Despite the lack of good shine during the Spring it is amazing how much vegetative growth trees and shrubs have made this year. I have a mature Holly tree at home (Ilex aquifolium) that has looked very sparce in terms of how many leaves it had for years, this year the head/crown of the tree is full and we can’t see through it any more. I am sure this means in most gardens there will be a lot of pruning to do this year.

I planted 8 London Planes (Platanus hispanica) 3 years ago, they have grown really well but due to the recent hot dry spell of weather they have shed some leaves. After 3 years of good growth the root system has still not developed enough to sustain the tree through a dry hot period. As it is September you may think newly planted trees and shrubs are going into Autumn mode with their leaf colour, however it may just be lack of water. Pour on the water, its always important to keep an eye on the soil moisture level in conjunction with the time of year.

Its now again time to think about flowers in the Spring, we are fully stocked with bulbs to plant between now and late October. Allium, tulips, daffodil’s, snowdrops, crocus etc. Its will be easier planting them when we have had a drop or two of rain, the ground is still dry and hard.

Now is the time to plant vegetable plants for cropping next spring, brussels sprouts, calibrese, cauliflower, spring greens etc. You might be lucky enough to get a crop of radish if you planted the seeds now.

Our building work here at the Garden Centre moves on a pace, by the end of next week we should have our new floor down in the heated retail area and the steel for the new glasshouses should be up. We have got a local company NEM Plant doing all our groundwork, we didn’t put it out to tender in Europe! Keep it local.
Children have really enjoyed watching all the diggers during the summer holidays.

I am delighted that Fairytale Weddings from Towcester (another great local family business) have decided to join us here at Bell Plantation. They have taken the building next to Beech House Vets. I wish them every success in the expansion of their business.

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.

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