Growing Tips
Protect your herbs for winter
Protect your herbs for winter
by Hetty (CL) | 2nd October 2019

You’ve spent all spring and summer nurturing and looking after your herbs don’t don’t forget some will require a little more tlc to help them through winter.  Help prevent losing your plants due to frost and waterlogging by giving them a little extra attention.

The wet weather can kill more herbs in winter than the cold alone so move any pots and containers to a more sheltered position such as the side of the house or wall, this helps avoid about 25% of rainfall.  Raising pots by standing on bricks or similar will help ensure the containers are well drained.  Only water during the winter if pots are very light (hence compost is too dry) and do so in the morning rather than night time when frosts are more likely.

Trim evergreen herbs to a dome shape (don’t forget the cuttings can be preserved) to protect from high winds, ensure you don’t prune too hard as they may not recover.

Some herbs naturally die back in winter, such as tarragon and mint but will generally grow back (if in a location where they won’t get frozen) in the spring.

Thyme Lawn
Thyme Lawn
by Hetty (CL) | 22nd May 2019

A great way to add some interest to your garden, bringing colour and encouraging pollinators is a Thyme lawn.   They are an appealing alternative to grass for lawns and are becoming increasingly popular, especially to give a lower maintenance garden or in areas of low use.  A Thyme lawn is not only drought resistant but it generally requires much less water than a traditional lawn and little or no mowing.  Most varieties of Thyme will tolerate low foot traffic, where you are expecting to have a higher foot fall it’s advised to add some paving slabs or gravel.  Another bonus is that it will produce an abundance of pretty flowers in the spring/summer as well as a beautiful aroma when stepped upon.  You can either plant one variety or why not try a selection to grow a patchwork lawn.

Choose the location of your lawn in an area which has lots of sunlight.  When preparing the area for planting it’s important to clear the area of weeds.  Ensure the soil has plenty of drainage as the plants do not like to be waterlogged. Plant the Thyme about 6-8 inches apart (6″ apart equates to 36 plants per square metre)

Most of the creeping varieties of thyme are suitable for planting, see some of our favourites here:

Or have a look at our creeping collection by clicking here

Another popular lawn is the chamomile lawn, to find out more can see our growing tip page here

Sage
Sage
by Hetty (CL) | 19th February 2018

Sage is most famously used in sage and onion stuffing but being a strongly scented herb can be used to flavour many vegetable and meat dishes.  It’s leaves, both fresh and dried, can be used to make teas.

Plant your sage plants in a sheltered spot protected from strong winds but in full sun ensuring the area is weed free. The leaves can be picked at any time and can be frozen if you have an abundance.  To protect your plants in the winter cover them with a layer of horticultural fleece during the winter months.

Our range of sage currently available can be seen here or for the full range see our catalogue, here

Parsley
Parsley
by Hetty (CL) | 19th February 2018

Parsley is an annual which is grown for it’s flavoursome leaves which are used for garnish or chopped into sauces, butters, dressings and stuffings.  Parsley curled is more suited as a garnish while flat leaved (French or Giant Italian) has a stronger taste and is easier to prepare.

Plants can be planted outside from early spring to the start of summer in well-drained soil in sun or partial shade.  Keep the plants well watered, especially during hot, dry spells in summer.  Remove any flowerheads to extend the cropping life of the plants.  Snip off any lower shoots that start to turn yellow.

Cut single leaves or bunches low down on the stems with scissors and use fresh, it can also be frozen to provide an all year round addition to your dishes.

See what parsley we currently have available for sale here

Mint
Mint
by Hetty (CL) | 16th February 2018

Mint is best planted in the spring as young plants, it is a vigorous plant and will spread all over if planted directed into the ground so it’s ideally suited to large pots filled with multi-purpose compost.  It requires plenty of water, especially during hot dry weather.  Plants will finish flowering in the summer, once this happens cut the flowered shoots back to 5cm above the surface of the compost.  Plant different varieties in different pots to avoid them losing their individual scent and flavour.  You can rejuvenate congested clumps by upturning your pots, removing the rootball, splitting it in half and repotting a portion in the same container with fresh compost.

