week or an artificial display every quarter, our knowledgeable staff can provide an arrangement appropriate to your needs.

Our lovely team of florists also provide a range of hand-tied bouquets starting from as little as £19.99, and will do their best to meet any specific requirements you may have. Perhaps you prefer to have a little mystery in your life and receive our bouquet of the month; each bouquet is a wonderful seasonal arrangement guaranteed to brighten up your home for only £30. They even come with a free glass vase!

A florist at Longacres putting together an arrangementOf course, if you enjoy flowers in your home on a regular basis, you might like to consider taking out one of our fresh flower subscriptions. These are available for 3, 6 or 12 months. You can even choose the date that you would like your flowers delivered. Of course, you may decide to use your subscription as a special gift for a friend or loved one instead.

A pink and white hand-tied arrangement

There really is something special about the smell of fresh flowers around the home isn’t there? We have a wide range of fresh cut flowers available daily in our specially chilled room so you can come in and select your favourites. We even have a range of great value offers on at the moment including ‘Buy 2 Bunches of Germini/Short Stem Roses/Sunflowers and Get Your 3rd Bunch Free’.

We know that spending a little time arranging your flowers can be quite relaxing, but if you want some extra help our florists will be more than happy to make your chosen blooms into a special gift. For only £5 extra (and a 15 minute wait – just enough time to collect some yummy cakes from the bakery section right next to Cut Flowers!) they can add foliage and wrap your blooms in cellophane (complete with a ‘water bum’ (aqua pack) so you don’t have to worry about them starting to wilt). You can also add a gift box for just £1.50.

A selection of hand-tied bouquets at Longacres Bagshot

So for ALL of your floristry requirements, whether large or small, corporate or personal, please give us a call on 01276 476778 and speak to a member of our friendly team.

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

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 

Combining Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’ with bulbs

Choisya x dewitteana 'Aztec Pearl'This useful shrub with its shiny green leaves, rounded growth habit and starry white flowers from pink buds in April and May can be usefully combined with bulbs that are planted in front of it, and which can provide interest at different seasons of the year. Bulbs generally die back and become dormant once flowering is over so that their foliage doesn’t spoil any subsequent planting. Please remember that, as the foliage dies it has a week or two of untidiness as the plant concludes its lifecycle for the year.

For best results plant bulbs in Autumn, and organise their planting positions to suit their growth habit. You can also move bulbs planted in tubs into position in front of the Choisya.

Crocus go in front, they are small and their spent foliage soon lies flat on the ground. Behind them put the tulips. The foliage of tulips dies back very quickly once flowering has finished. The varieties suggested flower later than the daffodils and help to hide their foliage as it declines. At the rear put the daffodils as their foliage hangs around, very untidily, until June. They generally flower before the tulips, so don’t use dwarf forms or they can be hidden by the robust foliage of the tulips.

The bulbs for blooms from February to August

  • Crocus 'Prins Claus'February and March – a colony of plump purple and white Crocus. Crocus ‘Prins Claus’ sitting in sunshine in front of the green leaved Choisya can be pleasing.
  • April – Narcissus ‘Mallee’ is 30cm high in flower with blooms in shades of yellow and tangy pink and white. The buds of the Choisya are pink and this picks up that colour. Narcissus ‘High Society’ has white, pink-rimmed flowers and is tall, at over half a metre when in flower.
  •  April-May – Tulipa ‘China Town’ is 30cm high in flower with pink and green flowers and variegated foliage. Tulipa ‘Apeldoorn’s Elite’ is over half a metre high when in flower. It is yellow with a pink blotch.
  •  July and August – a tub or two containing a white Agapanthus such as Agapanthus ‘Snow Pixie’ can be placed on the earth, the green foliage of the Choisya again providing a rich green backdrop to the clear white of the Agapanthus.

These are just a few ideas if you are brave enough to experiment and heighten your enjoyment of your garden. Enjoy.

This Longacres Blog post was contributed by Susan A. Tindall

Bouquet of the Month | December

The final bouquet of the month for 2014 is now available; and what a stunning December arrangement it is!

The December seasonal arrangement includes red roses, red mini gerbera, green chrysanthemum, burgundy carnations, and red ilex berries on a base of attractive foliage.

And as always, it comes with a FREE glass vase! Click here to buy now.

Bouquet of the Month - December

Bouquet of the Month Subscriptions (psst – a great Christmas present idea!)
Each bouquet of the month costs £30 each individually, but if you want a frequent supply of bouquets each month you can save money and time by purchasing one of our fantastic value flower subscriptions.

Available in subscriptions of 3-month (£105), 6-month (£200) or 12-month (£400), we will deliver a specially prepared hand-tied bouquet of beautiful seasonal flowers on the date of your choice each month.

