We were working out in the plant area last week installing the new poultry area, the new year sun was warming my back. I noticed a lot of activity around the beehives, there were 100s of bees out and about on the side of the hive. I went up to the office to get a camera, I was gone 2-3 minutes, I came back and the sun was hidden by the clouds and the bees had all gone back inside to keep warm. At this time of year there are obviously less plants around to pollinate than in the summer however there are more plants flowering than you imagine. To name just a few, Viburnum Bodnantense Dawn, a beautiful pink flowering medium size shrub, flowers late Autumn, Spring. My favourite is Sarcococca Confusa, a medium size evergreen shrub, white winter flowers, the scent is absolutely fantastic at this time of year (over delivers). Hamamelis Confusa, Witch Hazel, it has freaky colourful flowers, who designed these things, amazing!

We are currently putting new paths in the larger plant area (smooth smooth), unfortunately, the freezing temperatures have stopped us laying concrete. Laying concrete in temperatures below 5 degrees centigrade can cause problems with the curing process and it weakens the finished article. The Poultry Centre is being moved 30 meters to the east, a new larger range of poultry pens are under construction. It is our intention to breed a lot more of our own rare breeds of poultry. All our poultry, equine and pet feeds are now in our heated, smooth-floored shop.

Great weather to lightly rake off all dead vegetation from your herbaceous borders, be careful of the emerging spring flowering bulbs.

I gave my Boscobel rose a close haircut last weekend. Such a great rose. Rosa ‘Boscobel’ was named after the wood in Shropshire where King Charles II hid from Cromwell’s soldiers during the Civil War.

Have a great weekend

Ashley

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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