Things to do in February …

So, here we are in the ‘Little Month’ already! How quickly this year is passing.  Time to get seed potatoes chitting and sowing seeds. Hurrah! My favourite time as there is just so much to look forward to and this is such an optimistic time of year for gardeners. Also many questions … wondering if the weather will be sunny, wet, cold … will the tomatoes come up … have I enough hours in my day (never!!), what roses and climbers to buy, can I fit everything in (quarts and pint pots spring to mind!), why is Easter sooo early this year … but exciting times ahead. February is traditionally the month when snowdrops appear, although I have seen them much earlier this year. Snowdrops are a symbol of hope when, according to legend, Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, and Eve was about to give up hope that the cold winters would never end. An angel appeared and transformed some snowflakes into snowdrops proving that eventually winter does give way to spring. One of my favourites, which used to grow in great profusion in my Nana’s garden, is a beautiful double snowdrop (Galanthus Nivalis – Flore Pleno). Snowdrops are best bought ‘in the green’, but do ensure that they are obtained from a reputable source and not ripped from the countryside, or pinched from a garden.  Daughter Rachel works at a National Trust garden near Cambridge where they have one of the largest collections of snowdrops anywhere, and an annual Festival, which looks absolutely amazing. If you are around Cambridge, take a tour of Angelsey...

Things to do in January …

Happy New Year to everyone! We do hope that you all had an absolutely fantastic Christmas holiday with family and friends. We had a super day with family, which will be much remembered! I always use the days between Christmas and New Year to try and plan what to grow for the following season, and sitting by the fire with a pile of seed catalogues is my idea of heaven! Gardener’s are such optimists aren’t they? Some things fail, some things do better than ever hoped, but we always come back for more. I do love to challenge myself so always try something new and ‘hard to grow’, so I am going to try Echium pininana again, as I have in previous years failed to get this fabulous biennial plant (also called ‘Tower of Jewels’) through the winter into it’s flowering year. Also I am going to try Tacca chantrieri ‘Nivea’ (Cat’s Whiskers, Devil Flower or Bat Plant), for indoors. This plant is weirdly fascinating, and one I have for years wanted to try. I will let you know how I get on … And so to plans for the New Year. I was never one to stand still so we will be smartening up our plant area, and you may have noticed the new cane and log store at the rear of the shop. We are also developing a new area for our hosta’s and ferns which will be much more shady and to their liking and give us a lot more room for other plants, so I am trying to contain my excitement. What a great excuse...

Christmas 2017 is a-coming!

Christmas is coming, the season of good cheer We’ve lots of lovely gifts for you, and just the odd reindeer … We have coffee and tea And cake (gluten free!) A warm welcome awaits When you walk through our gates   Christmas is coming, we’ve fattened the turkey Eating mince pies, we’re all feeling quite perky There are presents to make But make no mistake At our Garden Shop You can shop ’til you drop!    ...

Things to do in October!

Finish planting evergreen shrubs. Mulching will help them to survive the winter too. Plant new climbers. Plant new perennials. Plant tulip and lily bulbs. We have a great range of spring bulbs now in stock. Divide overgrown perennials. Two forks back to back in the middle of the clump and then prised apart works really well. Lift and store dahlias, gladioli and summer flowering bulbs. Allowing dahlias to stand ‘upside-down’ to dry out will help them not to rot off during the winter. Cut down the dying tops of perennial vegetables Lift and divide rhubarb. Cover with a mulch to protect the crown during the winter. Rake up fallen leaves, and pile them up to make leafmould, or stuff into bags at the back of the compost heap. Remember to make a few holes in the bag first to let air in and water out! Continue clearing up the garden, and burn or bin debris, especially burn any that shows signs of fungal infection. Dig over empty areas of soil. I find it helpful to cover with old carpet or recycled black plastic to keep weeds down and the soil will warm up much more quickly in the spring. Alternatively, consider sowing a green manure. Tidy ponds and remove pumps for the Winter. THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO…. Finish planting spring bedding Finish planting spring flowering bulbs GET IN FRONT…. Prepare for planting bare-rooted stock next month Make early sowing of broad beans for next year Sow sweet peas for next year under cover...
A great Christmas lined up…

