ASPARAGUS CITY!!

By Jill | March 27th, 2009

Hello, and welcome to the Crown Nursery blog.

It’s Asparagus City here at Crown Nursery – our new season stock of Asparagus has arrived – and is now on sale.

Now is an ideal time to get your new Asparagus crowns in – the soil is starting to warm up – and planted over the next few weeks – they will form superb roots – leading to strong buds – and eventually those delicious spears.

We offer male F1 hybrids – Gijnlim and Backlim – they will produce very heavy crops. Being male only hybrids – their yield is twice that of many of the older varieties. Backlim crops about a fortnight later than Gijnlim – so the all too-short season can be extended a little.

We offer large 1 year-old crowns with a huge root system – as the above photo on the right shows – at £2.00 each. They can be planted a foot apart -with 2ft’6 between the rows – they are often better planted on ridges on heavy soils. We offer a growing tips leaflet and even a recipe sheet with every crown purchased – what more could you ask for?!

One thing is certain though – we will not have them for very long – they are always popular – so if you want to plant new asparagus beds this spring – get your order in quick – when they are gone, they are gone!!

Until next time,
Richard

NEW SPECIMEN STOCK IN

By Jill | March 27th, 2009

Hello, and welcome to the Crown Nursery blog.

We have just had a new delivery of specimen shrubs – Photinias – Bamboos – Ceanothus and Clematis fans – Ligustrum standards – and all manner of other delights.

Why not come down to the nursery and have a look – we would love to see you!!

Until next time,
Richard

LAST CHANCE FOR MAIL-ORDER DESPATCH

By Jill | March 27th, 2009

Hello, and welcome to the Crown Nursery blog.

Well, this is your last chance to order plants for dispatch nationwide through our mail-order service.

Due to the advances in bud growth – we will stop this service on Tuesday March 31st – and resume in late October.

So, get your orders in fast – or you will simply be too late!!

Until next time,
Richard

NE’ER CAST A CLOUT….

By Jill | March 27th, 2009

Hello and welcome to the Crown Nursery blog. Well – we were warned! Last week’s warmer weather fooled us all – and many of the nursery staff stripped off their winter coats into shirt sleeves and even shorts! And, now a week later I have got an absolutely stinking cold – and we are back in eskimo gear!

The old country saying – ‘Ne’er cast a clout til May be out’ – still holds true – although there is much debate as to whether it refers to the month of May or the hawthorn tree – and is that the flowers or the leaves it is referring to?
Who knows, but it is definitely chilly at the moment – however we have had some much needed rain – parts of the nursery were decidedly parched – much of the irrigation system ran for the first time last week – our brilliantly capable irrigation chief – Dick – ensuring everything ran smoothly.

Anyway, enough about the vagaries of the weather – on to this week’s floral beauties – a couple of shrubby items off Janet and Sue’s sales area.

The picture on the left is Berberis darwinii – rather a topical plant with all the emphasis on Charles Darwin. A smart evergreen bush – perhaps a little more refined than the common herd of Berberis – now starting into it’s moment of glory.

The second picture is one of my favourite shrubs – Ribes odoratum – the Buffalo Currant- a totally different animal from it’s common pink cousins – and sweetly-scented too. The scent is spicy – best described as a mix of cloves and freesias. All above shiny leaves and it has black berries in late summer too – what more could you ask for?

Both of these shrubs would look great in any garden – why not make a space for them in yours?
Until next time,
Richard

THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF YEAR!

By Jill | March 21st, 2009

Hello, and welcome to the Crown Nursery blog.

Well, the title just says it all – this is the most wonderful time of the year.
The lovely plants pictured above are looking so nice in the sun as I write.
A real white frost this morning – but the March sun has power now – and it is soon all gone.

From the left-hand side – the photos are –
Magnolia stellata – those lovely star-like flowers with their strap-like petals and a sweet scent – what more could you ask for? We have some large specimens here at the moment – smothered in juicy flower buds.
Clematis armandii – the Queen of climbing plants. One of the few that are evergreen – with large glossy foliage – and clusters of sweetly-scented creamy white flowers now starting to appear. Give it a south or west-facing wall and it will be happy as larry!!
Chaenomoles ‘Nicolene’ – a recent cultivar of the old Japonica or Flowering Quince. Always reliable, no matter what the weather – and in March profuse clusters of the loveliest red flowers – a really strong colour in amongst all that yellow from the Forsythia and those daffs!! Just what you need!
These are just a few of the many delights looking good at the nursery at the moment – there are so many other items coming into their moment of glory – I will try to mention as many as possible over the weeks and months ahead – but better still, why not come and visit us here at the nursery – we would love to see you!

