Tag Archives: gardening

See Joe Swift at Camberley Theatre Half Price!

We’ve teamed up with Camberley Theatre to offer our customers the chance to go see Joe Swift half price on the 07/10/2016!

TV presenter Joe Swift will be digging deep to reveal his fascinating story from his Rock n Roll youth to becoming one of the country’s top Garden Designers. Hear what really happens behind the scenes at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Gardeners World and find out what it takes to get a Chelsea Show Gold Medal?

His TV credits include Gardeners World, and the RHS Chelsea Flower show and he is a regular columnist for The Times and Gardeners World magazine.

Joe will share all this with you, taking questions on his life and career but warns that answering questions on dead plants isn’t going to be top of his list!

joe-swift-brochure-web

To get your half price tickets, simply use the code ‘HalfPriceOffer ‘ online, on the phone or by calling in to the box office on 01276 707600.

You can find our more about the event and book your tickets online by clicking here.

Please note offer is only available on full priced tickets. Longacres is only providing the code. Any complaints or questions about the event must be directed at Camberley Theatre. Tickets can not be booked with Longacres and must be booked via Camberley Theatre.

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)

Ornamental Fruits for your Small Scale Garden

Most people love holly with its rich shiny leaves and bright red berries. There are many other plants with highly ornamental fruit that provide interest, often during autumn and winter when flowers are scarce. The following are a few of the many choices available.

Starting small with the summer dormant bulb Arum italicum subsp. italicum ‘Marmoratum’. It has short columns of showy red berries in autumn, followed by marbled leaves that last through winter. Plant this with Hellebores and spring bulbs and it will naturalise if happy. Another lowly, often overlooked plant is the Gladwin iris, Iris foetidissima, with informal clusters of red berries in winter and fan-shaped spikes of green leaves. This is useful in difficult shady or dry places, a plant of quiet quality. Finally try Honesty, Lunaria annua. (Also available with showy variegated foliage). The sprays of white or purple flowers are followed by rounded white papery seed pods that appear in summer and which are loved by children.

Ornamental Fruit

Moving on to compact and medium-sized shrubs there are new ranges of the Tutsan, Hypericum that have been developed with a resistance to the rust disease that had blighted them. Some of these have names prefixed with  ‘Magical’ or ’Miracle’. They are truly eye-candy when the shiny yellow flowers combine with clusters of berries from late summer. The berries are coloured in shades of white, pink, red, and mahogany, all eventually turning black. One example is Hypericum x inodorum Magical Sunshine = ‘Kolmasun’. They make attractive shrubs, around a metre in height with pleasing foliage and a neat shape that looks good in the foreground. Try some of the smaller and sometimes prostrate cotoneasters that have white flowers in May and masses of berries from August or September. The low-growing or prostrate Cotoneaster conspicuus ‘Decorus’ has orange-red autumnal fruits. For a characterful plant, good in a container or enhancing a rockery or raised bed the small but craggy Cotoneaster microphyllus has small red berries that last and last.

Ornamental Fruit

Many roses have showy hips (don’t deadhead if you want these to develop), they include the prickly Rosa ‘Fru Dagmar Hastrup’ that has fragrant pink flowers. Finally, the exceptional flagon fruits of red-flowered Rosa ‘Sealing Wax’ stands around 2.5 metres in height but can have lower shrubs planted in the foreground.

Many climbers also have showy fruits. The bold pyracantha is probably the supremo for in-your-face displays of red or orange berries from autumn. Among the number available is Pyracantha Saphyr Orange = ‘Cadange’.

Ornamental Fruit

For something different there are the purple autumn pods of the annual climber Lablab purpureus ‘Ruby Moon’. If you are really brave and can handle a 12 metre high climber, there’s the shiny green wall-covering leaves of Celastrus orbiculatus. Its fruits are curious with yellow-lined pods that burst open to show its red berries. For a warm spot the subtle Schisandra rubriflora has dangling red flowers and red fruits, both distinctive and unusual.

