30 April 2019
Good local plant nurseries
Discovering a family run, independent nursery where you can buy well grown and cared for plants at a reasonable price is always a joy. So I was well chuffed to visit Ashdale Nursery on Lambley Lane in Gedling at the recommendation of a friend. If you are looking for a wide range of healthy perennials, bedding plants, a decent choice of tomato plants and NOT an all singing and dancing garden centre with nasty jumpers or naff garden furniture, then this is well worth a visit. The purchase of primulas was my main mission as we have just made ourselves a bog garden out of a small pond that was leaking. Primulas like the kind of soil that is often quoted but is almost impossible to create: damp, sunny, and well drained. So an ex pond now has holes in the liner, been topped up with decent soil incorporating some compost and well watered. Three beautiful P. japonica ‘Millers Crimson’ from Ashdale are now happily in residence, with some iris for a bit of height. As long as I can stop the dog burying his bone in the nicely cultivated soil, or a squirrel or rabbit doing some destructive excavation, I’m sorted.
Ashdale Nursery can be found at 204 Lambley Lane, NG4 4PB, ‘phone 0115 845 7864. A friendly welcome and good advice awaits!
Moores, at Stanton on the Wolds, is also family run and often has a reasonable selection of plants too. There is nothing wildly unusual, but it’s very good for basic things such as herbs, dependable perennials including delphiniums and lupins, a wide range of value for money bedding plants and, from time to time, a really good offer. I found a lovely Magnolia ‘Leonard Messel’ (pictured) in a bargain bay for a very reasonable price. He was looking a bit the worse for wear, but with a little tlc and admittedly a mild spring, Mr Messel is flowering and looking well as I write. I have given him, as well as all my acid loving shrubs a good old watering with sequestrated iron this year. It’s a liquid feed, designed to help acid loving shrubs take up the nutrients they need in soil that is on the alkaline side. That includes acers, magnolias, skimmias, rhododendrons, azaleas, and camellias. If you have any of those in your garden and they look a bit unhappy with yellowish, sad leaves, they are going hungry. Try giving them a feed about once every couple of weeks over the summer months: more often if it is dry. They will love you for it. You just add a cap or two of sequestrated iron to a watering can of preferably rainwater, but follow the instructions and all will be well! If you are unsure of your soil type, you can buy a cheap and easy to use test kit from any garden centre and some DiY stores.
At the end of May I usually cross my fingers and plant out some tender perennials in any gaps in the borders. This year I am nurturing a few Tithonia I managed to grow from seed, otherwise known as the Mexican sunflower. They are like little bright and zingy orange sunflowers, with tall, branching stems; they should flower all summer and until the first frost. Assuming they survive to the end of the month, they will be planted in drifts with red ‘Bishop of Llandaff dahlias I’ve over wintered in the greenhouse, bronze fennel (lovely little plants from Moores) and purple Verbena Bonariensis that seeds around freely here. I have a clear picture of how I want it to look – I will let you know if it all succeeds!
May is such a gorgeous month; make sure you take time to enjoy it. There is nothing like a glass or a cuppa in the garden on a warm evening in early summer evening after a hard day at work!