It’s been a long growing season this year. Several customers have been asking which flowering plants we have in stock, they have few flowers in their own gardens ( as they have all flowered) for displaying at their local Horticultural shows. The best way to try to prolong flowering in plants is to keep dead heading them and feed and water them. Plant some later flowering varieties Echinacea, Rudbekia, Asters, Lavender, Schizostylis, Agapanthus we have got loads of these at the Garden Centre to add masses of colour to your garden.

I hope by now most people have all their winter veg planted, there is still time to plant potatoes to crop before Christmas, be quick we have a few bags left. They are best planted in a container so that you can get them out of the severe frost.

At this time of year preserving and pickling fruit and veg should be the name of the game, freezing is very trendy and easy. Picking veg young and sweet is better than letting them get bigger and older. Sugar levels are higher and fibre levels lower in younger veg. Preserving is all about the prevention of rot, keeping the fungus and bacteria at bay, pickling, freezing, drying.

It’s a good time of year to collect seeds from plants that you would like to grow next year. I have got my eye on a Quercus castaneifolia, I can assure you there are not many of these in this country! I keep meaning to pick a few of Charlotte’s sweet peas to grow in our hedge.

The wildflowers I planted last year have looked absolutely fantastic all year, however they are now running out of steam and looking a bit untidy. A few are still flowering, it is tempting to cut them down but they must be left to set and drop their seed. Most are annuals, if we removed the vegetation now we would remove the seed as well. The vegetation is best left until completely dry and dead, remove late October. There are a few grass weeds creeping in, I am tempted to spray them with glyphosate during the winter before the wild flowers start to grow again.

Our spring flowering bulbs are now in the shop, it is good to get the daffodils in early as they root before the tulips and other bulbs. Planting bulbs now is a guarantee of masses of colour early next spring in your containers or garden.

Steve joined us this week as our Plant area manager, his previous life was 18 years with the biggest garden centre group in the country. I hope he is ok with the culture shock? We look forward to Steve helping you to enjoy your gardens and us to expand our ranges of plants at Bell Plantation.

In the Poultry department we are recruiting, we need some part time help in the poultry department, if you are interested or know someone who is drop me a line

Have a great weekend

Ashley Warren

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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