Ornamental Fruit

If you have room for larger shrubs consider the native guelder rose in the beautiful form Viburnum opulus ‘Compactum’ with clusters of shiny red fruits. The larger Viburnum opulus ‘Xanthocarpum’ is a beauty with its translucent orange berries. For intrigue, try the blue berries of Clerodendrum trichotomum, the large but delicate sprays of red berries on Nandina domestica ‘Richmond’, that last all through winter, or, finally, the violet fruit of Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion’ these have a haunting quality all their own, most effective in late autumn.

Ornamental Fruit

There are also plenty of ornamental fruits on trees, but these have to wait till next time when ‘Trees for Small Gardens’ will be covered.

Enjoy!

This blog post was kindly contributed by Susan A Tindall.

Hellebores – the Christmas rose

Hellebores must be in the top ten of desirable garden plants, delivering flowers from December to May, and generally lasting for years if happy in your garden. The simple charm of the wild species has been supplemented by ever more complex hybrids to produce plants that are beautiful in both leaf and flower, excellent in a container as well as the garden.

Hellebores

Helleborus niger the Christmas rose, has always been one of the earliest forms to flower, often, as the name suggests, around Christmas. In recent years showier forms have been introduced with marbled foliage and flowers that turn pink with age, an example being Helleborus niger HGC Snow Frills = ‘Coseh 230’. The robust Helleborus argutifolius with its pale green scented flowers, is an old favourite and good for lightening shady spots. Its easy-going habit may not appeal to those who like rigidly disciplined plants.

Hellebores

The Helleborus x hybridus forms look particularly good planted in the garden. There are both single and double-flowered forms in shades of black, purple, maroon, red, white, cream and yellow. Many of them hang their heads so, in the manner of snowdrops, you need to lift the flower gently upwards with a finger in order to reveal the beauty within. Those with light-coloured flowers, for example Helleborus x hybridus Ashwood Garden hybrids – cream-spotted are visible at a distance and can be positioned so they can be enjoyed from a window. The dark-flowered forms, like the dark beauty Helleborus x hybridus ‘Hillier’s hybrid slate’, have an alluring mystery, so mysterious that they can completely disappear from view if incorrectly placed, so put these in the foreground. Elegant single-flowered forms, Helleborus x hybridus ‘Harvington double yellow’ for instance, can be combined with the many-petalled doubles.

Hellebores can be planted in small well-spaced groups or dotted amongst spring bulbs, pulmonaria, epimedium and primroses. Plan for their summer foliage effect when spacing plants as hellebores can become substantial. The hellebore x hybridus varieties have large whorled leaflets and, as they mature, make a mound of dark green foliage that makes a quiet interlude when not in flower. They can usefully be planted in front of taller deciduous shrubs that will be a highlight in your garden at other seasons. They thrive in part or light shade and can be planted on the ‘shady side’ of large plants, provided there is an access path that can be used to view them.  During winter, when, or before the plant flowers, the old leaves are best cut to the ground so the flowers are visible, the young foliage swiftly re-grows.

Hellebores

Luscious hybrids have been developed to maximise foliage, as well as floral appeal. These are both expensive and irresistible. They merit extra care, with soil that is always moist, a sheltered, partly shaded position and some space. They can work well as ‘spot plants’ in the garden, or often succeed best as specimens in large containers. Helleborus (Rodney Davey Marbled Group) ‘Anna’s Red’ with pink and green marbled foliage, Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘Pirouette’ with jagged silvered foliage, and dusky pink Helleborus x ballardiae Snow Dance = ‘Coseh 800’ among many others, are good examples of these aristocrats.

Enjoy!

This blog post was kindly contributed by Susan A. Tindall

Impatiens

Monty Don Says There are “Not Enough Gardens” | Longacres Garden Centre

Brits are not doing enough gardening; at least that is the sentiment of renowned English television presenter, gardener, writer and speaker Montagu Denis Wyatt “Monty” Don.

