Tag Archives: winter

Lemax Twas The Night Before Christmas

It’s Possible! Christmas Decorating on a Budget | Longacres Garden Centre

When decorating your home for Christmas, you don’t need to spend a fortune to bring in the festive atmosphere indoors. All you need are a few clever tricks to spruce up your house and get it ready for the most-awaited holiday of the year.

Recycle Ornaments

You don’t need to replace all your decorations every year to have stunning trimmings for the occasion. You can give new life to your old ornaments by using or repurposing them. For example you can add natural seasonal items such as holly to bring them back to life.

Purchase Decors Online

If you don’t want to repurpose old ornaments, you can buy affordable Christmas decorations online.  It is easy to find festive ornaments like Lemax Christmas Village Collection to bring in the spirit of holiday season in your home. The best part is, you can find the right decor that suits your budget. You can purchase a small Lemax Christmas house or choose a larger scene for your home.

Get Inspiration from Nature

Walk around in your village or neighborhood to get inspiration. You’d be surprised at how many natural decorations you can take home with you. You can make your own Christmas tree garlands from fresh evergreens, although this may require time and art skills. You can also mix your DIY efforts with new ones to have thrifty ornaments you can be proud of.

Go to Flea Markets

Visit thrift shops and flea markets to find fabulous ornaments. You can also get plenty of inspiration for your Christmas décor here.

Browse through our website today and find out how we can help you find great deals on Christmas trees and Lemax ornaments.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

Lemax Twas The Night Before Christmas

Be Prepared Get Ready for Christmas Early | Longacres Garden Centre

Ho Ho Ho Only 21 Fridays to Go!

We may be in the midst of a very changeable British Summer but did you know that there are only 21 Fridays left until Christmas! With the help of Longacres Garden Centre you can be organised for the festive period well in advance and get ahead of the game.

Our full range of eagerly anticipated festive products will be available to purchase online from August. This will include our ever popular range of beautiful items to create your own Lemax Christmas Village as well as artificial and pre lit Christmas trees.

Keep checking our blog as we will be updating regularly to let you know about all our Christmas ranges in store and online. We will also be giving exciting information about our popular Santa’s Grotto opening dates and times.

At Longacres we are committed to providing the best quality products at competitive prices and currently have some amazing offers on festive products available online.

Mixed Zinnia

Liven up Your Garden with Bedding plants | Longacres

Gardens are a homeowner’s paradise. It is, however, rather unfortunate that they often end up looking like blank canvasses during the winter—with snow or leaves covering the ground. As soon as the first signs of spring come along, it is time to liven up the garden with colours—and flower beds are a great way to achieve this.

Despite usually lasting only a single season, they can provide your garden with vibrant colours and energise exterior spaces.

They can fill the gaps between plants shrubs that have yet to grow fully. You can also plant a whole bed for an immediate effect. Let’s take a look at what you can do to make great bedding plants in your garden:

Choosing Flower Colours

It is all about the colour. Once you pick a colour scheme for your bedding, you can choose the right seeds to plant afterwards. You can be as creative as you want to be with combinations or you can choose to fill the space with a single, solid colour.

Giving Seeds a Good Start

After planting the seeds for your choice of flowers, you may want to give them a head start by watering them with a water-soluble fertiliser. This way, you can ensure that they have all the nutrients needed to sprout up and beautify your garden as quickly as possible.

Keeping Beds Pest-Free

There will always be the issue of pests in the garden. It is important to use just the right pesticides for the job. When buying, make certain to ask for the least toxic products. Also, buy only the smallest containers. Large ones can take years to consume and will lose effectiveness by then.

Flower beds are often the star attraction of gardens. With them, you get a chance to brighten up your garden with beautiful colour combinations.

Longacres is your prime source for garden supplies, bird feeders, and more. Check out our online range for all the seeds you will need to add a dash of colour to your garden!

A Christmas Tale – The Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Red Poinsettia
Some say that Christmas would not be complete without the presence of the Poinsettia. So how did this festive brassica become such a symbol of the yuletide calendar?

The poinsettia is native to Mexico where they are known as ‘La flor de la Nochebuena’ or ‘Flower of Christmas eve’. Apparently the ancient Aztecs prized the poinsettia as a symbol of purity and centuries later, Mexico’s early Christians adopted the plant as their prized Christmas Eve flower. The Mexican legend tells of a child who could not afford a gift to offer Christ on Christmas Eve, so he picked some weeds at the side of a road. The child was told that a humble gift, if given in love, would be acceptable in God’s eyes. When brought into the church the weeds bloomed red and green flowers and the congregation felt that they had witnessed a Christmas miracle. The poinsettia was born.

