Winter wonderland, and not a bauble in sight!

By Jill | November 14th, 2014

Our fantastic range of evergreen plants have been moved to their winter home and are looking great.

There are some seasonally coloured, 3 metre tall Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’, aptly known as the Christmas Berry ‘Red Robin’.  The lovely standard Ligustrum stand like lollipops and the majestically weeping Cedrus deodara instantly command your attention.  The Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Goldcrest’ are striking because of their shape and colour, I often use pieces in Christmas decorations as the leaves are quite aromatic.

Some of the smaller shrubs deserve a mention too – the Phygelius ‘Fanfare Wine’ (cape fuschia) are covered in dark burgundy flowers and the Hebe ‘Karna’ look very pretty with their delicate pink blooms.

Pop in and see for yourself – it’s undercover too so you don’t even have to worry about the weather.

Hope to see you soon

Jill

Rain, rain, rain!

By Jill | October 8th, 2014

The huge amount of rainfall today has been a bit of a shock for us humans, but what very happy trees and plants we have got at the nursery.

With our annual Apple Day celebrations just ten days away, we are fully stocked and, even though I say so myself, looking fabulous.

I have been looking at our selection of espalier trained apple trees.  It fascinates me how uniformily they can be trained, enabling you to plant a few together and all the laterals will be at the same height.

The pot grown hedging is looking good too.  It is ideal for any gapping up needed or for those who are a bit too impatient to wait for the bare rooted plants!

This really is an ideal time of year to plant; the soil is warm, the sun’s heat has lessened and rain is becoming more frequent.

If you are stuck for ideas or just need a bit of advice, come in for a chat, the nursery staff will be only too pleased to help you.

See you soon,

Jill

‘Wow’ Plants!

By Jill | September 26th, 2014

“Wow, what fantastic plants!”

This is what one customer said to me this morning as he watched the lorry being unloaded with our latest delivery.

Each plant has been hand picked for us by Graeme, our Nursery Manager, and they are truly magnificent.  So if you are looking for some screening, a mature shrub or just a treat for your garden, pop in and see us, they won’t be here long!

Hope to see you soon,

Jill

We are on Facebook!

By Jill | September 18th, 2014

Crown Nursery has joined the realms of Facebook.  Do visit our page and tell us what you think.  Any suggestions for things you would like see added to the page will be gratefully received!

 

Crown Nursery

Nature’s Larder

By Jill | September 18th, 2014

As I was walking around the nursery this morning, I was overwhelmed by how full and beautiful Nature’s Larder is at the moment. The selection of trees and shrubs that are dripping with fruits and berries is huge.

As a fan of all things pink, I was instantly drawn to the Sorbus vilmorinii with its deep, rosy pink berries hanging in clusters; these will fade to white through the winter. I love the crab apples too, it would be difficult to choose which are the most attractive fruits; the bright shiny, red flowers of Malus ‘Red Sentinel’ ,the slightly more delicately coloured Malus ‘John Downie’, the rich, dark purple Malus ‘Harry Baker’ or even the opulent golden beauties hanging from the Malus ‘Golden Hornet’, all so different yet so worthy of admiration. There are big clusters of pillar box red berries hanging from the elegant Cotoneaster ‘Hybridus Pendulus’, a semi-evergreen tree. The Rhamnus frangula, much loved by butterflies, are a mass of shiny, black berries. There are many, many more – come and see for yourself and perhaps your hardest decision will be …. crab apple jelly or sloe gin!

Hope to see you soon, Jill

Sorbus vilmorinii

A NEW SEASON OF ENGLISH APPLES!

By Jill | August 19th, 2014

Here at Crown Nursery we are passionate about fruit, and it is always an exciting time when the first apples of a new season are ready. There is something wonderful about picking a fruit off the tree when it is still warm from the sun.

Early-season apples will not keep for very long – often only a couple of weeks – so they are best enjoyed straight from the tree.  We have an Apple-Tasting Shed here at the nursery – which enables us to demonstrate to our customers the huge range of apples we grow – as well the opportunity to try before you buy!!

Discovery is always one of the early-ripening favourites – a local Essex apple – although originally raised in Suffolk – this is a cross between two old English apples – Beauty of Bath and Worcester Pearmain.  Completely covered in a red flush – the flesh is sweet and juicy – and turns pink-stained as the air dries it out.

Over the next few weeks, we will add more varieites as they come into season – so do come down and take a look – an ideal time to start planning your autumn planting.

UNTIL THEN,

RICHARD

AUGUST PLANT COMBINATION OF THE MONTH

By Jill | August 2nd, 2014

We just had to have a ‘plant combination’ of the month this time since there are two outstanding plants on the nursery at the moment – plant them near each other and they make a perfect contrast!