More Green Opportunities

Monty Don, the current host of the BBC television series Gardeners’ World, said that many young people are being turned off by gardening because they can no longer pay for homes with green spaces. Don said it is a “tragedy” that not enough young people are learning gardening skills. He is concerned that spiralling house prices and lack of space could mean people do not have opportunities to get green fingered.

“My generation grew up expecting some sort of ownership and access to gardens. I had my first home aged 26 and started growing things then. My three kids are in their 20’s and none of them rent or own homes with gardens,” the BBC host told Radio Times magazine, as quoted in a report in mirror.co.uk— the online edition of The Daily Mirror.  “A generation is growing up with no access to green space. There’s an increased remoteness about it all. Gardens can reach into life in a way that’s beyond horticulture. It’s about how we choose to live our lives and how younger people engage with them.”  He added, “We’ve lost so many of our allotments and it’s a tragedy. They’re increasingly important as young people have less access to gardens. Don, who is returning as the host of this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, explained gardens are “part of our
way of life and we can’t keep building on them. Councils are selling them off and say they’ll find
allotment space somewhere else but this is missing the point.”

Gardening the Easy Way

We stand behind Don on this issue. Gardening should be something that everyone does. Experts are even saying gardening is key to longer life. We’ve always encouraged everyone to have some sort of green patch in their home, even if it’s just a few potted plants by the windowsill or by the front garden. We have a range of plants and other products that make gardening easy. You can get the seed, the pots, and the feeds to give your plant a boost all in one convenient centre.

Longacres Garden Centre is one with horticulturists and gardeners in encouraging everyone to grab a shovel, dig in, and start planting. Get in touch with us today and we’ll be happy to provide you with any gardening products you need.

Bedding Plants at Longacres

We are well into the Spring season and before we know it Summer will be upon us, so make sure that you are well prepared to introduce lots of splashes of colours, scents, butterflies and bees into your garden by buying your bedding from Longacres, where we have hundreds of different varieties to suit every type of gardener and garden!

Antirrhinums, Petunias, Geraniums, Fuchsias, Impatiens, Lobelias, Marigolds and Nicotianas are just a small example of the bedding plants available to buy both in store or online from as little as £1.39 in a 9cm pot, £1.99 as a 6 pack of boxed bedding, or just £2.99 as a 12 pack of boxed bedding.

Our grower of bedding plants, Perfect Choice, have invested in a stylish, bright and bold new delivery van to transport all of our bedding plants to us ready to offer to you!

Perfect Choice New Van

Perfect Choice is a small family run nursery just 8 miles down the road from us in Locally grown plants have lots of advantages; it means less of a carbon footprint, plants are as fresh and perfect as they come, we save on distribution costs (which means a better price for you, our customer!), and finally we are supporting the local economy and of course another family run business – just like ours.

Visit us in store to view the full bedding range, or click here to view the online range.

Please note when buying online that you can mix and match all boxed bedding but the total number of boxes must be a minimum of 6.

Planting peas in the Longacres garden

Plant your pea plants now for a great early harvest!

Peas are one of the more hardier vegetable plants that you can get hold of or grow. You can sow pea seeds in Autumn – overwintering them in a greenhouse till spring, or sow them now (March / April) ready for planting out in a few weeks time. The other alternative is to buy a 6 pack or pot of pre-grown pea seedlings ready to plant out! (available in store)

Peas are a great starter crop as they are easy to grow and require little care after initial establishment to grow well. The first thing to make sure you have done is to prepare your site and improve your soil – if you haven’t done this already then you can view my previous video and blog post on how to do this.

Once you’ve improved your soil and you know where you want your pea plants to grow you’ll need to assemble, create or purchase a frame for them to grow up. Peas climb naturally so this is vital for supporting good healthy growth. You can get great, simple to use kits like we have here at Longacres, or you can assemble your own with just simple string and some bamboo canes.

Once the frame is in place you plant out your peas! Dig a small hole about the same size of the current pot they are in. Gently push the root ball up from the bottom of the pot or 6 pack and place gently into the hole you have just dug. Carefully backfill (move back around the plant) the soil that you dug out to create the hole. And that’s your peas planted!