The plant is actually named after former US ambassador to Mexico Dr Joel R Poinsett, who was responsible for introducing the plant to the USA and from there on it has reached a global presence at Christmas.

Not the easiest plant to care for, but these few careful pointers should ensure your Poinsettia looks good throughout the festive season.


      • They require sunlight for at least 5 hours a day so make sure you have it placed in an area of good natural light.
      • Temperature must be maintained at a constant level
      • They must be situated where there are no draughts
      • They are a sub-tropical plant so at night ensure the temperature does not drop below 10 degrees cent
      • Keep the soil moist, but well drained

It’s a shame but I would suspect that most of us dispense with the plant once Christmas has passed as it does require some effort to encourage re-flowering, but if you are so inclined, prompting the slogan ‘a poinsettia is not just for Christmas’ the plant requires long periods of uninterrupted light free nights… about 2 months to be precise. Even a sudden, tiny exposure to light during this time could prevent re-flowering. So good luck with that one.

For the rest of us..enjoy the poinsettia in its prime this time of year and be assured that the presence of the bright red brassica in store spells that Christmas has definitely arrived.

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

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

Santa’s Grotto | Opens Saturday 21st November 2015

Longacres Bagshot Grotto Opening Times 2015

Santa’s elves and our talented team of seasonal staff have been working tirelessly to get the Christmas grotto ready for Santa’s big arrival on Saturday 21st November at Longacres Garden Centre, Bagshot.

Walk with your children on a magical journey through a Winter Wonderland before meeting the bearded man himself in the heart of his cosy Christmas grotto.

Each visit costs just £5 and includes a present from Santa if they’ve been good this year – an ideal incentive to get them on their best behaviour!

Christmas Tree Branch with Snow

Pre-order your living Christmas Tree online now from Longacres!

We are pleased to announce that our fantastic range of living Christmas trees are now available to pre-order online from Longacres!

Why wait until the last minute to purchase your tree when you are rushed off your feet with other Chrismas preparations? Relieve the unnecessary stress by pre-ordering between now and Monday 24th November and enjoy the luxury of deciding what date you receive it.

Better yet, if you order a tree between now and midnight on Friday the 28th November, you will receive a 10% discount!

We have a beautiful selection of trees in different heights to suit every need and price range:

Potted Blue SprucePotted Blue Spruce
The blue spruces are well known for their unique silvery-blue tinted needles which are especially beautiful and pleasing to the eye. Suitable to be kept indoors or planted outdoors, these non-drop living trees come already potted and can even be planted outside after Christmas.
Available in 7 sizes ranging from 1.5 – 7ft

Norway SpruceNorway Spruce
These living Norway Spruce Cut Christmas Trees are wonderfully charming; perfect for those wanting a traditional Christmas Tree. The dark green needles of Norway Spruces are particularly strong, so are especially ideal for hanging your favourite tree ornaments from.
Available in 2 sizes ranging from 6 – 8.5ft

Nordmann Fir/Potted Nordmann FirNordmann Fir
Nordmann Fir Cut Christmas Trees are amongst the most popular today, the main reason being because of the particularly strong, dark green ‘no-drop’ needles (provided they are kept well fed). Also well known for their symmetrical shapes, these trees have particularly dense branches to hang your much loved decorations from.
Nordmann Fir available in 4 sizes ranging from 4 – 11ft
Potted Nordmann Fir available in 2 sizes ranging from 3 – 5ft 

Give your home a personal touch with the ‘Create Your Own’ Christmas range!

Great as a gift or to use in your own home, Shot2Go’s range of festive ‘Create Your Own’ decorations mean you can really make your décor unique this Winter! All decorations hold 2 photos that can be cut to size using the included template.

Photo Ornament – Star/Heart/Circle – £2.99
Three different shaped baubles to choose from to really jazz up the tree; a star, a heart or a circle.
'Create your Own' Christmas Photo Heart Shaped Ornament

Christmas Photo Bauble – £3.49
Make your tree even more special by placing a photo of a memory, family member, friend or even a pet inside this bauble.
'Create your Own' Christmas Photo Bauble

Reindeer Photo Snowglobe – £4.99
Give this snowglobe a good shake to really add to the Winter effect!
'Create your Own' Christmas Photo Reindeer Snowglobe

Come and grab these unique decorations instore now at Longacres!