November Newsletter

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 ‘I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers’ (Anne of Green Gables)

Quite so. We loved October and the fact that it heralds the MOST exciting time of the year – the zenith of the bare-rooted planting season (please bear with us if we wax a little lyrical – we are gardeners!). And whilst we’re on things we love, bravo the schedulers who aired World Cup rugby live in the morning, leaving the rest of the day clear for gardening before the clocks changed.

But now the November dark afternoons are upon us and the last vestiges of summer have well and truly disappeared, it’s time to plot and plan for next year’s garden. Don’t forget it’s the last chance to plant tulip bulbs for a cheery little reminder that the happy, halcyon days of spring (not to mention Guy Fawkes, talking of plotting) are on the way.
Plant of the Month

Now is the moment not to judge a book by its cover. Bare-rooted stock is a bit of a Cinderella – a dull little twiggy arrangement one minute that metamorphoses into a thing of beauty next growing season. Trust the photos and trust your imagination – buying bare-rooted stock is the best and cheapest way to grow garden and fruit trees, hedging, roses and soft fruit.

For our hot tips on how to plant and care for your bare-rooted babies please visit our 'How to Plant Bare root plants' page.
Julian's Top Tip

Greasebands may not top the list on the glamour front, but they’re indispensable for protecting fruit trees from the ravages of winter moth. Use bands or apply grease barrier glue on larger trees with rougher bark roughly 45cm above soil level from late October. The point is to ward against the wingless females which climb the tree to mate, lay eggs and ultimately produce hordes of ravenous caterpillars intent on decimating the leaves and developing fruit buds of your precious plum, pear, apple or other fruit tree. Remember to put grease on your stakes as well.
Should rabbits be the bane of your life, it’s also as well to put tree guards in place to protect newly-planted saplings from the unwanted attentions of our furry friends.
November is nigh on perfect for...
Bay Tree
Getting over the ‘FAR too early to think about Christmas’ business and doing the smart present-ordering thing now. We think a couple of lollipop bay trees to glam up any doorway is about as good as it gets on the pressie front. Environmentally friendly, sophisticated, easy to look after - plus you earn the opportunity to bask in your own reflected organisational glory….
Christmas Tree
Oh – and please order the all-important Christmas tree as soon as possible. Ours are absolutely top quality; long-lasting, cut-to-order, non-drop Nordmann firs, delivered to your door by courier at no extra cost.

Jobs for the Garden
  • Cut back rose bushes by a third to a half to reduce windrock and then prune again properly in late winter.
  • Prune grapevines and blackcurrants.
  • Split rhubarb crowns and plant garlic.
  • Net brassicas to stop pigeons shredding the leaves.
  • Tidy the garden, and, if you can bear it, leave some areas ‘au natural’ for wildlife.
  • Rake fallen leaves and make leaf mould in a simple enclosure or in bin liners forked with holes.
  • Those tulip bulbs – throw handfuls up in the air and plant where they land unless you want a formal geometric pattern.
  • Lift and store dahlias if you haven’t already done so.
  • Clear out the greenhouse thoroughly, wash pots and trays, clean and oil your tools and throw away anything that is beyond hope or reasonable repair!
  • Raise pots and containers on feet or bricks and insulate with fleece or similar in preparation for frosty nights.
  • Carry on with the winter digging until the ground becomes too hard.
  • Keep off the lawn in frosty weather – it can be easily damaged.

For more November jobs, please follow the link.
Autumn and winter colour
Winter Flowering Tree
Look out for autumn and winter colour – crabapples, acers, red oak, dogwoods, rowan and winter-flowering cherry.

If you see something that looks stunning, plan and plant it for your own wondrous display next year.
Bonfire Night - a plea
Remember, remember that some dogs are terrified by the noise - turn up the radio and leave them at home rather than traumatise them by the bonfire.

And when lighting your bonfire, do please light it on one side first, so any wildlife has a chance to escape.
Gardening Events
Dig for Victory (80th anniversary of WW2) at Hyde Hall, Chelmsford until 17th November

Festival of Light at Longleat, Wiltshire, from 9th November 2019 to January 2020 

Celeriac and Potato Dauphinoise

Serves 6

The first of the celeriac has arrived and it’s just fantastic in Dauphinoise.  This wickedly good recipe is delicious as an accompaniment and equally good as a vegetarian main course served with salad.  
  • 25g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 500g floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper or King Edward
  • 500g celeriac
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 568ml carton double cream
  • 200ml half-fat crème fraiche
  • Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Lightly butter a large ovenproof dish. Peel and finely slice the potatoes. Peel the celeriac, cut into manageable pieces, and finely slice them too. Layer the vegetables randomly in the dish, seasoning between layers.

Put the remaining ingredients in a large saucepan, bring just to the boil and season. Pour over the vegetables, cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Check halfway through, and pat down using a spatula. Uncover and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until golden. Stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Recent Blogs
Tulip Displays
Spectacular Spring Tulip Displays

Nothing dispels November gloom better than planting tulip bulbs in anticipation of a spectacular display next spring. Whether your taste is for soft, hazy drifts or blazing, eye-catching blooms, with more than 3,000 varieties of tulip it’s possible to create shows and combinations of almost infinite variety, colour and form. ...Read more
October ‘Could-do’ List
October ‘Could-do’ List

October in the garden can be a beautiful month. So far it’s been a little on the damp side for a full-on abundance of loveliness, but nonetheless leaves are on the turn, late-season perennials such as asters, Japanese anemones, rudbeckias and echinaceas are in full flow ...Read more
We deliver more than 2,500 varieties of plants direct to your door – Christmas trees, hedging, garden and fruit trees, bulbs, climbers, roses, soft fruit and accessories.

Have a look online and leave the rest to us – we look forward to hearing from you, and in the meantime enjoy your garden and (hopefully!) some lovely weather.  

Christmas Trees
Hedging Plants
Garden Trees
Gardening Gifts
Fruit trees
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Phone: 01963 359444
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Grove Cross Barn, Castle Cary, Somerset, BA7 7NJ
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