Tag Archives: outdoor

Planning Your Small Scale Garden

Part 2 – Planting Your Small Scale Garden


In a small garden every plant counts and plants with ‘multi-season’ interest are particularly valuable. Look for plants that offer flowers and fruit, foliage and flowers, or plants that have autumn colour or interesting stems or foliage during winter.

Plants that have both flowers and fruit
These include plants that have the added bonus of foliage interest as well. Berberis forms can really come into their own here, for example the tiny Berberis thunbergii ‘Tiny Gold’ which has yellow leaves, young red shoots, yellow spring flowers and red fruit in autumn. Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea ‘Admiration’ has red-orange leaves but is otherwise similar. There is now a range of disease-resistant Hypericum which have yellow flowers and coloured fruits, try Hypericum Magical Beauty = ‘Kolmbeau’ for its berries that start peachy-pink. If you want a good-sized, handsome shrub the fan-shaped, golden-leaved Leycesteria formosa Golden Lanterns = ‘Notbruce’ has red flowers and purple fruits that provide interest all summer through.Small Garden Flowers and Fruit
Plants that have winter interest
Consider flowering plants with foliage that changes colour in winter. Some Hebes have this quality, coming in a range of sizes and needing a spot that has sunshine in winter. Try the compact Hebe ‘Caledonia’ with violet flowers and rose-purple winter foliage whilst Hebe ‘Pascal’ has copper-red winter foliage. Amongst herbaceous plants Bergenia often have burnished winter foliage, for example Bergenia ‘Overture’ has bright pink spring flowers and leaves that are burgundy in winter. The stems of dogwoods can positively glow in winter sunlight – for beautiful variegated foliage and red stems try Cornus alba ‘Spaethi’ or Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ for good autumn colour followed by orange winter stems. These are cut back to near ground-level in spring, once established.Small Garden Winter Interest Plants
Plants with exceptional foliage
Evergreens in particular can provide interest throughout the year. Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Gold Star’ has dainty shimmering foliage and can be pruned for containment if space is limited. In warm gardens the exotic Coprosma and Lophomyrtus forms, some of which change colour at different seasons, can be fascinating. Try Coprosma repens ‘Tequila Sunrise’ or Lophomyrtus x ralphii ‘Red Dragon’ with red to black foliage. Slow but beautiful Nandina domestica ‘Wood’s Dwarf’ glows red in winter and is gold, green and red in summer. For foliage drama where a feature plant can be accommodated Fatsia japonica ‘Spiser’s Web’ is exotic, with huge variegated leaves.
Plants with Exceptional Foliage
Plants for a hot and dry place
Where your garden has a hot and dry area, herbaceous plants can be invaluable. Slugs permitting, try Alstroemeria, coming in a huge range of sizes and happy in a container, such as Alstroemeria ‘Orange Gem’. Striking Abutilon with big bell-flowers can be grown as annuals, try apricot-flowered Abutilon ‘Linda Vista Peach’. Colourful Zinnias have a long season, if deadheaded, an example being Zinnia marylandica ‘Zahara Yellow’ (Zahara Series). Sedums also have a place in a hot spot. In winter they provide architectural interest with their flat brown seed heads, try grey purple Sedum ‘Matrona’. Frothy purple fennel is lovely placed at the rear, especially Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’. Requiring little attention Salvias, such as the small shrub Salvia microphylla ‘Pink Blush’ has rich pink flowers for months whilst silvered Convolvulus cneorum is decorative all summer.Plants for a Hot and Dry Place

This has just dipped a toe into the possibilities. We haven’t even started on walls and fences that can be clad in repeat-flowering climbing Roses paired with Clematis…

Enjoy!

This blog post was kindly contributed by Susan A. Tindall

Christmas has arrived at Longacres!

Stand Up Owls and PenguinsStand Up SantasJingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!  Okay, we know it’s only October but our huge range of Christmas decorations and lights has arrived and here at Longacres we’re already getting into the festive spirit.

A good way to get little ones to be on their best behaviour from the 1st of December until Christmas Day is to start with the Advent Calendar.  As well as tempting chocolate ones (yummy…chocolate for breakfast!), we also have wooden and material ones with pockets or drawers that you can fill with small treats.

