Watling Street, Towcester, Northants, NN12 6GX
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Mon-Sat: 9am-5:30pmCafe: 9am-5pm

Sunday: 10:30am-4:30pmCafe: 10:00am-4pm

What a wonderful morning, sub-zero temperature, frost, blue sky and sun shining, my favourite weather.

Not so good for my Melianthus Major (Honey Bush) which is just about to flower, it has got it’s seasons a little mixed up.

I planted it in the garden a couple of years ago, this second year it has grown really well and recently formed several flower buds.

It is just about frost tolerant to -5 degrees centigrade, perhaps I should dig it up and put it in the cold greenhouse?

I think it is one of those marmite plants, love them or hate them? It is very striking especially when there is water on the leaves, the drops of water stand alone on the leaf, more exaggerated than water on the Alchemilla Mollis.

It is, so far, a pretty dry Autumn, the cattle are still out in the field not making too much of a mess of the grass underfoot. It has been easy planting trees, shrubs and bulbs without too much surface water. If you have some spare time this weekend between watching the rugby internationals, cut back any plants with straggly stems that may blow around in the wind – climbing or rambling roses, wisteria, grape vines etc. If you don’t want to cut them then at least tie them in.

Even though I say it myself Christmas looks pretty amazing at the Garden Centre, Jo and the team are doing a great job in displaying our stock and decorating the buildings. We have recently linked up our biomass boiler with some new heaters to heat the new glass building, you can now sit under glass and not shiver drinking you coffee!! Plus we light the Kachelofen (masonry heater) on a daily basis.

Have a great weekend


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.