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

I am not sure if you were aware that we purchased 2 hives of Buckfast Honey Bee’s last summer? I am delighted to say they have settled in really well and today, (Friday) John (our resident / in house ) Bee keeping expert will be taking off our first crop of honey. It has been absolutely wonderful watching the activity of the Bees over the last few months and the impact of the different types of weather on their behaviour. Anything flowering up here at the Garden Centre will be well pollinated. I wonder what flavor the honey will be? I am sure the early flowering rapeseed crops will have a big influence on the taste but perhaps infused with a little petunia flower?

I planted a Sutton’s grafted cucumber plant in my greenhouse a month ago, tonight’s salad will include some of our grown Cucumber. This plant has grown like a rocket, 10’s of centimetres a day. In each leaf axis on the plant hangs a small cucumber. Suttons claim that these plants crop 75% more than a normal cucumber, in this case the plant has delivered. I have also planted some Suttons grafted tomato plants, they are growing well and have a lot of fruit, probably be ready in a few weeks time, I will report back when I start cropping. Yield is all very well but in my book taste is of more importance, its a waste of time growing loads of poor tasting fruit.

What you feed and grow your plants in does influence the taste a little. I have mulched my tomatoes, melons and cucumbers with farmyard manure for a lovely rich country taste!

Tomato, cucumber and melon plants under glass need masses of water and very consistently. Erratic watering will cause plant stress and split fruit.

Enjoy the sun, water and feed.

Need any advice on gardening drop us a line.

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.