By Jill | September 18th, 2009

Hello, a busy couple of days here at the nursery – preparing for the Suffolk Group of the National Conservation for Plants and Gardens (NCCPG!!) Autumn Plant Sale at Helmingham Hall.

This is an annual event – well-supported by local gardeners and nurseries alike. I have been busy collecting together as much nice stuff as I can – a very easy task with all the lovely stuff on the sales areas!!

If you are in the local area do come and see us – I am sure you will find something nice for your own garden!! The sale is from 10.30 – 4.00 – at Helmingham Hall which is on the B1077 near Debenham.

Hope to see you there!!


By Jill | September 15th, 2009

Hello – well, I got my wish! Obviously the raindance paid off!! We have had a very nice dull wet day here at Crown Nursery – I think the first for many months. It has been a steady rain too – just right to penetrate the ground and not run off.

As I type this, it is pouring down – hooray, hooray!! Of course, we need a lot lot more -but it is a start – and it has eased our watering burden considerably – for a few days at least!!

The strange nature of our weather sysyems nowadays was illustrated by a couple of customers from Gloucestershire – on holiday in Suffolk – who visited the nursery this afternoon – they were astonished by how dry and wilted everything is up here – compared to a very wet summer they have experienced in their beautiful part of the world – it just goes to show how a few hundred miles makes all the difference!!



By Jill | September 12th, 2009

Hello – I do not know what we have done wrong in Suffolk this year – but we are seriously suffering in drought conditions at the moment. It is ridiculous – because the rest of the country has had nothing but rain all summer – but any visitor to this part of the world – will see that we are in deep need of that liquid gold!

The rivers are dried up – even larger trees are showing stress – many of the Hazel nuts are about to lose their leaves – and autumn is definitely coming very early to East Anglia this year. As I write there is a Tuscan blue sky – and 20C – yes, it is lovely to sit in – but I am a plantsman and countryman through and through – and I want rain – and lots of it!!!

Anybody know a good raindance?!!


By Jill | September 12th, 2009

Hello, – now really is your last chance to get your stone fruit trees pruned before they shut down for winter.
Ideally, they should have been pruned at the end of August – or as soon as the last fruit has been picked – but there is still just about time. The critical thing is that the tree still has leaves on it – and is still actively working so can heal the pruning cuts before the bad weather. It is worth bearing in mind that plums,gages and damsons crop perfectly well without pruning – but the crop is better when the branches are thinned out – as with other fruits -the best crop occurs on 2 year-old wood – and at the base of 1 year-old stuff – so a thin-out will promote the new growth.
I did my trees last weekend – and I suppose that over half the foliage has gone – but the cuts do heal in the warm sun – and the tree will bear better fruit next year as a result.

There still remain a lot of brown mummified fruit on people’s plum trees – a left-over of brown rotted fruit from early on in the summer – this must be removed – not left on the tree – otherwise it will cause re-infection next year. The other final thing I do with my plums is to rake up and dispose of the old leaves as they fall – they are frequently smothered in rust – and will simply cause problems next year.

There now – my plum trees are ready for winter – but luckily my freezer is full of Czar and Victorias – so I can still enjoy the fruit of the summer in pies for a long time yet!!
Until next time,


By Jill | September 5th, 2009

Hello – here we are – it’s September – my favourite month of the year! It is amazing how the weather seems to change from the August Bank Holiday Weekend – the nights are definitely pulling in now and there is a slight nip to the morning air.

But, that should not be a reason to shudder and think winter is on the way! September – at least in Suffolk – often has beautiful warm afternoons – and is the beginning of the autumn colour on many trees and shrubs. It also is the real kick-off for apples and pears – every week now a variety will be ready for picking – it is one of the real pleasures of my job!

At last – after weeks of drought – we did actually have some rain the other night – yes, only a quarter of an inch – but it is a start! And amazingly it did make a difference – (if you are reading this and are under floodwater – you have my sympathy – but it is like a desert here in Suffolk) – the grass actually has a tint of green – and the leaves are slightly plumper. That was until we caught the tail end of Hurricane Bill on Wednesday -a real Gale-Force 7 wind – which of course dried up some of that moisture – and we have had to put up with that wind all week – knocking things over – but hey – that is nursery life!
Time moves on – and a lot of members of staff are on holiday -but we have an excellent addition to our ranks for a few weeks – young Harry is with us on work experience. A smart lad – and very enthusiastic – he is spending time with all the members of nursery staff – to get a flavour of nursery work. During his day with me yesterday – we picked several more varieties of apples – and a few pears for the Apple Tasting Shed. The huge apple in the photo above left fascinated Harry – such a large apple hanging from such a small tree!! It is Charles Ross – a seldom seen old variety – used as a cooker or a sharp dessert apple.

That is in stark contrast to the photo opposite – this is one of our popular local apples – SAINT EDMUND’S PIPPIN – raised in Bury St Edmunds. Techically an early russet type – it is extremely sweet – if a little dry. As with so many of these early types – they will not keep – maybe a month in the fridge if you are lucky.

We also picked James Grieve – that classic Scottish variety – and a few GREENSLEEVES – plus RED DEVIL. The latter has been very popular at Crown Nursery recently – the red-stained flesh is very attractive. We also had a few of the early pears – namely BETH and WILLIAMS BON CHRETIEN. It is a superb year for pears it seems – with bumper crops on all varieties. These are all in the apple shed for tasting – along with DISCOVERY and TYDEMANS EARLY WORCESTER from last week. Do come along and try them!!

We are currently proof-reading our new fruit catalogue – which should be available in a few weeks time. From now on, I will be picking and storing the apples as they come into season – also picking for long-term storage – and for our annual APPLE DAY on OCTOBER 24th – hope to see you there!!

Until next time,

Tree Specialist

We specialise in growing trees - native, ornamental and fruit

More about us

Catalogue Downloads

Our latest tree and plant catalogues in PDF format

Catalogue page

Get In Touch

Your feedback and comments
are really important to us

Contact us

Find Us

Directions, map and links
to find us on google maps

Find us