2022

OUR FAB NEW YEAR AHEAD

It’s not just a happy New Year but a Happy New Tree-bilee! For this marks the year of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and what a way The Queen and Prince Charles have chosen to celebrate it – by planting trees under the Queens Green Canopy scheme - or Tree-bilee - to enhance the environment and create a legacy in honour of The Queen’s leadership of the Nation, which will benefit future generations. These are Royals after our own heart.

Throughout the period we will be providing top tips and ideas for your tree-planting schemes as well as announcing our own initiative – watch this space.
Ashridge has many exciting new projects for 2022, including expanding our range of plants. One big initiative is that we have joined forces with Cambridge City Council to help with its own Green Canopy Project, a scheme to increase the City’s tree canopy. We are to supply our trees to residents of central Cambridge who are interested in taking part – and more importantly, our well-developed trees provide more instant results.
And the BBC thought the idea was pretty good too. See our blog for further information.

Back to basics and the practical stuff that we all want to know about now for our gardens, see our selection of favourite flowering plants for now and scroll down further for our guide on things to do in the garden this month. 
PLANTING VIDEO OF THE MONTH…
How to Apply Winter Wash to Fruit Trees

It's good to apply winter wash to your fruit and ornamental trees in the winter when there are no leaves on the trees (the spray will scorch leaves, so it is only suitable for winter use). Our winter wash is an organic pesticide that works by attacking the waxy compounds that make up insect eggs and carapaces. Take a look at the video to see how to apply it.

Order your winter tree wash today!
Bulbs in the Green - Snowdrops
Snowdrops: The sight of those pretty heads nodding over slim green leaves is always uplifting. Plant them (and aconites and bluebells) now, ‘in the green’, so the leaves can convert the sun’s energy into goodness to feed the bulb. We have a wonderful range on offer.
Christmas Box
Sarcococca confusa: also known as Sweet or Christmas Box. With dense and glossy green foliage, this winter hero bears dainty white flowers from December to March that, despite their diminutive appearance, produce a potent and intoxicating honey-like scent. Absolute heaven in a shady spot.
Clematis ‘Freckles’: Another fragrant winter flowerer, Clematis ‘Freckles’ is the opposite of the modest Christmas box. Showy, bell-shaped creamy blooms are speckled with pinky-red ‘freckles’ and emanate a charming citrus scent. Originally from the Mediterranean, this sun-loving beauty looks great scrambling over arches and pergolas where the full glory of the flowers can be easily admired. Much loved by bees, too, in the lean winter months.
Wisley Cream Clematis
Wisley Cream Clematis: Also a Godsend for pollinators when not much else is in flower, Wisley Cream is a classy evergreen clematis, bearing elegant creamy blooms tinged pale green over attractive mid-green foliage from December to February.
 
...AND YOU COULD ALSO PLANT...
Merton Bigarreau Cherry
Merton Bigarreau Cherry: If you’re after big, fat, firm, sweet, juicy cherries that grow in abundance on an easy-going sort of a tree, look no further. Apart from rich, well-drained soil, it needs little more to grow happily and productively. Obviously, the sunnier the spot, the better the crop. See all of our cherries.
Shropshire Prune Damson
Shropshire Prune Damson: An ancient English variety, the fruits on this venerable tree are eye-wateringly sharp when raw but cook into exceptionally delicious compotes and jams. Should there be any left, they also dry into superb prunes. See our other damsons.
English Oak Tree
English Oak: Symbolic of honour, patriotism, wisdom, strength, endurance and almost every other noble characteristic, the iconic oak is the epitome of English wood and parkland. One of our best-loved trees, it is not only huge when fully grown, but hugely significant in terms of contribution to the landscape, ecology and biodiversity. We will be planting a special oak of our own for Tree-bilee. Watch this space for further information.
Portugal Laurel Hedging
Portugal Laurel Hedging: A sophisticated creature in the laurel world, this variety is tough but beautiful, bearing attractive glossy dark green bay-tree like leaves. It’s more elegant than common laurel and definitely sings for its supper, growing in nigh-on impossible spots and providing dense hedging that’s suitable for topiary if clipped into shape. The berries are brilliant for birds, so much so that it’s used for game crop as the berries are deemed to improve the flavour. See all of our hedging.
Nostalgia Hybrid Tea Roses: Deserved holder of an RHS AGM award, these fabulous repeat flowerers bear gorgeous cream blooms with cherry pink margins on long stems. One of the most rewarding roses ever. See all of our roses.
Throughout 2021, we will increasing our product range more than ever.
New Dahlias
Bishop of Auckland
Just as a teaser we will offering a fab new dahlia to us: the ‘Bishop of Auckland’ which bears a close resemblance to its father, the ‘Bishop of Landaff’. Order the tubers now for armfuls of large crimson flowers with golden stamens later in the year. Here’s how to pot them up.
See more of our NEW dahlia tubers available to pre-order now for delivery from mid March...
Bishop of Leicester
Bishop of Leicester
ORDER NOW
Bishop of York Dahlias
Bishop of York Dahlias
ORDER NOW
Break Out Dahlias
Break Out Dahlias
ORDER NOW
Cafe au Lait Twist Dahlias
Cafe au Lait Twist Dahlias
ORDER NOW
SEE ALL DAHLIAS ►
OUR FAVOURITE QUESTION FOR THE MONTH
Every month our customer support team picks out a topic that has generated lots of questions from customers...
Frozen ground
Q: What do I do if my order arrives and the ground is frozen?

