FAREWELL TO FEBRUARY – BRING ON MARCH MADNESS!!

By Richard | February 26th, 2010

Hello – a changeable week on the old weather front – but one thing does stand out – it is much milder!! We actually reached the dizzy height of 10 degrees yesterday – and the plants are already starting to respond!

The buds on many of the Prunus are starting to swell – and also the Quinces are showing signs of life again. The Hawthorn hedging is beginning to think about coming into leaf – so they do soon change once the temperature goes up.It has however been a very,very wet week – almost 2 inches of rain has fallen here over the last four days.

THE PHOTO ABOVE IS OF VIBURNUM BODNANTENSE ‘DAWN’ ENJOYING A RARE MOMENT OF SUN!
But we push on regardless – and Liz has almost completed grafting the ornamentals – and has just about wrapped up the apples too – so we are ahead on that one. Hedging orders are flying out – and we are really starting to run low on stock.

With the warmer temperatures – and longer days – we are getting a lot of visitors to the nursery, and they all remark on how cheerful and positive I am – and wonder why!! – well it is very simple – either you are going to get depressed by all this weather and take a bleak outlook on life – or you take my side – and be cheerful and positive- and look forward to all the lovely things that will happen in the next few weeks in the garden!!!

A BRILLIANT SPLASH OF COLOUR FROM MAHONIA JAPONICA – ENJOYING A SECOND SET OF FLOWERS AFTER THE COLD WINTER.
Life is far too short to be miserable -because you are a long time dead!!
So, we say farewell to February – and hello to March madness.
Why is March so mad?? On the nursery front, it is the great rush to get all those plants in the ground that you had not been able to plant over the winter – and it is also the time when nature really starts to wake up – and make up for lost time.

Make sure you don’t get swept away in the rush!! Get ahead as much as you can!

UNTIL THE NEXT TIME –
RICHARD

UPDATED SHRUB CATALOGUE AVAILABLE ONLINE SOON

By Richard | February 26th, 2010

Hello – we have just about finished updating our Shrub Catalogue. This should be available to download from the website in the next few days.

We have spent some time revamping it – and have included all of our Climbers and Wall Shrubs in a separate section for the first time.

The list of shrubs we have is a glorious mix of old-favourites – one or two new kids on the block – and one or two seldom-seen chaps as well.

Our climbing plants and wall shrub range has expanded considerably over the last few years – so is well worth a look!

Do have a browse through our shrub catalogue – you may be pleasantly surprised – Crown Nursery is not just about trees!!

UNTIL THE NEXT TIME,
RICHARD

TRYING TO STAY POSITIVE!

By Richard | February 19th, 2010

Hello – another grotty week on the weather front. I think most of us are well and truly fed up with this winter – customers coming into the nursery this week, speak of the frustration of not being able to get jobs completed that should have been done before Christmas – and it is starting to get them down!

It is easy to feel rather negative and down-hearted about this weather – but there is much to look forward too – and things are happening and starting to come into flower out there – so let’s put the weather to one side and cheer ourselves up with some nice winter-bloomers here on the nursery at the moment!!
These photos are of three shrubs looking – and smelling – particularly good at the moment. The first on the left is WINTERSWEET – CHIMONANTHUS PRAECOX – if you have never smelt the flower of this plant – then you really have not enjoyed the fullness of winter gardening!! It has a scent unlike any other plant I know – sweet,spicy and heavy – an astonishing scent really from such a small flower!
The photo below is of one of my favourite winter-flowering shrubs – CHRISTMAS BOX – SARCOCOCCA CONFUSA – a delightful evergreen – flowering a little later than normal due to the cold weather – but again – a really strong scent – quite pervasive and lingering in the air on still days.
The last photo below left is another handsome evergreen – the SILK-TASSEL BUSH – GARRYA ELLIPTICA. This is one on the lovely CATKIN side of the plant world – people are strangely snobby about catkins – but I think they are jolly pretty!! Just look at all the HAZELS in the hedgerows at the moment – again in winter 2009 – they had all finished flowering by now – but due to all that white stuff – they are only now starting to get going this year. And you know what the very best thing about them is?? – six months after those catkins – edible nuts will appear – so you can’t go wrong!!
THERE NOW – WHO SAID CATKINS AIN’T PRETTY!!
The snowdrops and the aconites are approaching their peak – and the little dwarf Cyclamen coum has been in flower for weeks -and very soon the Hellebores will be starting – so as I said earlier – there is much to look foward too – just stay positive!!
On a more practical note – we are now SOLD OUT of plums,greengages and damsons – and our HEDGING stocks are reducing daily – so if you are going to get any BARE-ROOT HEDGING OR SOFT FRUIT planted this winter – THE CLOCK IS TICKING – AND TIME IS RUNNING OUT!
SO UNTIL NEXT TIME – STAY POSITIVE!
RICHARD

OH NO! – HERE WE GO AGAIN!

By Richard | February 12th, 2010

Hello – well I knew it!! In last week’s blog – I talked about getting out and about, making up for lost time – now milder weather has arrived!!