The next step is to pinch out your pea plant growth tips if you want them to be more busy and compact. Do this by cutting or ‘pinching’ about a third of the growth of the pea away from the plant down to above a node – see my video on peas to find out more about this! You may also need to tie your peas to the canes or supports using jute twine if they are already tall.

The final step is to water them in (unless its raining of course!) I added the new Baby Bio Top Defence feed to my water which helps plants with stressful situations such as transplanting, drought and cold. It will be interesting to see how this product works over the season.

And that is all you need to know about planting peas! I will have a blog and video update later in the season to show you tips on harvesting and show you how things are getting along during the main growing season!

Have any questions about growing your own, plants or houseplants? Send them to us in an email to: plantsonline@longacres.co.uk

Roses in Containers

Rose
Many of the roses that are presently fashionable are quite small, standing between 45cm and 80cm in height. They can easily be lost in a garden unless carefully placed, or grown as part of a group of like-coloured flowers so they can make an impact. It is often better to grow these roses in containers, which means the flowers are raised to a higher position, and the containers can be moved into prominent positions when the plant is at its best, either on the patio or positioned between other plants in a border. Roses and other plants can start their life with you in a container, but can be planted out in the garden at a later time.

Stachys byzantina 'Silver Carpet'

Stachys byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’

Small, rather fragile roses that haven’t developed good root systems may best be grown on their own in a container. When a number of plants are grown in the same pot there is competition for the available resources – both water and nutrients – and the rose needs to have a good, established root system to effectively hold its own. In these cases it can be really attractive to have a group of several containers, preferably matching. The plants that you grow in them can complement or contrast with the flowers of the centrepiece – the rose. Good effects can be achieved by having a whole container filled with plants of a single colour. For example purple Petunias, red Verbena, bold golden Marigolds or the deep blue of delicate Nigella. You can also use companion plants that are grown for their foliage such as the woolly silvered, non-flowering Stachys byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’ or the trailing silvered round leaves of a plant such as Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’. These colours combine well with pink roses. Other foliage plants can be utilised such as the intriguing rose and mahogany tints of Heuchera ‘Midnight Bayou’.

Diascia (Flying Colours Series) 'Flying Colours Deep Salmon'

Diascia (Flying Colours Series) ‘Flying Colours Deep Salmon’

Alternately a rose can be grown in the same container as other plants. For this option the container needs to be of a substantial size so that all the plants can thrive. It is usually more effective to choose small, dainty flowers to contrast with the often large and solid blooms of the rose. Suggestions include Nemesia that will flower all summer through and have alluring colours that will combine well with roses. The showy Nemesia ‘Sundrops’ with its clear orange flowers would go with yellow or peach shades. Or the small flowers of Felicia such as the blue, trailing Felicia amelloides ‘Santa Anita’ that can complement blue or contrast with other light tints. The solid, trailing Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea‘ with its yellow foliage and flowers makes a bold contrast to red roses. Finally, try the white Angelonia ‘Angelface ‘White’ with white roses, or the jolly salmon tints of Diascia such as Diascia (Flying Colours Series) ‘Flying Colours Deep Salmon’, for a lively interaction with yellow, purple, or peach roses.

Notes on rose care:
Put a slow release fertiliser in the container when planting and give the plants an additional feed in mid to late summer. Water very regularly, and when it is hot, be prepared to water twice daily.

Encourage gifts of good-sized matching containers – three make a good group!

This Longacres Blog post was contributed by Susan A. Tindall

Gardening

Gold Leaf Gloves | Free Delivery When Purchased Online!

The biggest problem with gardening gloves is that quite often they don’t fit properly even when they come in separate sizes for men and women. As a result of this (and in general) they can be uncomfortable to wear, often feeling heavy and awkward to move hands freely which can in turn make gardening more difficult than it needs to be. And what’s more – they aren’t always the most attractive of gloves!

This is where Jayco, a family-owned and managed company, spotted a gap in the market for much-needed innovative gardeners’ gloves; and so in 2004 Jayco launched the Gold Leaf Gardening Glove range.

