News and announcements from Grosvenor Garden Centre, Chester

Grosvenor

Archive for March, 2012

Our guerilla gardeners celebrate Garden Re-Leaf Day!

Our team of crack gardeners, including superhero Grosvenorman were out and about in the local community on Tuesday supporting the UK’s first Garden Re-Leaf Day (13th March).

Grosvenorman and the team of guerilla gardeners transform local projects

Grosvenorman and the team of guerilla gardeners transform local projects

Marking the beginning of the gardening season, the first Garden Re-Leaf Day saw our team support community initiatives including a children’s workshop at Hope House Children’s Hospice in Oswestry; a garden makeover at Eccleston Primary School; landscaping at Aldford Village Hall and the donation of compost, plants and horticultural advice for an allotment garden at Blacon Kids Community Club.

Grosvenorman helps Keeley from Hope House Children's Hospice with her planting

Grosvenorman helps Keeley from Hope House Children's Hospice with her planting

Grosvenorman’s visit to Hope House Children’s Hospice brightened up a dull Tuesday with a donation of two planters and a plant workshop to help the children learn about potting up pansies and growing seeds with hands-on learning for each child.

“The visit from Grosvenorman and the guerrilla gardeners from Grosvenor was a real treat for the children today,” commented Rachel Jones, Fundraiser, Wrexham and Chester.

“Such interactive learning for the children to help them improve their skills and understanding of gardening was a great experience.  Gardening is a much enjoyed part of our therapy sessions and today’s visit from Grosvenorman in particular will encourage the children to develop their own outdoor spaces, together with the Greenfingers garden here at Hope House.” Rachel concluded.

Eccleston Primary School saw a team of Grosvenor guerrilla gardeners prepare and plant two vegetable gardens filled with soft fruits, herbs and plants to attract bees and wildlife.  The gardeners also planted a new hedge, re-potted planted containers and tidied up borders.   Grosvenorman flew in to lend his support and met the children who will benefit from the newly revamped garden.

Grosvenor's guerilla gardeners transform an area of Eccleston Primary School

Grosvenor's guerilla gardeners transform the garden at Eccleston Primary School

Aldford Village Hall was also a venue for a garden makeover following a complete interior refurbishment taking more than 15 months.

“The Grosvenor guerrilla gardeners could not have come at a better time!” said Phil Davies, Chairman, Aldford Village Hall Committee.

Grosvenor's guerilla gardeners help villagers at Aldford Village Hall

Grosvenorman joins more guerilla gardeners at Aldford Village Hall

“We needed to start on the outside area to bring it in line with the work we have undertaken insidethe Village Hall.  With Grosvenor’s help, we have been able to develop our initial plans for the front garden area and it already looks completely transformed,” concluded Phil.

Completing Grosvenor’s marathon day of guerrilla gardening was a delivery of compost and plants to aid Blacon Kids Community Club with a new allotment garden.  Charles Ashley, one of Grosvenor’s horticulturalists, was also on hand with advice on how to make the most of their new productive area.

“Today has been a great success for the inaugural Garden Re-Leaf Day around the country,” said Iain Wylie, managing director, Grosvenor.

“Our teams of guerrilla gardeners really enjoyed getting stuck into the community projects and have obviously made a great impact around the local area.  Garden Re-Leaf Day was aimed at not only creating awareness of the start of the gardening season, but also raising funds for the horticultural charity, Greenfingers, which provides magical and inspirational gardens at children’s hospices in the UK.  Our in-store collection for Greenfingers raised hundreds of pounds and I would like to extend our thanks to everyone who has supported us in our endeavours today, ” said Iain.

A job well done - the guerilla gardeners relax at the end of a great day

A job well done - the guerilla gardeners relax at the end of a great day

Gardening tips for March

March sees the beginning of spring which, for the first time, will be marked by Garden Re-Leaf Day next Tuesday (13th).  Not only will the day herald the beginning of the gardening season, it will also offer an opportunity to raise funds for Greenfingers, the garden industry charity that creates gardens at children’s hospices around the UK.  Watch for a team of Grosvenor gardeners out and about in the community near you!

