By Jill | June 26th, 2009

We are all enjoying the nice weather at the moment – yes, it creates work by increasing the amount of watering – but it is nice to feel the sun on your back.

The nursery is looking great – particularly the SHRUB SALES AREA. This area is one of the most popular with our customers at the moment – and it is easy to see why. As well as many wonderful ornamental shrubs and hedging plants – a large section is devoted to those upwardly-mobile plants – the CLIMBERS AND WALL SHRUBS. So many people have fences and walls or even trellis – that they fail to utilise in their garden schemes. This is where climbers or wall shrubs come into their own – they do not take up much space – and many are as beautiful as any border shrub. A number are also deliciously scented – like the SUMMER JASMINE – JASMINUM OFFICINALE – in the photo above. A smashing plant for a seating area – or over a pergola where the scent can waft about on those warm summer evenings.
For something a little different, no scent but a simply beautiful flower, why not try the WHITE POTATO VINE – SOLANUM JASMINOIDES ‘ALBUM’ – a semi-evergreen scrambling/climbing wall shrub – covered in sumptuous white blooms from July to the frosts.
Usually this plant is seen in it’s more popular blue form – SOLANUM CRISPUM ‘GLASNEVIN’ – you can see why it is called the POTATO VINE! Each little blue flower is very much like the flowers of your spuds!! Again very long-flowering – and dead-easy to look after – just take the shears to it in the spring if it gets out of hand.
Of course, many of us have a wall or fence in the shade – usually North or East facing – and need something other than Ivy to grow on it. Well, again on the sales area – there is the lovely climbing
HYDRANGEA PETIOLARIS. It has many of the attributes of it;s more familiar shrubby friends – but will grow in far more hostile conditions – particularly good on North or East aspects. Lovely bloom now, and peeling flaky bark in the winter.
These are just a few of the lovely things we have at the nursery at the moment – why not pop down and see them yourself – the nursery is open Monday-Saturday 9-5.
Until next time then,


By Jill | June 16th, 2009

Well, after all the excitement of the SUFFOLK SHOW – life at Crown Nursery has just about returned to normal. All the show plants are back in their correct places. The nursery is back in it’s normal routine. The girls are busy working on the shrub area – taking cuttings of many of the items required for the autumn season. Potting on of the younger trees continues apace – as does the ongoing care of the new grafts. Many of the plants on the specimen area are being potted on – when a plant is held in a pot for a number of years, it does tend to get somewhat restricted – and the constant irrigation leaches out nutrients very fast – so both granular and liquid feeding is also taking place on the nursery at the moment.

Many of us at the nursery have been concerned at the plight of our bee population. A worldwide infestation of mites, and constant damp springs and summers have not helped these little chaps – and they are an essential item for pollination – particularly of food crops. We can help, as gardeners by planting as many of their favourite food items as possible. The companion planting beds on the FRUIT SALES AREA contain many items that are ideal for their food source. Bees particularly bumbles, favour blue flowers – and the catmint NEPETA ‘WALKER’S LOW’ and ‘SIX HILS GIANT’ are particularly good. – the lovely blue flower shown in the photo top left. There is one bed of pure catmint – and I counted 37 bumble bees on the flowers one day last week – they just dance and flit from flower to flower. Many of the herbs – such as Thyme, Sage and Oregano have flowers that are rich in nectar – so you can help the bees and yourself by planting those!!

On the shrub front – they are particularly fond of Cotoneaster – these have incredibly small flowers, but are very rich in nectar – and they appear over a lengthy period. In my own garden I have a large plant of COTONEASTER SIMONSII which last night, had 49 bees on it – that is no exaggeration – just a constant hum!! And of course, the big bonus is that all that buzzing will lead to a bumper crop of berries in the autumn for the birds – a DOUBLE WHAMMY!! The gorgeous HONEYSUCKLES are also a treat – they just love the deep-throated flowers – and the photo below just shows why!! ( This one is LONICERA JAPONICA ‘HALL’S PROLIFIC’) And if you have ever watched a bee in a bed of LAVENDER, then you just know that they are enjoying themselves!!

