We put some ‘Weed and Feed’ on our lawn at the Garden Centre a week ago, wow, what a fantastic reaction. Having not treated the lawn last year (complete neglect) we have had an amazing response this year. We’ve seen extra dark green growth due to the nitrogen fertiliser, blackening moss and curling dandelions due to the moss and weed killer. What has enhanced the effect of the treatment has been the great growing conditions; warmth and moisture. What we now need to do is to keep the grass cut really short; this will encourage the finer (smaller, thinner) grasses to emerge from their competition. Cutting the lawn with a cylinder mower is always preferable as the blades cut using a scissor action, unfortunately due to the cost of maintaining cylinder mowers most people use a rotary. If you use a rotary make sure the blades are always sharp.

I have to mention Virburnums, what a fantastic species of plants, there are over 150 types of them, the majority are beautiful and some have an absolutely fantastic scent. Viburnum burkwoodii is in full flower and scent at the moment. These plants are fully hardy and grow well in our soil. Viburnum plicatum Mariesii is one of my absolute favourites, very elegant medium sized shrub. If you see a white flowering shrub in someone’s garden give it a sniff, if it smells beautiful it’s probably a viburnum.

As usual the Garden Centre is full of Horticultural delights and delicious food. Cake production in the Cafe for the Farm Shop has doubled in the last month, scone production has gone up 4 fold. Great taste prevails! Scotch eggs made with our home produced sausage meat have been going down very well too.

At the end of July this year we are building part of our large extension here at the Garden Centre 4000sq ft of extra shop and 6000sq ft of extra glass covered retail area for plant sales and tea and coffee. Its all very exciting. In 2005 we knew we needed extra space, 11 years later we are finally making it happen, thanks to Nat West Bank and our wonderful customers. I hope you enjoy using this lovely new space as much as we have enjoyed thinking about what it will feel like. I think Fred has put a ‘virtual tour’ on You tube if you are interested.

Have a great gardening 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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