And – a week later – here we go again – the wretched white stuff is back!!
Suffolk is now a carpet of white for the fourth time this winter – as I type this – it is a whiteout – with visibility down to about 50 yards. It seems to come from nowhere – that is one of the disadvantages of being so close to the coast – the showers just come in off the North Sea and hit the colder air overland – and dump a load of snow on us!
But life goes on – and this week at the nursery – we ran a GRAFTING COURSE. Four brave souls battled through the roads and conditions to enjoy a morning with Graeme learning about one of the oldest methods of propagation around.
At first sight, the idea of cutting into branches and wood with a very sharp knife – and then attempting to ‘splice’ them together, so they may make a new tree, seems daunting. But, by the end of the morning, four happy people trekked back up the drive through the snow, clutching their Ornamental Hawthorn – Crataegus ‘Paul’s Scarlet’ – that they had themselves grafted – to grow on in their own garden – and hopefully be admired for years to come!
Next week – weather permitting – we have our extra WINTER PRUNING COURSE – on Thursday 18th – from 10-12.30. If you would like to come to this course, please ring the office as soon as possible to book – since places are limited.
Also at the nursery this week, hedging orders have been moving out fast. Two loads of fresh hedging stock have come in – and basically gone straight out to customers – so again if you are going to plant a NEW HEDGE this winter – you need to get your skates on!! (That is not a pun in the current icy conditions either!!)
So yes, it may be snowing – and yes, it may be grim on the roads, but when the sun does come out, it has got a little bit of WARMTH in it now – because after all we are almost into mid-February – and better weather has to be around the corner – – doesn’t it!!!????
UNTIL NEXT TIME,
RICHARD

ARE YOU CONFUSED ABOUT PRUNING??

By Richard | February 5th, 2010

Hello – does the word PRUNING fill you with dread?? Do you spend ages staring at your fruit trees or shrubs wondering what to do to them??

If the answer is YES – and for a great many people, it is – then we may be able to help you!! Due to popular demand, we have added an EXTRA COURSE to our programme this winter – and on THURSDAY FEBRUARY 18TH – you can spend a morning with us here at Crown Nursery – and let us help you to take some of the mystery away from the subject!!

The course will run from 10-12.30 – @ £22.00 per person. We will be looking at fruit and shrub pruning.

ALL PLACES MUST BE BOOKED IN ADVANCE – IF YOU ARE INTERESTED PLEASE RING THE OFFICE ON 01394 460755.

OUR ENTIRE 2010 PROGRAMME OF COURSES IS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE – CHECK OUT THE COURSES AND EVENTS SECTION ON THE WEBSITE.

UNTIL NEXT TIME,
RICHARD

FANCY A GARDEN MAKEOVER??

By Richard | February 5th, 2010

Hello – DO YOU LOVE YOUR GARDEN? – but are never quite sure about the design side of it?? DO YOU LONG FOR A CHANGE – but don’t quite know how to go about it??

Well, here at Crown Nursery, we may be able to help you!! We are offering a couple of SPECIAL OFFERS this year, in conjunction with our well-established professional LANDSCAPING TEAM.

OFFER 1 – Use our Landscaping Service and get a free garden-design and plan, and then a 10% discount off the cost of all of the plants as detailed in the plan.

OFFER 2 – Or would you rather do the work yourself?? Let us design the garden for you – and then get a CROWN CARD valid for three months giving you 10% off all plants with every design purchased.

These offers are only valid until MARCH 31st 2010 – and HTA NATIONAL GARDEN VOUCHERS are not accepted in conjunction with this offer.

Our Landscaping Team has many years of experience, and can create the GARDEN OF YOUR DREAMS. From HARD LANDSCAPING features such as patios, ponds, decking and terraces to SOFT LANDSCAPING features such as gravel gardens, shrub borders,trees and orchards – we can help you – or anything else you like.

With over 3,000 plants at our disposal , we can create your own little piece of PARADISE!

WHY NOT GIVE THE OFFICE A CALL ON 01394 460755 AND MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY?!! YOU CAN HAVE THE GARDEN YOU HAVE ALWAYS DREAMED OF THIS SPRING!!

UNTIL NEXT TIME,
RICHARD

IT’S FEBRUARY – AND THE PACE QUICKENS!

By Richard | February 5th, 2010

Hello, a NEW MONTH and a step closer to the end of winter, and the beginning of spring. By the end of this month, we will have gained nearly an extra hour of daylight, compared to the beginning of the year.
The plants are slowly beginning to stir – buds are starting to swell, the bulbs are really pushing through now, and before we know it, a new gardening season will be upon us.

The Victorians were always banging on about getting ahead with work – and they were so right. If you do not make progress this month, come March and higher temperatures the garden will run away with you.
Many of us have not felt much like gardening in January – and in some cases it was not physically possible due to the weather – but decent weather is forecast for this weekend , so now is the ideal opportunity to get ahead with planting those trees,shrubs and hedge plants before they start to come into leaf.
GRAB EVERY OPPORTUNITY AND GET AHEAD!!

UNTIL NEXT TIME,
RICHARD

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