FULL STEAM AHEAD TO THE SUFFOLK SHOW!!

By Jill | May 22nd, 2009

It’s all systems go here at the nursery. We are shipping plants up to the Suffolk Show daily – starting off with the bigger items – and now onto turf, decking and some of the hard landscaping materials. The stand is starting to take shape – but it will be Tuesday before the ‘pretty’ bits go in. If you are coming to the show – do come into the Flower Show Tent and see us – we are at the far end next to the teas and cakes. We also have an Edible Garden stand – just outside the Flower Show entrance.
The show is on Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th May at the Trinity Park Showground on the outskirts of Ipswich. It is a real showcase for Suffolk – featuring the traditional elements of the old agricultural show – and many other elements besides.
Back at the nursery, on the shrub front, now is the season of CEANOTHUS – often simply called the CALIFORNIAN LILAC. There are a lot of different varieties – from the large to the dwarf types. They are such useful plants – being evergreen and also jolly tough. The photo at the top shows just how profuse the flowers are – almost smothering the foliage.
On the tree front – in my last post – I talked about the tree of the moment – the MAY trees – ornamental forms of HAWTHORN. They really are looking very fine here at the nursery – there are so many varieties to choose from – but here are a few real crackers with piccs as well!!
CRATAEGUS ‘PAUL’S SCARLET’ –

I particularly like this one – it is very profuse in flower – and has the most attractive button-like flowers – scarlet-red with just a hint of white.
The flowers are fully double – so of course it is not going to set any berries – that is perhaps the only drawback – but if you are looking for a small tree for your garden – that will make a mushroom like shape – what better could you ask for?

Another of my absolute favourites – and very well-named is ‘CRIMSON CLOUD’. This has a similar colouring to ‘PAUL’S SCARLET’ – but it has a single flower – with a beautiful white centre – and of course that means that you get MASSES OF BERRIES in the autumn. Possibly an even better tree than ‘PAUL’S SCARLET’.

There are loads of other types – many with the more normal white blossom – particularly good for autumn berries is the aptly-named ‘CRATAEGUS AUTUMN GLORY’ – with fruits like small red glace cherries. For large leaves – totally different to the usual small types – you cannot fail to be impressed by CRATEGUS MOLLIS – a leaf more like a Hazel in size – and stuffed with red berries in the autumn. If space is really tight – there is even an upright form – ideal for putting in a small corner – called ‘CRATAEGUS ‘STRICTA’.

There is also a variegated form – ‘CRATAEGUS MONOGYNA ‘VARIEGATA’ – a very subtle variegation – not at all vulgar!! It is such a versatile family – there must be one for your garden!

There, now I really must stop – and get on with getting some more plants out for the Suffolk Show!

HOPE TO SEE YOU AT THE SHOW – IF NOT UNTIL NEXT TIME,
RICHARD

NOTE – THIS IS A BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND – AND DUE TO LOCAL PLANNING RESTRICTIONS, THE NURSERY WILL BE CLOSED FROM SATURDAY TO MONDAY. NEXT WEEK THE NURSERY IS AT THE SUFFOLK SHOW – AND ON WEDNESDAY 27TH AND THURSDAY 28TH MAY – WILL BE ON REDUCED OPENING HOURS – BEST TO RING THE OFFICE ON 01394 460755 TO CHECK OPENING HOURS ON THOSE DAYS.

THE RAINS COMETH!!

By Jill | May 15th, 2009

Hooray, Hooray, Hooray!!! At last, after SIX WEEKS OF DROUGHT, the rains have come! We have had just over three-quarters of an inch of rain at the nursery over the last two days – a nice steady rain – mostly at night. The difference is incredible – plants look so much fresher and plumped up. It does not matter how much watering you do-NOTHING BEATS A GOOD RAIN-it wets the whole garden, not just small pockets. As you can probably tell I am a VERY HAPPY BUNNY!!!

A couple of nice shrubs for the season – the one above on the left is a plant often called the SILVERBERRY or technically ELAEAGNUS COMMUTATA. A very nice plant indeed – seldom seen and beautiful in two distinct ways – SUPERB SILVER FOLIAGE – and tiny yellow flowers that have a KNOCK-OUT SCENT. They are just starting to come out, they may not look much – but boy do they scent the air – I think the fragrance is best described as a heady mix of jasmine and vanilla – quite heavy on a warm evening.
The other shrub on the left is the BEAUTY BUSH – KOLKWITZA AMABILIS ‘PINK CLOUD’ – again another under-rated beauty. This has very soft foliage – and a real cloud of blossom – with the most delicate markings inside the flower as the photo shows – wonderful when the bees are inside!! On the tree front – this is the season of the ornamental Thorns – better known as MAY TREES. If you want a small ornamental tree for your garden, you will struggle to find anything better than one of the CRATAEGUS types. There are those with double red flowers in great profusion such as ‘PAUL’S SCARLET’ – or if you prefer pink, then CRATAEGUS ‘ROSEA FLORE PLENO’ is for you. The only disdvantage with these double types is that lacking stamens – they will set few, if any berries. If berries are your thing – ‘CRIMSON CLOUD’ is the one – pretty red flowers with a white middle – and being single – masses of berries in the autumn.

I am going to focus on these lovelies in my next post – but I can’t resist mentioning them now!!

Otherwise – the nursery is heavily involved in planning for the SUFFOLK SHOW STAND – we have pretty much finalised the plants – but trying to work out what will be in flower in a fortnight is proving tricky!! The show is at the TRINITY PARK SHOWGROUND on the outskirts of Ipswich on WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY 27TH AND 28TH MAY. If you are coming to the show – pop into the FLOWER TENT and see us – we are at the far end -near the tea and cakes!!!

Until next time,
RICHARD

THE NURSERYMAN’S NIGHTMARE – HOT AND WINDY!!

By Jill | May 12th, 2009

No, not a really good curry – but the WEATHER at the moment! Blue skies and BLAZING HOT SUN – sounds great, but for the last two days, it has been accompanied by a 30 mph GALE-FORCE WIND. It comes swooping down the valley into the nursery, knocking everything flat, and sucking the moisture out of the fresh new leaves of all our lovely plants. I HATE IT – AND THE PLANTS HATE IT TOO! The sales areas look like World War 3 – and the nursery staff all seem to have hoses permanently attached to their arms! As a customer very kindly told me today, you do seem to have a wind problem!!! Yep, great, thanks!!

It is actually fairly normal in this part of East Anglia at this time of the year- but it does not help my mood – I do feel for my plants when they are battered left, right and centre.
On a more POSITIVE NOTE – there are some very nice shrubs in season at the moment. I mentioned a dwarf LILAC in my last entry, and here is a piccy.
SYRINGA ‘PALIBIN’ – a nice LILAC – smaller-leaved than it’s bigger cousins- but with the same delicious SCENT – and a rather nice colour too. They tend to be much easier to look after as well.
I often find, that they flower again in September – if they are kept well-fed and watered.

This is also the season of another of my favourite shrubs – VIBURNUM PLICATUM ‘MARIESII’- a superb horizontal tiered plant – with a simply gorgeous flower – consisting of bracts and a central disc – as seen on the right – all against a fresh green leaf – what a cracker!! A wonderful plant for the edges of beds and borders – in my own garden at home, it is sited on the bend of a path – and the effect is simply breathtaking!!
There now, you see I’m starting to feel better already- I almost forgot the gale blowing outside! The weather forecasts suggest that we will actually get some much-needed rain on Thursday and Friday – plus the winds will die down – and then I REALLY WILL BE A HAPPY BUNNY!!
Until next time,
RICHARD

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