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

Fashionably Winter: the Helleborus

HelleborusHeading into winter is the time when the Helleborus (also known as ‘Christmas Rose’) will start to make a show for the garden. These are winter and spring perennials available in many forms and colours; they are almost an essential for any garden during winter months.

There are many varieties of Hellebore and they are distributed widely across Europe and to as far as China and Syria. Identified by their leaves, their flowers are displayed in clusters which may be open and airy or tightly grouped. The flowers will show different forms from Anemone and centered to double, spotted or picotee. In the Helleborous flower, the true petals are modified into a ring of nectaries at the centre of the flower to attract pollinating insects, which make these great pollinator plants for your garden.

Flowering time is late winter through to spring, and I find the way these delicate flowers withstand the harshest of weather really fascinating. Different varieties offer colours from purist white (Christmas Carol) to deep pink (Party Dress) and some will give a delicate two-tone colour (Helleborus ericsmithii).

Most Helleborus will grow well in any reasonably fertile soil, but are happiest in lime and neutral soil and many enjoy a shady area, so for sun starved borders this is a real essential. For more open and sunny situations the more moisture they require.

So for a fully hardy, delicate flowering perennial throughout winter, you will not go far wrong with the Christmas Rose.

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

The scented night-time garden

Some plants emit their fragrance at night. These fragrances are generally intense, even memorable, in the darkness adding both simplicity and mystery to the experience. In practical terms the main night-pollinators in the UK are moths. These insects are attracted by scent at the ‘sweet’ end of the fragrance spectrum. The ‘night-time plants’ therefore have honey, jasmine or honeysuckle scents.

It helps to site these plants in places that are protected from strong winds, so the fragrance can hang in the air. Plants can be positioned by a window that is opened on a warm evening. Where there is a front garden, include a night-scented plant so that late in the evening you are greeted with an exquisite fragrance as you approach your front door.

Plants to consider:

Nicotiana alata (www.longacres.co.uk/home/longacres_garden_centre_surrey_plant_finder.html?plantid=2165) (Jasmine tobacco) and
Nicotiana sylvestris (www.longacres.co.uk/home/longacres_garden_centre_surrey_plant_finder.html?plantid=5323) (Mountain tobacco) are tall plants that flower from July to September.

Just two or three of these inexpensive plants, generally grown as annuals, can provide a heavy, delicious fragrance. There are a number of smaller cultivars, some of which will carry some scent but the species are the best, and their white tubular flowers are also visible in the dark. It is possible to grow them in a container.

Oenothera biennis (www.longacres.co.uk/home/longacres_garden_centre_surrey_plant_finder.html?plantid=11014) (Common evening primrose) opens its fragrant flowers at dusk and can be allowed to naturalise in a wilder part of the garden.

Much more modest in height, Saponaria officinalis (www.longacres.co.uk/home/longacres_garden_centre_surrey_plant_finder.html?plantid=1545) (soapwort) has a sweet fragrance, especially noticeable in the evening. It is likely to flower in July.

If elegant foliage is required Hosta plantaginea (www.longacres.co.uk/home/longacres_garden_centre_surrey_plant_finder.html?plantid=388) (the August lily) is fragrant at night, flowering in August.

There are several climbers which are night fragrant and these include the desirable, borderline tender Trachelospermum jasminoides (www.longacres.co.uk/home/longacres_garden_centre_surrey_plant_finder.html?plantid=1117) (Star Jasmine) and Wisteria floribunda (www.longacres.co.uk/home/longacres_garden_centre_surrey_plant_finder.html?plantid=3861) (Japanese wisteria). Lonicera periclymenum (www.longacres.co.uk/home/longacres_garden_centre_surrey_plant_finder.html?plantid=1318) (the common woodbine) is also worth considering.

Usually grown for the beauty of their foliage but having flowers in April that have an exceptional honey fragrance, Pittosporum tenuifolium (www.longacres.co.uk/home/longacres_garden_centre_surrey_plant_finder.html?plantid=1163) and its many hybrids are excellent. Lonicera syringantha (www.longacres.co.uk/home/longacres_garden_centre_surrey_plant_finder.html?plantid=705) (the lilac honeysuckle) is a late spring flowering shrub with a sweet fragrance that is very noticeable in the evening and night. Since the fragrance of these plants is generally carried for several yards, they can easily be incorporated in planting that is grown for its flowers or foliage effect in the daytime.

Finally, in order to provide some visual interest after dark, grow a few white flowers that will be attractive at night. These could include white Cosmos (www.longacres.co.uk/home/longacres_garden_centre_surrey_plant_finder.html?plantid=12009) and white Phlox (www.longacres.co.uk/home/longacres_garden_centre_surrey_plant_finder.html?plantid=1739), the latter is also fragrant and attracts hawk moths at night.

This Longacres Blog post contributed by Susan A. Tindall