As the gardening season begins, it is time to get out in the garden, enjoy the first blooms and plan for summer.

Give your lawn some TLC this month

Give your lawn some TLC this month

Lawncare begins in earnest this month with some much needed TLC after the winter.  Although we didn’t see the ravages of the winter months last year, we could still experience harsh chills and frosts so choose mild days to brush your lawn and remove any built-up debris.  Rake it too so that the grass stands upright ready for that first cut.

The forecast looks quite settled and mild for the rest of the month so you have plenty of time to get started.

Bolster the health of your lawn with a spring feed and give it the best possible start to the growing season.

If you are a novice gardener and want a quick fix but don’t know where to start, simply plant up pots of bulbs ready for flowering during the summer and choose from our large selection of seeds.  Sow them now – summer is not far away!

Pick off flower heads once they have faded

Pick off flower heads once they have faded

All your plants will benefit from a good feed now to help strengthen their root system ready for the flowering and growing season - shrubs and trees will too.  A slow-release fertiliser will give good all-round results.

Stand back and take a long, hard look at your garden.  Deadhead any bedding plants; prune and tidy shrubs and hedges to provide more space for growth.

Existing clematis will enjoy a good pruning this month and take a look at your roses too and remove any damaged stems.

The settled weather will not last forever so collect any rainwater in a water butt.  This is a fantastic way to save water and if used properly, can provide you with a great source to water your garden during the months to come.  As we all know, droughts have been predicted in some areas of the country this year, so there really has never been a better time to be prepared and buy a water butt.

Looking for the Good Life in your garden?  Turn an unproductive area of lawn into a veritable feast on a plate by growing your own fruit and vegetables. Our popular Good Life Weekend returns on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th March from 11am – 3pm so if you have any queries at all about creating an Edible Garden or improving your yields, simply call in and ask one of our experts.  You can even ask about raising chickens and see the mini travelling farm!

Sow indoor varieties of tomato seeds now.  The taste from homegrown tomatoes is delicious so why not try a few different options?  They are a very easy starting point for you to begin growing your own.  Outdoor varieties can be sown later this month so they will be ready for planting out in June.

If you are short of space and yet want to give growing your own a chance, why not choose compact varieties of vegetables which will be perfectly happy growing in a pot.  Plant them this month and into April for best results.  And of course, herbs provide a handy crop when grown on kitchen window sills too.  If you have more space, plant them outside or even in hanging baskets!

Potatoes will produce sturdy shoots in light conditions

Potatoes will produce sturdy shoots in light conditions

Leave your early seed potatoes to stand in a cool, bright position and begin to sow crops outdoors including broad beans, lettuces, leeks, beetroot and radishes.  Please do feel free to ask us for more advice if you need it – we are here to help.

And don’t forget our Good Life Weekend later this month, which coincides with the clocks springing forward by one hour too so we can really make the most of our gardens even later into the evenings.

Our March Plant of the Month - Vinca

The Vinca minor variety of beautiful small flowered plant is perfect for ground cover with its compact blooms, much smaller than its related Vinca major varieties including the Periwinkle. Use the Vinca minor in small beds or borders to brighten a dull patch of soil between established plants.  You can also use it to rejuvenate winter baskets and containers too. Bright foliage coupled with delightful blue flowers in the springtime will create colour and interest right through to winter.  And the Vinca  will be equally as happy under trees, shrubs and roses as in dry, shady locations where it will spread to fill dreary areas with its vibrant foliage. Easy to grow and care for, the Vinca loves most types of soil but of course, requires decent drainage to flourish. Try planting spring bulbs such as crocus and snowdrops to complement the vibrant green of the Vinca foliage and the soft blues of the blooms.

Our March Plant of the Month: Vinca