October 14th Newsletter - Ashridge Nurseries

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Crabapples bring colour to any autumn
This is a very special offer for our customers.  With Remembrance Day just round the corner, we are running a double barrelled offer all week (until Sunday 19th October). 
  • Your Remembrance Centenary (100 free Remembrance crocus corms)
  • Free Post and Packing on any order you place over £35 (ex VAT and delivery)
Based on our standard delivery charge the total value of this offer including VAT is £20.95 which is not to be sniffed at... the crocuses come in four packs of 25 each so you can plant all, or just some and give the rest away.

All you do is visit www.centenarygardens.co.uk, type OFFER into the search box and use the code you find on the page it takes you when you shop at www.ashridgetrees.co.uk
Be Quick - we can only let you have your 100 free bulbs for as long as stocks last.
Go to our Site   zz
Sneek Peeks
Blackberry and Apple Upside Down cake
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People who name trees must have fun and whoever named our Plant of the Month, Malus Evereste, dreamed of conquered slopes and clean, crisp snow. Not surprising, as this gorgeous crab apple is absolutely smothered in blossom come spring. The dark pink buds open into pistes of white flowers so dense that the branches beneath are all but invisible. There's even an après-ski bounty of orange and yellow fruit that hang on the tree well into winter. If you don't use them for our excellent crabapple jelly.



Just because the year's winding down, don't think you can sit back and watch the leaves fall. Take your pick of our autumn jobs, but don't forget to pick those quinces, pick pears before they're ripe (don't the Beurre Hardy in the picture look tempting?), and stick it to the insects with a grease band on your apples. 

We hope you've been snapping away with the aim of entering our latest photography competition. Don't forget there's still time to capture the warm glow of autumn, as the closing date is October 31st. There's over £100 in vouchers ready to go to the best three pictures. Go on, show us what you're made of!



If your garden suffers from wind, don't plant Jerusalem artichokes... Seriously, if you have hybrid teas or floribundas over 3' high, cut them back by a third.  Roses have shallow roots, and this reduces vulnerability to high winds which rock the plants about, loosening their hold in the ground and preventing root development. 


If your garden is very exposed but you yearn for floribundas, then English Miss roses could be an “a-ha” moment. They are hardy, floriferous and compact making them less likely to suffer wind rock.


Of course, roses aren't the only plants vulnerable to Force 10s. If recent weather is anything to go by, we could be in for quite a buffeting this winter.  Prepare for it now by giving any stakes supporting your plants a wiggle and, if they're loose, whack them in more firmly with a hammer or post driver. Replace any worn or torn ties too. 


After a gale, it's only kind to let your newly planted hedges and shrubs know you care by looking them over and, if they seem to have loosened, tread round the base firmly but gently (no annoyed stamping, please!) to re-engage their roots with the soil and help the plants stay upright. 


Twinkle, twinkle, little bat
How I wonder what you’re at!
Up above the world you fly
Like a tea-tray in the sky.  

            (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll)


Tea-trays—sorry, I mean bats—tend to be neglected, even by keen wildlife gardeners. But, just like butterflies and bees, their habitat is shrinking and gardeners can offer refuge. Bats need insects, and insects need flowers. In this welcome blog, Molly Patterson and Shirley Thompson of the Bat Conservation Trust get us thinking about what to plant next year to help these twilight creatures. 


With the bare-root season almost upon us, now's the time to sort things out before the new hedging plants arrive. What you don't want, with your beech, box, hornbeam or yew on the doorstep, is to suddenly realise you've nowhere to put them. No need to plant them straight into position, but if you can't plant within 7-10 days you need somewhere cool, shady and well-drained to heel them in. 

Ideally, though, you'll be ready to go when they arrive. Our videos on planting formal and country hedging give information on cutting turf, digging the trench and making sure you've got useful equipment like mulch fabric and spiral protectors, while, if you'll be planting into heavy clay we give special instructions for that. 

If you're not saving all your prunings for the fiery enjoyment of Guy Fawkes' Night, then now's the time of year for tidying up. Larger branches and diseased wood and rose prunings are best burnt, while we recommend raking up box leaves every month and burning them as a precaution against box blight. And don't forget the bonus of wood ash – save it or add it to the compost. 

A sudden flash of gold amidst red and orange leaves. Something of beauty, surely? Well, sort of. This fruit's actually got a face like the wrong end of a dog. The French—never afraid to be earthy—call it Cul de Chien. Still, we can't imagine why these lovely low, spreading trees aren't grown more widely. The leaves are downy, the individual white flowers striking in spring, and you get delicious and unusual fruit, which have been highly regarded through much of history. If you're lucky enough to have a medlar, you'll be getting ready to blet them and we offer helpful advice on Harvesting and Storing your Medlar Fruit and a recipe for jelly that people assure us is the best they've tasted. For those of you who don't have a Medlar tree...take a look and think about adding something a little different to your garden.

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Thank you, The Ashridge Nurseries Team.

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