By Jill | January 29th, 2010

Hello, this is the final blog of January – we are sailing on into February next week. All of us here at the nursery will be extremely glad to see the back of January. To say it has been a hideous month on the weather front would be an understatement!

From snow to freezing rain, from fog to flooding – this has not been a month to remember. Let us hope that February is better!



By Jill | January 29th, 2010

Hello – now is the time to get your bare-root hedging plants into the ground. If you need a screen, boundary marker or noise or light barrier, a hedge is so much better than a fence panel!! We have a huge range of bare-root hedging plants, bare-root gives you stronger and better plants – and they are so much cheaper than pot-grown plants!

If you need a hedge – but just do not know what to plant – then we have MIXED HEDGING PACKS available. These are packs of 50 plants – a mix of basic Suffolk Hedging Plants – Hawthorn,Blackthorn, Field Maple e.t.c – check out the hedging section of the website – you can even purchase our hedging packs in our ONLINE SHOP – and we will send them to you through the post.

What are you waiting for??



By Jill | January 29th, 2010

Hello – well, the weather remains hideous – yes, the snow has gone – but we have flooding on the nursery now – and the drizzle is just about horizontal!

So, we have swapped some of the jobs around – and in between digging orders out of flooded heeling-in beds – we have been doing some propagation. Liz, the Grafting Queen is busy grafting new ornamental trees. She has an incredibly fast rate of progress, and since I collect all the wood for her to graft, I struggle to keep up sometimes! – so far we have done all the Nuts,Crab Apples,Mountain Ash,Beech,Hornbeam and Ornamental Hawthorn.

It still is wonderful that splicing two pieces of wood together can lead to them growing together – and forming a new tree. We will be moving onto grafting fruit trees next week – so if – like a lot of our customers – you have an old frut tree in your garden that is on it’s way out – why not bring us some shoots in and we can graft them onto one of the new dwarfing rootstocks for you!
So, saving the tree’s genes – we call it our TREE RESCUE SERVICE.

We have also done a whole load of HARDWOOD CUTTINGS of a number of lovely shrubs. We are all familiar with the coloured stems of the Dogwoods – and Willows – and these go very readily from a length of stem pushed into a sandy soil – or grown in a pot. They will soon root in a few months time – and you have a lovely new plant!!

Just out of interest we do run a GRAFTING COURSE – so if you fancy spending a morning at the nursery, learning how to do this ancient art – give the office a ring on 01394 460755 – the course in on Wednesday February 10th – 10.00 – 1.00 – all places MUST be pre-booked.



By Jill | January 29th, 2010

Hello, here we are a couple of weeks on from the snow and frost – and many of the shrubs are only now showing signs of weather damage.

The evergreen Viburnums seem particularly badly affected – their flower buds are all bent over and still twisted from the heavy snow and frost that settled on them. Many of the soft growths on evergreen shrubs have gone brown – this is normal – and it will soon regrow in spring. The best thing is just to nip the tips off back into the slightly older wood – and the shrub will look much better.

Conifers are a bit mishapen where heavy snow has weighed them down – a bit of wire carefully placed around them will pull them back into shape – and they will then set to that shape in summer.

It just goes to show that we have enjoyed so many mild winters – that our plants – and us – were caught rather on the hop!!



By Jill | January 18th, 2010

Hello, at last the weather has relented – and we can see green grass again! It seems a long time since we last saw our green and pleasant land – over the last three weeks it has seemed pretty white!

Of course, the thaw has led to flooding – but you win some, you lose some! All the staff here at the nursery are mightly glad to see the back of the white stuff I can tell you. Most of us have been in this industry for many years – and we would all say that the last fortnight has provided some of the most difficult conditions we have ever experienced!!

Of course it has also been fun – but sometimes the novelty can wear off!! We were totally unable to lift any hedging or bare-root orders – the ground was frozen down to a good foot’s depth – and the drive down to the nursery was great fun – it sits on a considerable slope -and a deep mix of snow and ice meant several of the staff – yours truly included – had to be towed up the drive in their cars behind a tractor to get home!! A novel way of seeing the nursery if nothing else!!

The few brave souls who ventured down to try and buy something, also had this experience – but one jolly young lady said it was the most fun she had enjoyed since Christmas!!

But I am pleased to report we are just about back to normal now.

