News and announcements from Grosvenor Garden Centre, Chester


Archive for October, 2011

Cooking up a storm!

Following the success of Grosvenor’s fundraising bake sale last year, the team on Wrexham Road in Belgrave has once again marked National Baking Week (17th – 23rd October) by donning their aprons and raising their rolling pins for Claire House Children’s Hospice, the Garden Centre’s adopted charity for 2011.

With goodies ranging from muffins to cheese and ham pinwheels to rocky roads, cookies to doughnuts – each item was sold in the staff room for a nominal donation, raising a grand total of £65 raised during National Baking Week.

And Grosvenor’s Cafe joined in too by creating a special Claire House cupcake with all proceeds from each sale donated to the children’s hospice in Bebington.

The team bake sale and the special creation in the Cafe are the latest in a series of fundraising activities undertaken by Grosvenor in support of Claire House this year - all embarked on and supported by staff at Grosvenor.

“The enthusiasm for the week’s sale was fantastic with members of the team kindly donating their time and home baked cakes and savouries towards the cause.  And our grateful thanks also go to everyone who supported the initiative in the Cafe - the Claire House cupcake was a particular favourite during National Baking Week,” said Jenny Carr, customer services supervisor and organiser of Grosvenor’s bake sale.
“We would like to thank the Garden Centre and all the staff for their continued support and dedication to our wonderful children’s Hospice.

At Claire House, we all really appreciate the way in which everyone at Grosvenor are so positive and motivated to help us towards raising the £2.5million we need each year to provide the specialist quality and care to our children and their families, both at the Hospice and within their own homes.

The public are generally not aware that nearly 20% of our children come from the Cheshire area so it is especially important to us to have been chosen as the Grosvenor Garden Centre’s Charity,” commented Abi Smith, area fundraising manager, Claire House Children’s Hospice.

Dee-licious Apple Weekend at Grosvenor

Grosvenor’s Apple Weekend last Saturday and Sunday was hailed a great success as visitors embraced the British apple and joined Grosvenor, Eaton Estate and local villages and schools to enjoy the apple-icious event.

Phil Davies Aldford Village Hall Chairman delivers the village applesThere was a fantastic response to the apple juicing appeals on behalf of the villages of Aldford, Eccleston and Saighton who will each create juice from the collections to raise funds over the coming months.

The village of Aldford received 11,000 visitors to its village hall last year and the funds raised from the apple juice over the past two years have helped towards a comprehensive improvement scheme to encourage sustainability.

Tony Grass, one of Grosvenor’s team of horticulturalists proved a popular draw to the Garden Centre as he offered advice on growing apple trees and was able to identify unknown varieties of apples already growing in local gardens.

Visitors saw apple pressing demonstrations using a traditional press and took part in a longest apple peel competition with the winning peel measuring 268cm! The winner, Mia Tan from Pulford, was thrilled to win a £50 garden centre voucher.

Leoni and Sol Brown dressed as Fiesta and Cooking ApplesAnd there were prizes for the younger visitor too with a ‘Find Annie Apple’ competition and any child who visited the garden centre in apple fancy dress received a bag of Grosvenor goodies.

With face painting, balloon modelling and magic tricks taking place throughout the weekend together with traditional weaving demonstrations and music from the Clwyd Clippers, visitors were entertained as they sampled juicy apples and enjoyed pork steaks and burgers from the barbecue and a choice of apple desserts in the Cafe throughout the weekend.

“Our annual celebration of the British apple continues to attract many visitors and we again received a fantastic response to our Apple Weekend, especially from the local community as the villages of Aldford, Eccleston and Saighton received an overwhelming number of apples towards their village juice appeal,” commented Iain Wylie, managing director.

“With so many different varieties of apple to be found in our region, we are proud to provide a source of information and advice for anyone wishing to grow their own apple trees. We also hope to inspire visitors to produce delicious savoury and sweet dishes with their own homegrown apples too,” Iain concluded.

The Grosvenor team joins Jeans for Genes Day!

We had a great response to our efforts to raise funds and awareness of Jeans for Genes Day (Friday 7th October) with members of the team here at Grosvenor swapping their usual trousers for jeans for the day.  Each made a donation to the charity – and we were thrilled to raise the sum of £54! 


Our £54 will help fund care and support for children with genetic disorders and research development of treatments and cures.


Next year, Jeans for Genes Day will take place on Friday 5th October, so please encourage your friends and workmates to take part too.  All you need to do is swap your usual trousers for jeans and donate to this worthy cause.  It really could not be easier.


See for further information.


And put the date in your 2012 diary to support us again next year!


Gardening Tips for October

Start the month with a salute to the great British conifer as we celebrate National Conifer Week from 1st – 9th October.

There really is a conifer to suit every position in your garden and, available in all shapes and sizes, we can help you choose the perfect conifer for you, especially as we can save you money this week with our great 3 for 2 offer on picea glauca albertiana conica; cupressus mac.wilma and cham. Lawsoniana ellwoods gold varieties.

Whether you are looking to add interest, structure or texture, our great British conifers are easy to care for, will grow quickly and as they are all evergreen, will provide all-round colour in your garden too.

October is a busy month in the garden and with Halloween at the end of the month, you should see a great harvest of pumpkins from your Edible Garden too!

So read on for our tips for getting the most from your garden this month.

The leaves are falling and there will soon be a distinct chill to the air, even though this week has seen soaring temperatures!  But be prepared for high winds and the start of the autumn rainy season over the coming weeks as the October weather begins to take hold.

The soil has not cooled down too much just yet so that you can encourage the growth of roots for newly planted shrubs and hardy plants.  And this is the perfect time to plant a hedge of conifers too.

Cut back the stems of flowering perennial plants (‘perennial’ means these plants reappear every year) including Penstemon and Rudbeckia.  Their flowering season is over and they should be tidied up – remember to add the remnants to the compost heap.  Some perennials will flower for a while yet and should be left alone. These include Asters, Chrysanthemum, Japanese Anemone and Sedum.  Other perennials such as ornamental grasses and Echinops (globe thistle) should also be left for as long as possible as they contain seed heads which will provide food for wild birds, together with colour and interest in your borders this winter.
If you are unsure of the needs of your perennials, please just ask us!

Continue to plant spring flowering bulbs now as crocus and daffodils in particular need to be in the ground early this month.  Feed the soil to ensure maximum nourishment for your bulbs during the growth period of spring. 

Your winter flower bed will look great using specially selected bedding plants including viola and pansies, wallflowers and primulas. 

Kill off any weeds including brambles, docks and nettles to kill weed stems, foliage and roots.  And clear any gravel paths and driveways too. 

Your spring pots should be planted now to give the roots the best chance to develop before the weather becomes harsher. 

We would suggest you choose snowdrops for February, crocus for March, daffodils for April and tulips for May as this will give you good colour before the summer flower heads appear.

Finish sowing seed for new lawns as the soil will still be warm enough to encourage germination.  You should have already nourished your soil with a good fertiliser for stronger roots.

Rake your lawn to remove any thatch.  This is called ‘scarifying’.  If your lawn has not been fed since summer, an autumn feed will provide plenty of nutrients to harden growth and give your lawn the best start for the winter.

All outdoor tomatoes should be harvested now as they will continue to ripen indoors. 

Marrows and winter squash will also be ready for harvest and stored once their skins have hardened for delicious warming winter recipes.

Pick your ripened pears and apples and enjoy straight away or store in a cool place. 

Don’t forget to come and celebrate the apple on Saturday 22nd and 23rd October from 11am until 3pm as we once again hold our popular Apple Weekend!