Until next time,

Richard

LAST CHANCE SALOON!

By Jill | March 13th, 2009

Hello and welcome to the Crown Nursery blog.
What a fabulous time of year – the picture says it all – Prunus x biliriana – a plum/apricot hybrid – with exceptional flower power – and the bonus of purple foliage all summer.
Well, it really is the last-chance to get your bare-root plants in before the weather gets too warm.
We are virtually sold out of bare-root hedging – and the soft fruit is running short – so if you want to get any hedging or soft fruit in this spring – get your skates on – it’s almost all gone!!
Until next time,
Richard

SPRING DELIGHTS!

By Jill | March 13th, 2009

Hello, and welcome to the Crown Nursery blog.
A lovely shrub on the left – the Variegated Rhamnus.
Another superb plant on the left – the Cornelian Cherry.
Ah, what a lovely time of year – the birds are singing, the staff are singing – the sun’s out. It’s the beginning of spring – yes, I know there is still plenty of time for more cold weather, but the plants just cannot wait any longer!!
They have had a lot to put up with since the turn of the year – frozen solid in their pots, covered in snow, blown over by gale-force winds – but now they are budding up – ready for that great explosion of growth.

There are so many items that are looking good, it is difficult to know where to start, but the Cornelian Cherry is one shrub that is always overlooked. Masses of yellow flowers now coming out, and the added bonus of edible cherry-like fruits later on in the summer.

Many of the trees are now starting into growth – particularly the lovely Prunus. One of my favourites at this time of year – just beginning to make a show is ‘Okame’. A lovely tree – ideal for a small garden, heaps of flowers – often described as a carmine-pink. Sounds shocking, but at this time of year on the leafless stems, it actually just looks superb.

Another cracking shrub, with great foliage all year- but particularly so in early spring is the variegated Rhamnus. A neglected and seldom seen plant, but when it get’s it’s little brown flowers on in the spring, it is beautiful.

It’s a wonderful time of year – the soil is in perfect condition for planting – get out there!!

Until next time,

Richard

SIMPLY SHRUBS

By Jill | March 6th, 2009

Hello, and welcome to the Crown Nursery blog.
On a chilly, but bright day – 17 brave souls ventured to Crown Nursery to attend the second of our popular ‘Winter Pruning’ workshops.
As before, some did fruit pruning with me, and others tackled overgrown shrubs with Graeme. We looked at the fruit pruning last week, so this time I will report on the shrub pruning.
So many of us have large and overgrown shrubs in our gardens, they produce some flowers or berries, but we feel that they could be so much better. Graeme was on hand to show, that with the right cuts, even the oldest shrub can be regenerated and reinvigorated to produce better flowers and berries.
The pruning techniques fell into several different groups – those with coloured stems such as the Dogwoods and the Willows were hard pruned – the best colour being produced on the youngest stems, these were hard-pruned to encourage maximum new growth through the summer.
The second group was those that flower on the new season’s growth – generally flowering after the end of June. This includes the buddleias and the lavateras – these were also hard-pruned to promote new growth that will flower later on in the year.
The next section dealt with pruning spring and early-summer flowering shrubs – these tend to flower before the end of June. Graeme only talked about these – including Forsythias, Deutzias and lots of lovely spring-flowering items. He said they must be pruned as soon as flowering has finished – pruning them now would cut off the buds and flowers for the spring and early summer.
The final section dealt with old and neglected shrubs – taking into account the previous advice, Graeme got his loppers out – always a cause for alarm – and pruned the central older wood out of a number of large unruly beasts. A light prune round the outside to shape soon had everybody agreeing how much better they looked.
One thing Graeme continually mentioned was that to get the best out of any of these pruning methods, the plants must be fed – to encourage the strong growth and flowering that is required.
An organic fertiliser such as blood fish and bone or chicken pellets was suggested as the best available.
By the end of the session, many felt much more positive in their pruning techniques – and could not wait to get back to their garden to practice on their own shrubs!!
Crown Nursery courses are a huge amount of fun, very informal and informative. We have just released our new schedule of courses for 2009 – check out the ‘Courses’ section on the website.
Do come to one of them – we would love to see you!!
Until next time,
Richard

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