Urban gardening

  • It is a BEAUTIFUL Lawn... but where is the grass?

    There is no doubt about it but lawns occupy a special place in the hearts of most UK gardeners - especially male ones. That stretch of closely cropped grass sets off herbaceous borders, is the site of vicious games of croquet and more considerate games of bowls. Apparently they have...
  • David Austin Roses

    On that note, what started as a warm November has meant that my Simply Beautiful rose - a cheeky little Ashridge number for Valentine's day, tragically bought by me… for me - budded up again and despite recent frosts the flowers opened to greet the month. All of this incredible...
  • Why Willows and Drains do not Mix...

    A video on why willows and drains should not be too close together...
  • Stewart's Bee Blog October 2014

    What a beekeeping season it’s been: a record year. The one we have been waiting for since Adam was a lad. I mentioned that last month, but, now it is all out of the hives and most of it has been put into jars, we can relax a bit. We...
  • Gardening for Bats

    Bats are a wonderful barometer of the "health of your garden. Encourage them in with plants insects love.
  • Roses – to climb or to ramble?

    Sombreuil climbing rose People always say that you give the presents that you actually want yourself but I am not sure that that is right because one of the best presents I have received were ten bare root roses from a complete non-gardener friend of mine who loathes roses because...
  • Urban gardening: Softening transitions in your garden

    Designers will often talk about ‘softening’ edges or marking transitions in your garden. A solid structure can often lead to harsh boundaries, right angles and edges. Well thought out planting will not only soften these edges but bring them alive, turning the edge to a key focal point in the garden.

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  • Our Top Tips For The Season: no. 4

    Love cats and want a bird friendly hedge?

    If you love cats and want to create a bird-friendly hedge, make sure you have a few thorny plants included, which we have done in our bird friendly hedging. Once the hedge is mature, most birds will be happy to build a nest in it and the cats will play elsewhere rather than risk pricking themselves on thorns.

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  • Urban gardening: Cities with a soft fruit centre

     

    Country hedges have been full of fruit this year,
    but where are the berries in our cities?

    London-based urban gardener, Dan Combes, wonders why there aren't more berries in city centres...

    Towns and cities of Britain, why aren't we cultivating more soft fruits?

    Over the last the two weeks I have planted thousands of bulbs. But why (London, I'm talking to you especially) am I not planting soft fruits? It is the perfect time to put in berries and currants.

    As I write our native flora is abound with fruit. I have never seen our hedgerows so stocked. Clusters of red fruits weigh down hawthorn branches. Rose hips wreath their way through the arms of blackthorn, with their sloes ready to bring the best out of gin.

    And although the elderberries are long gone they deserve a mention. Often slightly sour, this year they were sweet enough to be eaten by the handful.
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  • Urban gardening: Introducing the 'False Widow'

     

    The 'False Widow' spider is spreading through
    Southern England – this is a female Steatoda nobilis
    (Image: Wikimedia Creative Commons)

    London-based urban gardener, Dan Combes, tells us of his close encounter of the eight-legged kind...

    Introducing the False Widow! Britain's deadly spider... or is it?

    Recently both London and National media has been littered with articles documenting the rapid rise of the False Widow, labelling it "Britain's most deadly spider."

    The Daily Star reports '...a plague of 10 million False Widow spiders.' Both The Independent and The Guardian discuss the potentially lethal bite of this small yet dangerous looking arachnid.

    As a London gardener the only bite or sting I am likely to endure is that of a nettle or a wasp. Has this all changed?
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