One is Russian Sage – Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ – a wiry silver-blue plant with spikes of blue flowers – not unlike a giant catmint – it will flower all of August and into September – a great plant for giving a vertical accent to any border.  But combine it with the new Hypericum ‘Magical Pumpkin’ and you really do have an eye-catching sight.  The yellow flowers of the Hypericum tie in superbly well with the upright blue Perovskia and this grouping will go on right into autumn and still look great.

If you want to see what they look like together – we have created just this combination outside the office door!  Come and take a look!

UNTIL THEN,

RICHARD

IS YOUR GARDEN STILL FULL OF COLOUR?

By Jill | August 2nd, 2014

Question – after all of the heat of July is your garden still looking great and bursting with colour – or is it looking rather tired and drab??

If it is the latter – then you are not alone!  It was always said that the August Gap was part of the natural cycle of the garden – where hot,dry weather caused plants to look past their best  - and it would be September before the cooler weather started the autumn flowers off again.  Well that is no longer the case!!   Modern plant breeding has given us as much colour now as in the summer!!   There are plenty of plants still looking great at the nursery – that will keep your borders looking smart right into September – and beyond.

And if you feel that the ground is just too hard and dry to plant into the soil – then why not do what I do in my garden – and plant up a large container of good-looking plants and place it in amongst the other plants in the border – instant results – then plant them out when the soil is in better condition.

So what sort of plants are we talking about – Hydrangeas are looking great,  the Russian Sage – Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ – gets everybody talking – Verbena Bonariensis – the old favourite never fails – and of course Penstemons – we have the lovely ‘Raven’ looking great at the moment – combine it with grasses such as Stipa and you have a classic combination.  Japanese Anemones are flowering early this year and give substance to any border.

Abelias are now starting to flower – why don’t more people grow this plant? Superb semi-evergreen bronze leaves and clusters of white/pink scented flowers – it’s a cracker!!  But one we are particularly impressed with is a ‘new kid on the block’ – a new Hypericum called ‘Magical Pumpkin’!!  A bizarre name – it refers to the yellow starry flowers that then turn into orange-red berries that sit at the top of the plant right through the autumn – a real knockout!!

No time to lose – I’m taking some home with me!!

UNTIL NEXT TIME,

RICHARD

ARE YOUR PLUMS GOING ROTTEN ON THE TREE?

By Jill | August 2nd, 2014

We have had a lot of customers in recently complaining of a really potential crop of plums going rotten on the tree – and wondering what they can do about it.

It is our old friend ‘Brown Rot’ – and it is a result of the current weather patterns.  There is an excellent – even heavy – crop of most plums this year – but the tightly-packed clusters of fruits hanging on the branches are ideal breeding grounds for this fungus.  It also tends to get into fruit where there is physical damage – this is often a result of the Plum Moth – which burrows into the fruit – causing a sticky drop of juice to exude from the plum which in turn attracts the fungus and rots the fruit – once one gets it because they are so close together the whole bunch is lost.

So what can we do to prevent it – firstly pruning after the crop has picked should allow better air circulation – and although it is a fiddly job – thinning of the young fruits in June will also help.  Hang a Plum Maggot Moth Pheromone trap in the tree after flowering – these are really efficient and will prevent the fruit surface being penetrated.

If you have rotten plums now – let them fall and then clear up and destroy.  A lot of funhus can overwinter on the stones laying around the base of the tree – some fruits will not even fall of and remain in a mummified state stuck to the branches – they must be removed as well or the problem will be worse next year.

We cannot control the weather – but we can make everything to our advantage as much as possible – and have every chance to enjoy that crop of plums we have worked so hard for!

UNTIL NEXT TIME,

RICHARD

JULY – PLANT OF THE MONTH – COTINUS ‘YOUNG LADY’

By Jill | July 12th, 2014

There are so many fantastic plants on the nursery at the moment – it is difficult to single out one – but there is one shrub that has really caught the eye and survived pretty much all the weather can throw at it!

The Cotinus or Smoke Bushes have long been a favourite – particularly the purple-leaved forms – but their rather gaunt habit and height has pushed them into the larger gardens – however Cotinus ‘Young Lady’ is a new compact variety specifically bred for it’s flowers.  The name ‘Smoke Bush’ refers to the plume-like airy grey-red flowers it is smothered in at the moment – and it repeat flowers – so a continual display all summer.

They are very tolerant of most sites and situations too – we have a big display of them outside our office door at the moment – in combination with Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pinky Winky’ and very fine they both look too!

RICHARD

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