The first hedging orders of the New Year have been dug and collected – and we restart our Mail-Order Dispatch season tomorrow. So, all in all – it is great to be able to resume some of the nursery tasks that have been on hold since mid-December.

January is often viewed as a pretty dull time by many gardeners – but it is the beginning of a New Year -and if you look really closely – there are some signs of the seasons to come.

In my own garden – around the base of a purple-leaved Hazel – the snow melted on Sunday to reveal a super little circle of snowdrops – just bursting into flower. They really are amazing little things having survived the weight of snow on them – but in many ways that has probably acted as an insulation blanket – protecting them from the severe frosts we have had.

So you see, there ARE reasons to be cheerful – no matter how harsh the weather nature will overcome it!! THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE!!



By Jill | January 7th, 2010

Hello – have you seen the skies in the morning and at night?
I don’t think I have ever seen finer sunrise and sunsets as we have at the moment. I suppose it is a combination of the clear sky and atmosphere – and the angle of the low winter sun – but it is a treat.

I call it the ‘burning sky’ – it looks just like someone has set fire to the clouds – we only get about a dozen a year – and they seldom last long – but boy just look at this photo.

Here at the nursery, we are fortunate to lay in a valley – and it provides us with some quite incredible skies.
Suffolk is renown for it’s huge wide skies – and they really do show at the moment. The Lombardy Poplar below – just cries out for such a sky – to show off it’s wonderful shape.

We are fortunate in having so many large trees that shine out when framed against these dramatic skies.

With the continuing wintry weather – the nursery opening hours are subject to change – so please – if you are intending to come and visit us – no matter how close you live – do ring us first on 01394 460755 – to check that we are open. These blizzards can be very localized and being close to the coast – we often catch the weather worst – so save yourself any disappointment – and ring first.



By Jill | January 7th, 2010

Hello – and Happy New Year!!

We would like to pass onto all our customers – both old and new – the very best wishes for 2010.

Well, we returned to work on Monday January 4th after our Christmas break – and the nursery was just as we had left it – white! Five days of snow just before Christmas was bad enough – but on New Year’s Eve, another load appeared – and the trees and shrubs all wore a very pretty white mantle – pretty that is, unless you have to work out in it – and then it is jolly cold!! Just look at these MALUS ‘RED SENTINEL’ fruits covered in snow!!
The ground is frozen rock-solid down to about a foot or so – meaning it is impossible for us to lift bare-root orders – be that hedging or fruit trees.

Work outside is pretty difficult all round – but it does allow us to get on with some of those hedge-cutting jobs that are often missed in the madness of the busy season.

And here is ROSA CANINA – DOG ROSE -fruits – what a lovely piccy.

The snow is wonderful to look at – and these few pics do illustrate how beautfiul it is.

The weather forecasters tell us that we are going to have to put up with this weather for at least another week – we have got so used to mild, wet winters in Suffolk – that this more traditional weather comes as quite a shock!!

Still, on the bright side – at least it should kill off all those nasty bugs – and it will help to initiate some fantastic flower buds on plants to gurantee an unforgettable spring of blossom!!




By Jill | January 7th, 2010

Hello – you may remember that the weather played quite a starring role in many of the blog entries of 2009 – and it looks like it is rolling on into 2010!
As the picture of the tree sales area shows, Crown Nursery remains firmly under a covering of snow – I suppose we have about 4-6 inches – yes, I know that other parts of the country have a lot, lot more – but it is causing us a considerable headache – even if it does look so pretty!

We have to keep a regular eye on the irrigation pipes around the nursery – the ice tends to get inside and can cause significant damage to solenoids and the like if it expands too fast.

The evergreens in particular are taking a real bashing in this weather – the snow must have fallen on some very wet branches – which have then frozen – meaning that there is a considerable weight on their tops.

Several brave members of the nursery staff have been out ‘shrub-bashing’ to prevent these evergreens losing their attractive shapes – and stopping the branches snapping with the weight of snow.

The deciduous shrubs do come into their own in that sense – and you can almost hear them laughing at their evergreen colleagues groaning under the weight of snow.

I could not resist putting in this pic of EUONYMUS ALATUS ‘COMPACTUS’ – it just looks so wonderful!

It is a great time to get out into your garden with a camera – and record this event – it may be years before we see another winter like this – and there is not much else you can do – so take those snaps – it is another moment of history – make yourself a part of it!!


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