Advent Calendars

Of course, one of the main things we think about at Christmas is the tree.  Many of us love the smell of a real Christmas tree and enjoy picking that special one out as the centrepiece for our home.  Here at Longacres our potted Christmas trees will be available from 12th November, and our cut Christmas trees will be available from 26th November.  So if you’re keen to reserve your one now, we have a fabulous offer for you:

Order your real Christmas tree online by midnight on 22nd November and get a sparkling 10% off its price!

You can then choose to have your tree delivered (£5 charge, local area only) or simply pop in to collect it when convenient using our Click and Collect service.  Click here to view the range.

Artificial Christmas Trees

We also have a large range of artificial trees and artificial pre-lit trees in stock now to suit all budgets, from our mini 25cm tree – ideal to brighten up your desk – through to stunning 10′ tall firs and pines. You don’t even have to worry about missing that ‘real Christmas tree smell’.  ScentSicles hanging ornaments come in a range of natural fragrances to give your home that real tree aroma.

ScentSicles

Wicker Tree StandsNot everyone likes the look of a plain tree stand, so if you prefer to hide yours from view, we offer a Woven Wicker Christmas Tree Skirt for £11.99. It will cover stands from 21″ at the base to 16.5″ at the top.  You can use the skirt for both artificial and real trees up to 7′ tall.

Of course, once you have decided on the tree, you need to choose your decorations.  Whether you go for specific colour schemes, traditional ornaments or prefer a modern twist, we have a wide variety of decorations to suit your style and individuality.  Personalised decorations make a lovely gift at Christmas time and children especially love to see a fairy or snowman with their name on it.

Tree DecorationsWe also carry a large range of battery operated LED lights.  These can be used indoors or out and each comes with a timer (6 hours on/18 hours off).  No more tripping over lead wires or hunting for a spare plug socket in your garage.  LED lights are low energy so one set of batteries can last up to 60 days use!

Battery-Operated LED Lights

As it’s quite expensive to visit Santa at the North Pole, you might like to create your very own Christmas village.  Lemax, the miniature experts, have a wide range of buildings and characters for you to explore and enjoy, including a collection of new designs especially for 2015.  Music and lights bring your village to life; from circus acrobats swinging on the trapeze to Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’ ballet with dainty dancers spinning around.  Whether you are just starting out , expanding your village collection, or seeking that special gift, we are sure you will be captivated by the range of models and characters available from Lemax. View the Lemax Christmas Village online range here.

Lemax Christmas Village

From wreaths to a stand up Santa, wrapping paper to candles – whatever you are looking for this Christmas, come down to see us at Longacres and add a little sparkle to your festive fun.  Ho, ho, ho!

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 

Burgers on a gas barbecue

Outdoor Projects You Can Do On Your Own | Longacres Garden Centre

Are you the type who enjoys hosting parties at home or laid-back alfresco dinners? Then these simple projects are perfect for you. Make the most out of spring by lining up one outdoor party after another. From a grill night to a low-key ladies’ night, you’re sure to have the most fun outside and under the stars.

Hang Outdoor Lights

Outdoor lights are easy to install. Set up the perfect mood by putting up charming handmade lighting for your next outdoor party. Just screw in some hooks, drape the lights between them and make sure the end plug is near an electrical source. You will have the perfect lighters in no time, and all your guests are sure to gush over it.

Build a Mini-Bar

Whether it is for keeping your friends hydrated or encouraging them to have fun and have a laugh, an outdoor bar is your easiest bet. Shop around for an inexpensive tiered rolling cart to serve as the foundation for this outdoor mini-bar. Stock the heaviest mixers on the bottom, the plastic glasses or paper cups in the middle, and reserve the top for mixing. Extra points if you get to paint the cart to match your outdoor décor scheme.

Create a Cooking Nook

The mood is set and the drinks are mixed. All that is missing is the scrumptious meal you will all be sharing. Appoint a cooking and eating nook in a certain corner. If you and your family are into grilling, set up a barbecue grill to satisfy all your cravings. Find one that blends nicely with the rest of the space and secure the area with a simple fence around it.

Here at Longacres Garden Centre, we only want to provide your best outdoor entertaining needs. We have a wide selection of barbecue grills that range from charcoal to electric. Rest assured you will find something that fits your needs and suits your party needs. Complete your outdoor party set-up with garden furniture and you are ready to call some friends over.

Contact us today so we can help you with all your outdoor entertainment needs.