News and announcements from Grosvenor Garden Centre, Chester


Archive for May, 2012

Record funds raised for Claire House!

We have raised a record amount of more than £15,000 for our nominated charity, Claire House Children’s Hospice.

Following two years of fundraising activities, raising £8,000 last year and £7,360 this year, members of the Grosvenor team took part in an abseil from the Liver Building, bake sales and the completion of three gruelling marathons by one of our longest serving members, horticulturalist Charles Ashley.

Charles, aged 54 from Llangollen, raised more than £3,000 for Claire House by completing the 2012 London Marathon last month in four hours and 15 minutes.  Charles has also completed two Snowdonia marathons on behalf of the charity, bringing his personal total to more than £6,000.

More than £15,000 raised for Claire House!

More than £15,000 raised for Claire House!

“Charles’ determination to raise such a valuable sum of money for Claire House knows no bounds and we could not be more proud of his efforts,” said Iain Wylie, managing director.

Together with monies raised from in-store collections, we have continued our fundraising endeavours for Claire House to help the hospice continue to provide respite, palliative and end of life care for more than 160 children each year with life limiting and life threatening illnesses.

“I would like to extend my gratitude to everyone at the Garden Centre and its customers for raising such an incredible amount for Claire House over the past two years,” commented Jane Collingwood, Volunteer Manager, Claire House Children’s Hospice.

“Support from businesses such as Grosvenor Garden Centre is essential as we endeavour to help not only the children in our care but to support their families too from locations as wide-ranging as Cheshire, Merseyside, North Wales, Wirral and the Isle of Man.  The fantastic amount of money raised by the team and customers at Grosvenor is very much appreciated by everyone at Claire House Children’s Hospice,” concluded Jane.

Our May Plant of the Month - Petunia

Our Plant of the Month this May is Petunia.   Due to its easy to grow nature, versatility and wide choice of colours and style of blooms, Petunia really is one of our most popular choices.

Available in all colours of the rainbow, the Petunia can be used to brighten up any area of your garden – from compact trailing varieties perfect for hanging baskets to those best suited to beds and borders for dense ground cover.

Simple to grow and care for, keep your Petunia looking its best by discarding dead flower heads and, if growing in a basket or container, water daily during periods of dry weather.  Feed regularly to boost growth too.  This is all you need to do to keep your Petunia flourishing throughout the summer months until the first frosts of autumn.  This plant really is perfect for both the beginner gardener and the enthusiast alike.

Mix with other bedding plants for a large range of colour and flower shapes.  They benefit most from full sun and a wide range of soils are suitable.  Choose multipurpose compost for the best display from your container planted displays and always take care on those frosty evenings and keep them inside until the risk of frost has passed.

Moonface Petunia

Moonface Petunia


Gardening tips for May

May is usually a wonderful month full of hope for the approaching summer months with slightly warmer weather and of course, a Bank Holiday!

Do not let a rainy forecast deter you from working with your garden.  There is plenty you can do undercover to give your garden a boost.

Emerging seedlings can prick out now and pot on to ensure as much healthy growth as possible before you move them outside.

Your new bedding plants would benefit from a period of hardening outside.  The best place to locate them is near to a south-facing wall so that they become used to colder conditions.  They will need to be protected with fleece when frost is forecast to give them the best chance before you plant them out.

Your climbers such as Clematis and Wisteria will be enjoying strong growth this month and you should see plenty of blooms and new buds.  They do not appreciate taming or trimming so just leave them to cover your walls and fences and enjoy their vibrancy.

Minimise the risk of plant disease by treating roses and shrubs with a fungicide to keep them under control before summer. 

Delphinium, Lupin, Peony and other tall perennials need additional support so tie stakes to the stems .  This will bolster them during bad weather and windy.

To give your perennials a boost, apply mulch around the roots.  This will keep the area moist and help your plants to flourish.

Your flower beds and borders will soon be home to summer bedding plants for colour from the end of the month right through to the early frosts of autumn.  So, to ensure you make the most from your plants, prepare your soil now with a glyphosate weedkiller.  This will make sure your soil is cleared of any unwanted growth.  Feed the soil at this stage too so that your plants will benefit from a healthy, strong deep root system and as many nutrients as possible.

If you are a fan of Busy Lizzies, you may have heard of the virulent form of Downy Mildew that has affected these favoured plants.  As we wish to avoid any possible disappointment, we have made the decision to discontinue Busy Lizzies this year.  Our full reasons for this decision are available here.

But the Downy Mildew situation gives you the perfect opportunity to choose something a little different for your beds and borders this year.  Why not take a look at our full plant canopy, bursting with beautiful summer flowering bedding plants to try instead.

Now that your beds and borders are ready for colour, it is time to turn your attention to your patio and plant up cheerful baskets, pots and containers to flower throughout the summer months.  We recommend mixing up trailing plants with compact bushes and of course, Jubilee fever is just around the corner so why not go for a patriotic look of red, white and blue and join the celebrations?

Our Plant of the Month in May is the Petunia which is perfect for growing in baskets and pots.  Remember to deadhead regularly for best results.  Read more about our Plant of the Month here. 

Don’t forget, we are here to help with any queries at all – whether for the home or garden.  Why not follow us on Twitter @GardenCentre and Facebook too?