Mint will die back over the winter period but can be picked between late spring and mid-autumn.  Pick regularly to keep plants compact and to ensure lots of new shoots.  Mint is best fresh but to ensure supply during winter months wash well, dry, chop and then freeze.

For our full range see our catalogue or to see what we currently have available please click here

Chamomile Lawn
Chamomile Lawn
by Hetty (CL) | 13th February 2018

A chamomile lawn is ideal in sunny areas where footfall is low and makes for a low maintenance lawn with a beautiful apple-like scent.  The Treneague cultivar is the traditional variety used and is non flowering.

A light sandy soil is best for a chamomile lawn, avoid soils which are too dry or equally soils which are too moist but a chamomile lawn does requires some degree of moisture.   The lawn does not require regular mowing, just once at the end of the summer is normally sufficient.  This lawn is also not recommended for areas where dogs may foul as it will kill wherever this happens.

Plant your lawn in a weed freed area, if necessary spray the area with weed killer a couple of weeks prior to planting to reduce weed growth.  Plants can be spaced between 10cm and 20cm apart, depending on how patient a gardener you are and how quickly you would like to see fuller coverage.  If planting 15 cm apart with the rows staggered then you will need around 50 plants per square metre.  The plants should then not be walked on for at least 12 weeks.  Your lawn can be planted from April to early September, once planted your lawn will stay green even in dry summers unlike a traditional lawn.

To buy plants or plug for you chamomile lawn, click here

Strawberries
Strawberries
by Hetty (EN) | 17th January 2018

All of our strawberries are the Fragaria x ananassa species and are quite easy to grow.  They are perennial, winter hardy and thrive in full sunshine but need fertile, well drained soil.  Healthy plants will produce plentiful fruit for three to four years after which the plants should be replaced.

Strawberries are best planted in mounds, especially if drainage can be a problem.  Plant 12″-15″ apart with the crown above soil level and the roots 1/4″ below soil level.

A heavy mulch or sawdust, grass clippings, straw or even plastic sheeting should be added to prevent weeds and to retain moisture.

We can supply various different varieties which are known to fruit at different times within the season (these can be seen within each product or alongside each other in our catalogue), we also can supply a collection which incorporates early, mid and late fruiting varieties so that you have fruit all season long, to purchase, please click here or to see our full range, please click here

Lavender
Lavender
by Hetty (CL) | 12th December 2017

Lavender is an easy to grow, drought resistant shrub which produces masses of beautifully scented flowers.  It thrives in containers, borders and gardens.

It is best planted between April and May and like Thyme, thrives in poor and low fertile soil in sunny spots.  Water regularly during the summer but keep on the dry side in winter and keep in a greenhouse or by the side of walls.  Prune your plants every year to keep them compact.  When plants are established, remove flower stalks and about 2.5 cm (1 inch) if the current year’s growth making sure that some green remains.  For Lavender hedges, Hidcote is the ideal variety spacing between 12″ and 15″ apart (approx 3-5 per meter) giving you a beautiful and fragrant traditional English hedge.

We have a great range of lavenders available, including the following:

  • Lavender Hidcote
    This is one of the most popular varieties, named after Major Lawrence Johnson, a British garden designer and plantsman.  He was the owner and designer of Hidcote Manor in Gloucestershire.  It has a silvery foliage and dark purple-blue flowers which late spring until early summer.  It is one of the strongest-scented varieties.  It received it’s first Royal Horticultural Society Award in 1932 and another in 2002 proving that this is a timeless variety (also available to buy in larger quantities here)
  • Lavender Kew Red
    Kew Red was introduced by Kew Gardens in 1999 and is a beautiful Deep Pink to Red colour.  Bees and butterflies both love this variety, it’s also highly aromatic.  Like many lavenders, it thrives in full sun and dry to medium soil.  It creates a sunning hedge in the summer time with it’s masses of flowers
  • Lavender Fathead
    A more compact variety which blooms almost continuously from mid-late spring to late summer, it has plump round flower heads topped with long lasting dark purple flowers which fade to pink as they mature, silver foliage and again highly aromatic, another variety loved by bees and butterflies

To see our full range of lavenders please click here

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