You can plant bareroot plants and trees from late autumn, through the winter and into early spring, but there is nothing like warm soil to promote establishment which helps plants get away to a strong start in the spring. The next couple of months are that time. Even roses - which are usually the first - are not being lifted yet, but a queue of customers has already formed.
Conifers never truly go into dormancy. They just slow down in winter. When that happens, the flow of sap from root to branch reduces and almost stops. However, unlike deciduous plants, it never goes into reverse. Because of this, the timing of transplanting larger evergreen plants is important. One of the best times to lift and replant such specimens is in October and early November. Our rootballed yew look fantastic and will be ready to ship from the middle of the month. So if you are looking for an instant impact yew hedge...
This is the simplest and - probably - the most effective tip of the year. A huge number of weeds set seed around now. These go everywhere, lie dormant over winter and then, in spring they produce that bright green carpet of seedlings which starts the cycle of seed and weed that lasts all summer.
So weed thoroughly now and DON'T put any on the compost heap. Burn them or bin them. Every one you get rid of potentially means hundreds fewer little pests next April.
Everyone needs Standards
If the weather allows - some rain would be nice - then the first ornamental standards lift of the season will be towards the end of this month. There are pros and cons to planting at different times of the season, but if you are in the "plant early" camp, please order soon as the books will close for this lift in the middle of the month. Don't worry if you miss it, because we lift to order and there will be more lifts in November, December and the following months.
It is that time again. Christmas comes round earlier every year. The point of this note is just to say that conifers suffered this summer in the heat and drought. Christmas trees were no exception. We were out grading and tagging in August, and as we only sell premium grade trees, we struggled to find enough. So stocks will be limited when they are cut from the end of November onwards. Which means if you would like the very best non-drop tree delivered to your door in December...
At last! A white climbing rose that does not go brown in wet weather. Starlight Symphony, which is covered in clusters of flowers from July to October, is a neat climbing rose growing to 3m tall and as much as 2m across.
It is beautifully scented and won the title Rose for the Year in part because of its great disease resistance. Good on a wall, it is also small enough to grow in a tub or to train on a pergola, pyramid or obelisk.
One of the joys of early spring at home is the show of bulbs in borders, along hedges and under trees around the garden. But that backdrop can be enhanced by the close-up magic of densely planted containers of bulbs. Pictured is a three-litre pot being planted up with Iris reticulata Carolina. What you see is the second layer (before it is was covered) so there are nearly 50 bulbs here. The display in February on a windowsill will be stunning. Try it with snowdrops, dwarf daffodils, tulips, almost any bulb. Do a few extra - they make original and very welcome presents. Hugely satisfying.
is the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War and quite appropriately it falls on Remembrance Sunday. As a small token, on the day, why not quietly plant some Remembrance Crocuses. They flower in spring and will multiply every year so you end up with a drift or, if you prefer, surplus corms to give to neighbours and friends...