A great Christmas lined up…

Just in … our new range of Moulin Roty toys. Sooo cute and fabulous gift for Christmas!! Come and visit The Garden Shop, Colyton – A warm welcome awaits … And, with lots of fantastic new gift ideas and fairy lights up, we’ll get you in the spirit. This is just the beginning so expect more great ideas...
Christmas is coming…

Christmas is coming…

Our first ever window display!! ‘Santa’s Little Helpers’!! Quite pleased … looks lovely late in the day when the lights all twinkle … loving Christmas already! Shop local … see you soon

Spring is in the air …

Whatever happened to January, February and March … it only seems five minutes since Christmas and here we are the other side of Easter! April arrives at last heralding the promise of better weather and a new optimism in the garden as the perennials start to come up and show their new leaves. I absolutely adore this time of year, it carries such hope and expectation, but then, I think gardeners must be the most hopeful people on earth! We have a brand new stand in the shop this month, which carries completely chemical-free pest control products. Aimed at being totally bee, butterfly and beneficial insect friendly, it also has a handy guide to all the different pests, and the appropriate defence. Please ask our staff for more information. We have also added a range of fruit bushes, and will be taking delivery of strawberries shortly. We do hope you have taken the opportunity to come and see our new outdoor plant display which has been constructed out of recycled pallets and sustainable timber, and that you enjoy the colours, and of course, the new plants. Please do let us know your thoughts. April is also the time for National Gardening Week (from 11th to 17th April). Launched five years ago by the RHS, it is now one of the biggest celebrations of gardening in the country. If you would like to get involved there is more information at http://www.nationalgardeningweek.org.uk/. Getting involved can be very simple, from providing a bug hotel in your garden to creating a whole new habitat. Or get together with a group or organisation to refurbish an...

Easter

So Easter has arrived, and it truly doesn’t seem five minutes since Christmas! Thankfully the weather looks as if it may be great for gardening over the next few days, but please don’t get lulled into a false sense of security as we may still get the odd frost from time to time. Here in the plant area we now have a fabulous range of new plants just in including beautiful climbers, shrubs and bedding for your pots and baskets. We also have six-packs of vegetables, and tomatoes, cucumbers and courgettes. There is a plentiful supply of composts and other media. The menu in the Cafe has received a seasonal makeover, and Kate’s famous quiches have made a welcome return, together with filled rolls and hot-cross buns for Easter weekend. We are also now serving a range of iced smoothies and frappes (iced milkshakes to you and me!), and a range of old-fashioned drinks. Why not drop onto our new ‘What to do this month’ page to get tips for April. We are open Easter Sunday and Monday from 10.00am-4.00pm so come along and see us...

What to do in the garden in … April

THINGS TO DO IN APRIL? Continue watering new trees and shrubs when dry. Consider mulching the top surface with bark chippings, or your own compost. Feed established lawns. Consider a light cut if the ground is suitably dry. Plant new aquatic plants in ponds. Keep clear of algae by immersing a hank of barley straw under the water. Plant evergreen trees and shrubs. Dig a lovely large hole and add as much compost as you can to include organic matter. This will get the plants off to a good start. Don’t forget to keep them watered. Erect windbreaks around new trees and shrubs if needed. Trim grey-leaved shrubs to keep them bushy. Shred any clippings and use as mulch or add to the compost heap. Tie in the new shoots of climbers. Prune early-flowering shrubs. Prune shrubs grown for large or colourful foliage. Divide perennials either splitting with two forks or an old kitchen knife. Why not offer a friend a spare plant in exchange for something from their garden? Stake tall-growing perennials. Protect young growth from slugs and snails. We have several products in the shop this year, from organic to the ‘nuke-‘em’ variety! Remove annual weeds with your hands. You will thank yourself later on. Remove perennials weeds by digging them out. Ensure deep-rooted weeds are completely removed. These should be burned or disposed of, but not added to the compost heap. Deadhead daffodils (I include this item, but you will probably find that as the daffodils were so very early this year, you have already done it!). Sow annual climbers and grasses. Continue sowing and planting...