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Autumn bliss…

Well what a gorgeous golden start that was to September – a grand, if brief, finale to summer. Now autumn seems to have arrived with a vengeance; one minute, balmy temperatures, sun and croquet on the lawn, the next torrential downpours. Capricious it was, to say the least, and perhaps a bit of moderation might have been appreciated to ease us into shorter days.

However, as autumn colours turn to their flaming best and fruits and berries have a final fling (see below for a fab recipe for pear and blackberry pie), the focus is on spring-flowering bulbs. As Richard Burton sang in ‘Camelot’, ‘And oh, the expectation, the sublime anticipation’. Quite so. The prospect of those little time bombs of colour in spring is, indeed, sublime.
Plant of the Month
Bulbs, Bulbs and more Bulbs

Cyclamens, alliums, snowdrops and crocuses; daffodils, hyacinths, tulips and bluebells (sing it to ‘My Favourite Things’ from the Sound of Music – it works!). This year our bulbs are bigger and better than ever due to optimal growing conditions and should produce even more fabulous flowers than normal. Have a look at our nifty chart to check our guideline to bulb flowering times.
All flowering times will vary according to species, conditions and especially the weather. This is a guideline only.
Compost and the theory of worms...

A proven ploy to boost your soil quality is to layer 2 inches of well-rotted compost over herbaceous borders and rose beds this month. It won’t rot any more over winter as it’s too cold but when it rains, the nutrients will leach into the soil.

And now for the worm theory. All good little worms should do the digging for you and carry compost straight into the soil, free, gratis and for nothing. 
Not only planting rootballed yew and container grown plants, but also ordering your bareroot plants such as ornamental trees, roses, hedging, fruit trees and soft fruit.
As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince) said
" A goal without a plan is just a wish"

Inspired by the sensational garden at The Newt in Somerset (proud to say we supplied many of their trees), we’re particularly keen on espaliers and fans. Buy one of our top-quality maiden-sized trees (the most economical way of buying) and follow the instructions here for a thing of beauty that bears fruit too!

So order now for planting in November.
Planting Times
This is a guideline only and it does depend on the weather and different plants and species
Jobs for the Garden
Harvest the last fruit and treat apple and pear trees with fruit tree grease and greasebands to stop winter moths laying eggs on them. Once the leaves have fallen, it’s also worth doing a winter wash with organic pesticide to ward against pests.
Top jobs for this month include:
  • Raking fallen leaves and piling them up to make leaf mould
  • Tidying tatty borders a little - remember NEVER put infected matter on your compost heap - burn it instead
  • Getting the compost going and turning it every week or so
  • Planting new perennials and dividing existing ones that have grown out of control
  • Lifting and storing dahlias and gladioli
  • Lifting and dividing rhubarb
  • It’s also the last chance to trim beech hedges
For more garden prep please click on the link to see our October jobs
Autumn Walks at Wisley Gardens, the RHS Harvest Festival Show in London., Tree Selection and Planting at Rosemoor are just a few of the autumn treats on offer in October.
Come 1st October it’ll be fewer than 90 days ‘til Christmas!! What a thought. We love the
idea of giving a living present that will last and give pleasure for years. Ponder the possibilities:
  • Christmas Trees - premium grade non-drop Christmas trees cut to order
  • Bush fruit trees in pots - ideal for bijou gardens, terraces or balconies
  • Garden trees for smaller gardens such as birch, cherry, crabapples and acers
  • Climbers - clematis, honeysuckle, jasmine and wisteria
  • Roses - all roses are ravishing, choose from over 300 varieties
  • Bay trees - ornamental, architectural, stylish and ideal for cooks!
Pear and Blackberry Pie
  • Ready rolled shortcrust pastry (or make your own)
  • 1 egg
  • 5 pears
  • 250g fresh blackberries
  • 200g sugar
Line an 8” inch flan tin with the pastry, prick the middle a few times and chill. Heat the oven to 180oC (can you please make this a degree symbol). When the oven’s hot, bake the pastry case with a lining of greaseproof paper filled with baking beans for 15 - 20 minutes.

Peel and roughly chop the pears and mix with the berries. Make a pastry lid or lattice for the pie and decorate according to your wildest fancies!

When the case is cooked remove the beans and paper. Whisk the egg and brush the inside of the cooked case with it. Put the case back in the oven for a couple of minutes to cook the egg (this acts as a seal for the wet filling and stops the pastry going soggy - so definitely worthwhile).

Fill with fruit, brush egg around the edge of the pie and fit the lid. Brush with egg all over the top to glaze. If you make a lid, pierce two holes on the top of the pie to let out steam and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. YUM.
Recent Blogs
On good form

Peak planting time for shrubs and perennials is fast approaching, and early autumn is ideal for making changes to beds and borders, as you can easily remember, or even still see, where things haven’t worked, or where there are gaps that need filling with colour, foliage or form...Read more
Did you know?

Having written about what you think of us and the reasons why you shop with us (the majority of you indicated that it was due to the high quality of our plants), how happy you are with our advice and dealing with us (over 90% were satisfied), a further question asked whether you knew what other plants we produced...Read more
We deliver more than 2,500 varieties of plants direct to your door – garden and fruit trees, bulbs, climbers, roses, lavender, soft fruit, flowers, herbs 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.  
Hedging Plants
Garden Trees
Gardening Gifts
Fruit trees
Christmas Trees
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Phone: 01963 359444
(Phones open Mon-Fri 9.00am to 5.00pm)
Grove Cross Barn, Castle Cary, Somerset, BA7 7NJ
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