The Ashridge Nurseries Blog

"May you live in interesting times"

... is an English expression which is supposed to be a translation of a Chinese curse (how ironic), although there is no direct evidence that the saying's provenance was from China.

In reality we would rather live in uninteresting times - peace and tranquility and the opportunity to enjoy our gardens.

Many of us will be spending a great deal more time at home and in our gardens now, and Ashridge Nurseries wishes you all the very best - take care of yourselves, your family and friends.

Another 'interesting' time we have recently lived through is that it has been the wettest February on record.

Met Office statistics show last month was the wettest February on record with some parts of England seeing more than four times the average February rainfall.

Wet nursery, meaning a delay in lifting trees

Don’t panic

It’s not ideal to plant hedging or trees when the ground is absolutely soaking. If you dig a hole and come back later and see it has water in the hole, then don’t plant.

The great thing about the wet is that you will be able to plant your bareroot hedging, ornamental and fruit trees and roses well into April.

A few customers have been panicking about planting now and it’s really not necessary, as once the soil temperature has warmed up it will be better to plant later this spring. It’s not about air temperature but more about the soil temperature.

Our Cold Store – what does it mean for your plants?

Due to the milder weather, albeit wet, some plants will start budding, but it’s worth noting that at Ashridge Nurseries we have a cold store. This facility allows us to prolong the dormant season of our bareroot hedging, garden and fruit trees and roses. The cold store makes sure that the quality of our bareroot plants is maintained to a high standard, inducing and maintaining dormancy in mild winters, such as the one we have had this year.

Basically, the cold store means that hedging and trees can be planted beyond the ‘normal’ season, extending it well into April.

bareroot plants for sale

Our cold store is kept at between 1 degree C and 3 degrees C with humidity at about 90%. It uses a wet air-cooling system whereby the air is cooled by direct contact with chilled water, so that it’s impossible to cool below freezing, which makes it ideal for frost sensitive species. Any heat from our plants is absorbed by the cooling water. The humidity is important in order to keep the root systems moist.

Cold storage ‘tricks’ the plants into staying dormant when outside temperatures would normally ensure that plants begin the grow.

This means that the plants you buy from us are in ‘suspended animation’ and when you plant them, they will really start to grow - enjoying the warmth of the soil. There is also an increased hardiness of the plants kept in our cold store.

Just remember that when we deliver your bare root plants, they will need to be planted relatively quickly. I suggest that you prepare the ground before planting, so when you get them, plant them as soon as possible.

bareroot plants for sale

It’s a huge advantage to have our cold storage technology to maintain stock viability, quality and a reduction in disease infection.

There are still frosts around, especially in Scotland, where there has been a reasonable amount of snow as well. So delaying the planting of hedges and trees will give your plants an advantage when it’s really spring.

Order from the comfort of your home

Hopefully the weather will cheer up and allow you to get out into the garden, more so now as we self-isolate, however you will still need your wellies as the ground is so wet. Have a look at the garden from a structural point-of-view and have a think about what you need, order online and get delivery direct to your door. We have some Special Offers at the moment on some hedging, trees, fruit trees, roses and raspberries - so have a look if a bargain is what you're after.


We’re completely online, you can sit back in your chair and browse our website in the comfort of your own home.

All our plants are expertly packed and delivered direct to your door. Our couriers will leave the plants outside your door, you don’t have to sign anything.


I have just ordered some dahlia tubers for Mother's Day, as my mother loves her dahlias, and I may well order some ballerina roses for my wife as they are one of her favourites.

Please bear with us as we manage orders with a skeleton staff as deliveries may take a little longer than normal.

Stay calm and carry on ... gardening


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