A: Open the parcel so the top of the plant has fresh air, leave the roots wrapped as they came, store them in a cold but frost-free place and heel in once conditions are better as per the video. For full advice, see our page on planting in cold weather.
Please do get sending in your questions. We love them and they also help other gardeners.
TIME TO PUT OUT THE COMPOST and reduce your waistline

Boost your soil and shrink your post-Christmas waistline at the same time. Yes gardening is a great keep fit activity and putting compost on your beds and borders is great for working that waistline as you swing your spade.
JOBS FOR THE GARDEN
A FEW TIPS FOR THE MONTH IF YOU HAVE THE TIME AND INCLINATION!
  • Check stakes, ties and supports
  • Clip box hedging
  • Feed the birds – it’s a lean time of year for our feathered friends
  • Start on the weed control – sadly many will have survived, so hoe away as soon as the ground is workable
  • Fork over beds and borders and dig in organic matter to prepare the soil for the growing season to come
  • Prune wisteria hard and cut back clematis (apart from Montana which is on the agenda in May)
  • Check climbers haven’t invaded gutters, windows and under roof tiles
  • Prune apple and pear trees, red and white currants and gooseberries
  • Start to force rhubarb – cover the crown with a forcer or large pot
Dates for your Diary...
National Bird Day
Celebrate our feathered friends on National Bird Day. They’re barometers of the health of the planet as well as charming additions to our lives (unless they’re pinching more than their fair share of the cherry/redcurrant crop!). Feed them with proper bird food (well out of the way of any cats) and do make sure there’s fresh water for them in freezing weather.
GET AHEAD FOR VALENTINE’S DAY
Get ready for February 14 and order your bare-root roses now to make sure they arrive in time.
Bantry Bay Rose
Bantry Bay Rose
ORDER NOW
Deep Secret Rose
Deep Secret Rose
ORDER NOW
Buff Beauty Rose
Buff Beauty Rose
ORDER NOW
Comte de Chambord
Comte de Chambord
ORDER NOW
And if you are really being thoughtful you can prepare for Mother’s Day and pre-order your potted roses today, for delivery in March.
SEE ALL ROSES ►
And last but not least…
Ham Hock Terrine
One of the best terrines around, and far easier to make than most people imagine.
  • 2 Ham hocks (approx 3kg - total weight)
  • 1  Pigs trotter (get your local butcher to split it for you)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 Large peeled carrot
  • 2 Gelatine leaves
  • 25g Chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 Peeled celery sticks
  • 1 Onion (peeled and cut into large wedges)
  • 10 Black peppercorns
  • 5 Sprigs of thyme
  • 50ml White wine vinegar
  1. Place ham hocks in a large pan and cover with water. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight. (This process steeps some of the excess salt from the ham hocks).
  2. Remove the pan from fridge and drain.
  3. Refill the pan with fresh cold water, ensuring the ham hocks are completely covered.
  4. Add the trotter, peppercorns, bay leaves, onion, thyme and vinegar to the pan.
  5. Bring the pan to the boil, skimming any impurities from the surface during this process...
RECENT BLOGS
Winter Beauty
Our blogs are written by garden designers and passionate gardeners (not mutually exclusive) making them well informed and opinionated... So if you want ideas that may be relevant to your garden have a look at this month's scribblings: Winter Beauty
 
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Grove Cross Barn, Castle Cary, Somerset, BA7 7NJ
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Thank you, The Ashridge Nurseries Team.

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