For the honey bees, which are actually in a worse position than the bumbles, their requirements are similar – although they seem to favour flatter flowers – in my own garden again – CALLISTEMON PALLIDUS – a yellow Australian Bottlebrush shrub is in full flower – and last night the honey bees were all over it. In early spring, they adore the catkins of pussy willows, and in late summer, they thrive on the many varieties of BUDDLEIA – the so-called BUTTERFLY BUSH. Finally for their autumn treat, they are especially fond of IVY – so it is not always wise to remove it from all your trees and fences.

We must look after our flying friends – without them the world would be very different. Here at Crown Nursery, we are certainly trying to do our bit – what are you doing in your plot??
Until next time,


By Jill | June 2nd, 2009

Well, we did it!! After several 13 hour days – CROWN NURSERY scored a great victory at the SUFFOLK SHOW!! Our stand in the flower tent – was awarded a LARGE GOLD MEDAL – and to cap it all – the PERPETUAL CHALLENGE CUP FOR THE BEST TRADE EXHIBIT IN THE SHOW!!
The certificates below for the medal and the cup are a testament to all the hard work put in by everybody. The PERPETUAL CHALLENGE CUP that I am holding is for every member of the CROWN NURSERY team. Every single person on the nursery was involved in some way – from growing the plants – to designing the stand – to producing the countless labels and literature – to moving plants up to 5 times in some cases, so ensuring they did not go over too quick. The brilliance of Brian and his landscape gang – ensured that the decking area built into the stand was superb – and also the considerable logistical headaches of transporting hundreds and hundreds of plants to the showground – and back again – were achieved in an incredibly short timescale.
Out of those hundreds and hundreds of plants – in true CROWN NURSERY style – 20ft trees were also included – all moved around – also pallets of turf – and countless barrows of mulch – all coming together to make the stand the sucess it deserved to be. To all those of you who came to see us – a big THANK YOU for your kind comments! And to those of you that did not come to the show – a range of photos of the stand will be appearing on our website very soon.

The name of our stand – was ‘THYME FOR TEA’ – a deliberate play on the word time. A cottage garden effect with a mature backdrop of large trees and shrubs – a woodland glade at one end – and a decking area with a seat – surrounded by scented plants at the other. A real garden for relaxation after a hard day. Such a range of plants were used – far too numerous to mention – but the CUPS AND SAUCERS filled with herbs drew much admiration.

In reality though, it was probably our ALTERNATIVE HANGING BASKETS that caused the most comment. A quite brilliant idea of Graeme’s – we used a roll of turf in the bottom of the basket instead of the usual boring liner – and after just three weeks it had grown through to hide the basket completely. Compost was then added in the normal way – and we used EUONYMUS ‘EMERALD GAIETY’ as the main plant in the top – incredibly simple – but so many people could not believe their eyes!! You can see them in the photo – mounted on stands – and surrounded by typical cottage garden style planting.

Not content with all this – we also produced yet another incredible stand – this time outside the tent – this one was really GRAEME’S BABY – and he did himself and the nursery proud, despite having to put up with the most incredible gales on the first day of the show. This was the ‘EDIBLE GARDEN’ – 4 raised beds incorporating a glorious mix of herbs, fruit and easy-to-grow vegetables in the smallest of spaces. Again, thank you to so many people for all the interest shown.

These photos are just a taster of an incredible fortnight at Crown Nursery – at times the task seemed endless – and the days never-ending – but in the end we got there – and every single member of the team deserves a huge pat on the back. We are still sorting out the returned plants from the show – and getting them back into their rightful positions on the sales area – it is another whole year – before the next Suffolk Show – but we are already planning what we are going to do!!

Until next time,

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