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...

What’s the difference …

between Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam? So, when our Victorian plant hunter ancestors were searching the earth for interesting new flora for their gardens, they inadvertently brought home two of the most invasive plants that grow here. In truth, Himalayan Balsam can look pretty so one can understand where they were coming from. It is just unfortunate that at the time they did not fully understand the growing characteristics of either of these plants.   Himalayan Balsam Let’s start with Himalayan Balsam, or to give it its Latin name, Impatiens glandulifera, which makes it a relative of our beloved Busy Lizzie! It was introduced to this country in 1839. This Impatiens can reach well over head height, sometimes in excess of 2-3 metres. It has become a major weed problem, most commonly being seen on river banks and waste ground and can invade gardens. It is an annual, with pink, or rarely white, cap-shaped flowers (see picture), but it grows spectacularly quickly and spreads via the approximately 800 seeds that every plant can set each year! The seed pods explode when ripe and shed seed over a large area up to 7 metres from the mother plant and can remain dormant and viable for 2 years. If the plants happen to be growing by a river then the seeds can be dispersed much further. Balsam will grow even in low light levels, but also shades out other vegetation thus killing off other plants. Himalayan balsam is controllable. Actually, is it fairly easily pulled or dug out. This should be the first option, I feel. Ensure that you remove at...

THINGS TO DO IN JULY?

Feed and water all plants in containers regularly Tall growing perennial herbaceous plants may need some support if it isn’t already in place. Prune shrubs that flowered in early summer Most gardeners give their borders a feed and top dress in the Spring but a further dressing now is very beneficial, particularly if applied after cutting down any early flowering subjects Summer-prune wisteria Deadhead flowers as they fade After rose flowers have shed their petals it is important to deadhead.  This helps a good second flush of new flowers in a few weeks time Divide bearded irises After flag irises have finished flowering, they will benefit from a dressing of Epsom Salts.  This will encourage better blooms for next year Layer and take cuttings of carnations and pinks Plant autumn-flowering bulbs Transplant seedlings of biennials sown earlier The vegetable plot should be yielding all the results of previous hard work which is very rewarding.  If runner beans are dropping flowers, then a light misting with water will help them to set better. Consider growing sweet peas close to or alongside beans to encourage bees and pollinating insects. Keep small sowings of the salad crops going for a good continuity – radish, for instance, can be sown every week but don’t forget to keep it well watered to prevent the roots going ‘pithy’. During hot, dry weather lettuces may be prone to bolting so try adding some shade and keep them well watered. THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO…. Fill any gaps in beds and borders with bedding Sow the last vegetables for harvesting in Autumn Plant out all winter...

Giant hogweed … pig of a weed!

What is giant hogweed? Although impressively large when fully grown, indeed making all that growth in one season, giant hogweed is invasive and potentially harmful. Chemicals in the sap can cause photodermatitis or photosensitivity, where the skin becomes very sensitive to sunlight and may suffer blistering, pigmentation and long-lasting scars. These plants appear in the wild, so please educate children to recognise it. Some councils welcome the public reporting sightings so that they can get rid of it. Appearance Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), is a tall, cow parsley-like plant with thick bristly stems often with purple blotches (see photo right). The flowers are white and appear in flat-topped clusters, with all the flowers facing upwards. The flower heads can be huge, as much as 60cm (2ft) across. It can also reach a height of 3.5m (11.5ft) and has a spread of about 1m (3.5ft). Giant hogweed is usually biennial, forming a rosette of jagged, lobed leaves in the first year before sending up a flower spike in the second and then setting seed (lots of seed!). True biennials only live for two years, and die after flowering, but giant hogweed does not always behave as a true biennial and may flower in subsequent years. Control Consider whether you can do this using non-chemical means such as digging out or suppressing with mulch. Where these methods are not feasible, you may have to think about using chemicals. Choose a weedkiller that is appropriate for purpose by reading the label carefully before buying or using, taking advice from the retailer if necessary. Those of low persistence such as contact weedkillers or glyphosate may suffice, especially earlier in the...

Tool and knife sharpening service

New!!   Garden tools, knives, scissors, mower blades etc Professionally sharpened by Top Edge Knife Sharpening Service   Next visit: 19th August 2015 And then: September 16th 2015   Drop your items into us any time beforehand, and pay on collection. Prices start from £1.50 for straight-edged knives to £5.95 for mower blades and axes. For more information please give us a call at the shop...