News and announcements from Grosvenor Garden Centre, Chester


Archive for August, 2010

September Top Tips - Plant & Harvest

September is the time of year when we see the end of one summer and start planning for the next!

The days are shorter and the weather begins to turn whilst nature itself begins to show the signs of the forthcoming autumn.

Watch out for the onset of stormy weather and protect any weak or fledgling plants and by adding mulch to your borders you will have more control over the moisture levels as mulch will retain moisture from heavy rainfalls and help to combat long periods of dry weather too.

Hanging baskets should still be flowering now so keep them going a little longer and maintain your routine of deadheading, feeding and watering regularly.  Once they have completely finished, plant up with spring flowering bulbs ready for next year but remember to protect from the harsh weather over the winter.

Here at Grosvenor, our considerable bulb collection is now arriving regularly with new varieties on offer too.  The Bulb of the Year is the Narcissus ‘February Gold’ variety for bright yellow blooms to welcome the spring.

Two year old (and older) herbaceous perennials can be divided now too – including Campanula, Crocosmias and Leucanthemum – but younger perennials should be left until next year.  Continue to cut back perennials and September is also a great time to plant new perennials and take cuttings from young perennials too.  Remember to bring them inside before the frosts take hold.

And now onto what is rapidly becoming one of the most popular pastimes in the garden – your Edible Garden.  And this month, much of your hard work comes to fruition as you begin to harvest the first Brussels sprouts, leeks, parsnips and sweetcorn and pick delicious fruits such as blackberries, blueberries (a ‘superfruit’), loganberries and raspberries.

You can also sow Spring Onion ‘winter’ variety now and Cabbage Greens and Spinach until the end of the month.

Wildlife is extremely important and this time of year we need to do all we can to help the birds and wildlife before they migrate or hibernate over the winter months.

Keep your birdbath topped up, not only providing birds with bath water but also a recognised source of drinking water.  Here at Grosvenor, we have a great range of everything you need to provide different varieties of birds with seeds and feed mixes to ensure each bird receives the correct nutrients as a supplement to their natural diets.

Continue to watch for British bats during the evenings, together with young mammals such as badgers, foxes, hedgehogs and voles.  It is a common misconception that a young hedgehog should be fed with bread and milk.  Please don’t do this as cat or dog food is preferable.  Again, visit our wildlife department on your next visit to Grosvenor to see our range of hogitats, bat boxes and many more habitats for our wildlife to nest in.

You should still be able to see plenty of butterflies in September and insects too.  Encourage wildlife to your garden by ignoring a few general gardening jobs.  For example, don’t trim your hedges too often as they provide fantastic shelter and nutrition for wildlife.  Roses that provide hips should be left too as they also provide a source of food.  If you are looking to attract more insects to your garden in particular, include plants such as Buddleia and Lavenders.  Single flowered blooms generally attract more insects.

Finally, make the most of the closing days of summer and enjoy your garden.  Next month we will be taking a look at the arrival of autumn and preparing for winter.

Top Tips for September:
Plant spring flowering bulbs
2. Continue to water tender plants regularly
3. Add mulch to your borders to help regulate moisture from late summer rainfalls
4. Keep your birdbath topped up
5. Begin to harvest vegetables for winter.

Taking the plunge for Claire House… Again!

Daniel Griffiths, one of our Customer Service Assistants decided to follow the lead of his colleagues and abseil down the Mersey Tunnel Vents building last Sunday (15th August), raising nearly £300 for our nominated charity, Claire House Children’s Hospice. 

Dan had to climb a series of vertical ladders before he even reached the top of the building!  Definitely not a feat for the faint-hearted! 

Well done Dan!                         

Garden Party Success

We had a fantastic Garden Party last weekend with an unprecedented response to our cartoon and circus skills workshops in particular.  With face painting, balloon modelling and magic tricks, nature activities and stiltwalking  – there was even a delicious barbecue and cream teas in the Café.  And the weather was kind to us too!