The small Tete a tete daffodills in our back yard have now been flowering for nearly 2 months, how fantastic! The very warm autumn and early winter enabled them to grow really (unseasonally) well which encouraged them to flower very early. Once they started flowering the average temperature dropped, preserving their metabolism and the flower from the middle of January to now. The tulips however were not turned on as much by the early winter warmth and are only now emerging from the soil to flower which is very much in line with their normal growth patten. Basically this year we have had fantastic value from our daffodils. Similarly we were eating purple sprouting broccoli in January and February rather than February,March and April.

The really wet soil rather than cold weather is preventing people from getting out in their gardens, what we need is some sunny, lightly windy days to warm and dry up the soil.
If you are unable to get out onto the soil, set/sow some seeds in a propagator to buy you some time. Growing plants in a propagator in a warm or sunny room accelerates the germination of the seed by providing higher temperature and higher humidity. When the seeds appear through the top of the compost be careful that they don’t get too warm and bolt (grow very quickly up to the light). Plants that grow too fast could end up weak and frail and not go on to produce fruit or flowers. Sowing seeds indoors in individual pots or propagators is great for encouraging children to get the gardening bug.

The Garden Centre is absolutely full to the brim of the most wonderful plants and pots. Steve has filled up the plant area with more stock than usual for the time of year. If you need any advice or help with any plants have a chat with Steve and his team. Our plants are very great value compared to our National competitors!

We had a customer looking for a Hoheria Stardust this week, that’s a very unusual plant. Wow what a fantastic looking plant, ticks all the boxes, even our experienced team learn something every day. We will obviously be looking out to stock this one, watch this space.

Don’t forget ‘Free Bread Friday’ in the Farm Shop. When you spend £5 get either a free loaf a small white tin or a small granary tin loaf baked by Tee’s Bakery in Northampton. I was delighted to catch Radio 4’s Women’s Hour today talking about our other bread supplier The Good Loaf who support disadvantaged women, keep up the good work.

Have a good gardening weekend, we are here if you need us.


Ashley Warren

Ashley Warren has lived and loved horticulture and agriculture all his life; he had his first greenhouse at the age of 10 and his first cow when he was 16. He started landscaping in 1984 mainly in Milton Keynes and then all over the country. He moved to Daventry Road Farmhouse in 1987 and has developed Bell Plantation Garden Centre in Towcester, Northants over the last 30 years.

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