It’s officially Autumn; there’s definitely a nip in the air and the focus for the foreseeable is all about bare-root planting and spring bulbs.

Those last few glorious days of September were the perfect opportunity to lap up the golden autumnal sunshine and potter around - the lull before the storm of soil preparation and the delicious planting frenzy on the horizon.
Looking fabulous now: Thoughts for this time next year. Virginia Creepers (that is "veitchii' in the picture) are coming into glorious shades of purple, red and orange to brighten the dullest days of autumn. Crab apples such as Evereste will carry their marzipan-like fruit far into winter. Or think about Clematis with those fluffy seedheads that look fantastic when frosted.
What to plant now: the list grows longer at this time of year (although just wait for next month...). But right now, spring-flowering bulbs, wallflowers and climbers should all be at the top of your October list. Order them as soon as you can as they are flying out of the door.
Handy Andy
Reducing the height of bush roses
Trimming bush roses

Andy our Nursery Manager has been chopping bush roses, especially the bigger ones, as they get blown about in autumn gales and may suffer from windrock. This loosens their roots and stops them growing away well in spring. Watch this video on reducing their size. It is quick, easy  and makes a difference.

By the way, never put rose waste - prunings, leaves or dead-heads on the compost heap as they can carry fungal diseases. Burn them or take them to the dump...

Planting bare-root trees, hedging, roses, soft fruit and climbers is the best and cheapest way to bring new life to your garden. 
Dug whilst they’re dormant, given a cheeky little root haircut and planted whilst the soil is still moist and warm, bare-root plants are raring to go.

The top growth may look a tad shabby initially, but below ground the roots will be establishing fast for a rip-roaring start in their new home. Do order yours now to get ahead of the game.
Lasagne bulb planting
And oh, the brilliance of bulbs! Nurtured by the previous year’s dying foliage, these little time bombs have a tough protective overcoat and all the nutrients they need to survive dormancy and create a new burst of life come the moment.

Bulb Lasagne
Go for ‘lasagne’ succession planting to give your pots non-stop colour throughout spring. Plant the largest bulbs at the bottom on a mix of compost and grit (bulbs LOVE free-draining soil), points upwards and an inch or two apart - try Tulipa Negrita for serious emperor purple impact in April. Cover with compost and add the next largest bulbs - Tete-a-tete or our dwarf daffodil collection would be great and will appear in March. More compost and finally the smallest bulbs; muscari or dwarf iris will bloom from the end of February. A blanket of cosy compost, some pansies or violas to cheer things up over winter whilst those clever little bulbs are doing their stuff down below and Bob’s your aunty. A pot to be proud of.
In these strange Covid 19 times, nothing is the same. Least of all Christmas tree buying. Forecourt sales will most likely disappear, so this year you can only get our fabulous, locally-grown Nordman Fir Christmas trees by mail order.

Trees are being tagged now so place your order before midnight tonight. You only pay as we are packing your Christmas beauty which will be delivered in the week 7th - 14th December only*.

Who needs socially distanced queuing on a bitter, dank December day when you can do it like this?
Free Delivery for Christmas Trees only. If other items are on your order, they will suffer a delivery charge. All Christmas Trees will be delivered between 7th - 14th December ONLY. Orders must be placed by 30.09.20. There will be no collections or forecourt sales this year. Delivery to mainland Britain & the Isle of Wight ONLY. Surcharges to the Isle of Wight and some areas of Scotland apply.
  • Harvest the last fruit
  • Treat apple and pear trees with fruit tree grease and greasebands to stop winter moths laying eggs on them
  • Rake fallen leaves and make leaf mould
  • Tidy tatty beds and borders, but do leave some wilderness for birds and wildlife as food and shelter
  • Don’t be tempted to put infected matter on your compost heap – burn it to banish the bugs
  • Plant new perennials and divide existing ones
  • Lift and store dahlias and gladioli
  • Lift and divide rhubarb
  • Trim beech hedges – it’s the last chance
Autumn Fruit and Nut Crumble
Trees laden with apples, nuts all over the place and brambles heaving with blackberries. Oh yes - Autumn’s culinary treasures are definitely here.

In celebration we're going straight down the comfort route with the ultimate crumble.
It's loaded with fruit – apples, pears, and blackberries - and topped with an irresistible mix of oats, hazelnuts and pistachios. Plus a touch of cinnamon to warm things up.

Absolutely delicious! Enjoy.
  • 2 large cooking apples, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large ripe pears, peeled and cubed
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 250g blackberries
  • 80g oats
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 30g chopped nuts (such as hazelnuts, shelled pistachios)
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 30g demerara sugar
  1. Place pears, apples, cinnamon, sugar into a pan
  2. Cook on a medium heat until the fruit start releasing juices (about 10 minutes)
  3. Throw the blackberries in and heat through
  4. Pour mixture into a large ramekin
  5. For the crumble: mix the oats, sugar, nuts and butter and cover the fruit
  6. Bake on 170C until golden brown
A Wander Round Wyken Hall

Last week, we stopped by at RHS Partner Garden Wyken Hall, near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.

It was a blustery end-of-season kind of day but, keen to eek out the last scraps of enjoyment from our long, rather lazier than planned summer, we ventured forth enthusiastically in search of the sights, smells and views that make a garden lover’s day. And with any luck to learn a new trick or two.

Click here to read more.
Daffodils for Spring Splendour

I always think of March as the yellow month. As spring arrives, gardens explode with colour as forsythia, primroses, crocuses, and daffodils come into bloom.

Click here to 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.  
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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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