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

During my first trip to Kew Gardens in London, I was captivated by the history of the individual trees planted there. Quite timely – there is an English Oak growing there that was planted as an acorn brought back from the Battle of the Somme. The tree that impressed me the most was a Chestnut leaved oak, Quercus Castenifolia. It is huge and quite rare, it is the biggest tree by volume at Kew Gardens and it is not very old. The seed came over from Iran in 1843 and was planted at Kew in 1846. It is apparently the finest and biggest specimen in the world. During the Great storm of 1987, it remained unscathed, unlike many other large trees. This Spring I planted one at home in South Northants. So in 150 years’ time, you will all see where I lived as there will be a beautifully leaved, massive great oak tree there. The tree I planted was bought as a rootballed tree, 15 years old, 5 meters tall. Obviously, I had to give it loads of water this summer due to the very dry weather.

Image courtesy of Kew Gardens – www.kew.org/science

My Quercus Castaneifolia

Did you know that there is a 1700-year-old Yew tree in Helmdon church yard?

Another week nearer to Christmas, our displays are receiving more fine-tuning to make them even more beautiful. Numerous colour schemes and themes, plenty of natural woodland and German ‘smokers’!

It won’t be long until our Christmas trees travel down from Scotland – only a couple of weeks.

Have a great weekend, wrap up for falling temperatures.


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.