The Gold Leaf Gardening Glove range solve all of the problems posed by standard gardening gloves as a result of a combination of innovative designs, high-quality leather and constant perfecting of styles and packaging. They are comfortable, are an excellent fit and make it easier and more enjoyable to complete gardening tasks.

The Gold Leaf Gardening Glove range has been so successful that they were awarded ‘The RHS Chelsea Sundries Trophy’ at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2005. The range is now used by the most professional gardeners at Wisley, Rosemoor and Harlow Carr. Gold Leaf Gardening Gloves are now attractively adorned with the RHS logo, having been endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society – the ultimate sign of quality in the garden!

As an extra special offer we are providing free delivery* on any purchase of Gold Leaf Gloves from our website!

See below for more information on the range of four different Gold Leaf Gloves that we offer:

The ‘Soft Touch’ Gardening Gloves (Available in Mens and Ladies) – £19.95

Gold Leaf 'Soft Touch' Gardening Gloves

The Soft Touch™ Gardening Glove offers an extremely close fit as well as excellent durability. The palm of the gloves are made from high quality grain leather which is used for its softness and flexibility. The back of the glove is made from Lycra, nylon and foam, which with the Velcro fastening make the close, tight fit which helps differentiate this from other Gardening Gloves.

These gloves are all about the feel and fit, and will suit those in search of a robust, comfortable multi-purpose Gardening Glove, with a touch of style.

The ‘Winter Touch’ Gardening Gloves (Available in Mens and Ladies) – £21.95

Gold Leaf 'Winter Touch' Gardening Gloves

The Winter Touch™ Gardening Glove is a unique, hardwearing, yet luxurious glove for use in cold or wet conditions. These gloves feature a Thinsulate™ thermal lining to keep hands warm even in the coldest weather, as well as an additional innovative Ski-Dri™ waterproof, breathable lining which ensures hands remain totally dry when used in wet conditions.

The reinforced palm of this glove also makes it ideal for use with rakes, spades, brushes and a whole array of other gardening tools.

The ‘Tough Touch’ Gardening Gloves (Available in Mens) – £23.95

Gold Leaf 'Tough Touch' Gardening Gloves

Through its unique design, the Tough Touch™ Gardening Gloves offer a high level of protection against thorns and alike, whilst retaining an incredibly soft feel which results in very unusual dexterity for a glove so robust as this. This glove also offers exceptional comfort and warmth, with the added benefit of the gold grain leather having been specially treated to offer resistance to water. The extended cuff provides additional protection for the wrist and forearm.

 

The ‘Dry Touch’ Gardening Gloves (Available in Mens) – £17.95

Gold Leaf 'Dry Touch' Gardening Gloves

The Dry Touch™ Gardening Gloves are very comfortable and durable gloves which have been constructed using a softer, extremely flexible grain leather. These gloves have also had the leather specially treated to provide resistance to water, and would therefore be ideal for those seeking a glove to use in wetter conditions. Additionally, this glove features a full lining throughout for extra warmth and comfort.

The Dry Touch™ is suitable for a variety of gardening purposes, such as potting, weeding and light pruning.

*Free delivery only applies when purchasing Gold Leaf Gloves. Offer will not apply when purchasing any other goods aswell – sorry!

French Marigold

Longacres Garden Centre for Best Plant Retailer Award with The Sun

For the third year, The Sun are running a competition to find Britain’s Best Plant Retailer to find the best places in the country to get good plants, at a fair price, from friendly helpful staff – we hope you think of Longacres in this way!

As well as letting us know you think highly of us, there are 40 x £25 prizes of National Garden Gift Vouchers that will be sent to winning voters chosen at random once the counting is complete. In order to have a chance of winning one of these, the voting slip needs to be completed with a full name and address.

We hope you will support our chance to become recognised as one of the best plant retailers by voting for us – from August 1st to 31st you will find voting slips and a box to put them in by the tills at Longacres Garden Centre. Thank you!