News and announcements from Grosvenor Garden Centre, Chester


Archive for July, 2012

Visit Grosvenor’s New Real Food Festival this weekend!

Visit us here at Grosvenor Garden Centre this weekend and honour the tastiest produce from the region at our new Real Food Festival.

Fresh fruit and vegetables from John's farm at Grosvenor's Real Food Festival

Enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables from John's farm at Grosvenor's Real Food Festival

On Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th July from 10am until 4pm, the Festival offers visitors the chance to see many of the popular favourites from the Centre’s monthly Farmers’ Market.  Held in conjunction with Celyn Farmers’ Market, the stallholders and artisan producers from around the region will be happy to talk to visitors about their farming and cooking methods while visitors taste their freshly made, home-grown and home-baked goods before buying to enjoy at home.

Delicious produce will be available throughout the weekend including vegetarian sweet and savoury foods, breads, pork and fresh vegetables, cheeses, sauces and preserves, duck eggs, cakes and pies.

“Our monthly Farmers’ Market, held on the second Friday of each month here at the Centre, proves extremely popular and our annual Real Food Festivals are always well attended.  Next weekend will see a combination of many of our favourites from our monthly Market located within our plant area and tastings in our diverse food department all weekend too,” commented Dave Maguire, Grosvenor’s Food Department Manager.

“We are delighted to once again host the Festival to celebrate the excellent produce available from Cheshire and North Wales and offer everyone the chance to save food miles and support local produce,” Dave concluded.

For more information or to exhibit, please call Grosvenor Garden Centre Customer Services on 01244 625200.

Grosvenor Garden Centre launches support for local B.I.R.D. Charity

We have just announced B.I.R.D. (Brain Injury Rehabilitation and Development) as our nominated charity for 2012/13.

Helen Schielke and Sam Corner from B.I.R.D. with staff at Grosvenor Garden Centre

Helen Schielke and Sam Corner from B.I.R.D. with staff at Grosvenor Garden Centre

Located close to the Garden Centre in the village of Eccleston, B.I.R.D. is a small charity with only six members of staff including physiotherapists and psychologists, yet the team supports around 200 adults and children each year.

Using techniques, rehabilitation and treatment tailored to the needs of the individual, B.I.R.D. helps not only people who have received a brain injury through an accident or stroke, but also adults and children with long term conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy and dyspraxia.

“We work hard to devise a treatment or rehabilitation programme that can be followed at home and monitored through regular assessments here at the Centre,” stated Helen Schielke, practice manager, B.I.R.D.

With the help of staff and visitors to Grosvenor Garden Centre, the Centre hopes to raise a considerable amount of funds over the next 12 months to support the efforts of such a worthwhile charity.

“The team at B.I.R.D. works hard to ensure the best possible outcome for all the families in their care and by offering our support, we hope to raise not only a substantial amount of funding to aid their work, but also to help raise awareness of their valuable operation on the outskirts of Chester,” said Wesley Haywood from Grosvenor Garden Centre.

“Any funding is most welcome and we are delighted that Grosvenor Garden Centre has announced its support of B.I.R.D. throughout 2012, our 30th anniversary year,” concluded Helen.

The announcement that we have chosen B.I.R.D. as our charity of the year is the latest in a long line of ongoing community and charity initiatives supported by us here at Grosvenor Garden Centre.  See previous blogs for more details including our Guerilla Gardeners who hit the community for Garden Re-Leaf Day in March.

Our Plant of the Month this July, the Dahlia

For dramatic, eye-catching, showy displays in a myriad of colours, you can’t go wrong with the Dahlia.

Seeing resurgence in popularity, it is no wonder the Dahlia has returned to our hearts with its long-flowering blooms which last from mid-summer to the early frosts of autumn.

Dahlia - our Plant of the Month

Dahlia - our Plant of the Month

The Dahlia really does provide an exceptional display in a variety of forms so if you are a beginner gardener, unsure of where to start but would like a vibrant show of large, colourful blooms, the Dahlia is the perfect plant to begin.

Simple to care for, they perform equally as well in many soil types and locations but prefer a fertile, well drained soil in a sunny position.  Be aware that they do need to be protected from frosts and should be watered well and fed with a high potash liquid feed every fortnight from now until early September.

You can control the number of stems on your Dahlia to provide you with your perfect display.  For example, if you would like very large blooms, you should limit the number of stems on your plant to three or five per plant.  If you would rather have smaller blooms but more of them, allow between seven and 10 flowering stems on your Dahlia.

As always, remember to deadhead regularly to promote further growth and a flourishing show of colour right through to the autumn.

Gardening tips for July

Summer has well and truly arrived but whether the good weather arrives too remains to be seen!

Your beds and borders will be at their height of colour now from your favoured bedding plants and your Edible Garden will be producing a high yield of fruit and vegetables.

Watering is such an important item on your ‘to do’ list that it should now be second nature to head out to the garden every evening with your watering systems.  Don’t forget to reuse water collected in your water butts for an environmentally friendly way to keep on top of that important job.

Water and feed at the same time with a watering system

Water and feed at the same time with a watering system

If  you have not already done so, add a layer of decorative bark round each of your shrubs as mulch for your beds.  This is a top tip for retaining moisture at the roots so that it does not evaporate from the surface of the soil.

Our Plant of the Month this July is the Dahlia and this is definitely the month to enjoy them at their best although they should continue to flower right up to the first frosts in autumn.  The Dahlia will grow well in most soil types and locations and will offer large, showy blooms for eye-catching splendour.

Roses are a popular favourite too, particularly as they are so versatile, with dwarf varieties perfect for pots and containers; tall, rambling roses for climbing interest against fences or walls and of course, the rose bush which is perfect for beds and borders. Mix and match your roses or stick to a number of favourites but keep an eye open for aphids.  Use a systemic insecticide to kill aphids and protect your roses for the coming three weeks or so.

Choose 'Peace' for a delightful display in your rose garden

Choose'Peace' for your rose garden

You may notice some of your other plants such as fuchsias or hollyhocks, together with your roses, may begin to suffer from diseases including mildew.  Again, there are plenty of fungicides available, so always feel free to ask one a member of our team for their advice on stamping out these bugs and protecting them from attack.

We may endure more rain than we would like this month, so you may not need to water your plants additionally.  If they do become dry, make sure new plants and shrubs receive a good, occasional soaking rather than a daily shower.  This will encourage a deeper root system to establish.  A regular feeding will benefit all your perennials (plants that re-appear every year) and shrubs.

All flowering plants will need to be regularly dead headed to encourage new blooms and a greater growth.
These tips include hanging baskets and containers too which should be monitored daily for water retention and limp blooms.

Once your lawn has had a good soaking from rainfall, take the opportunity to feed it.  Grass roots are minimal and will deteriorate in dry weather.  A summer feed will ensure a lush, vibrant deep green colour and stimulate growth of roots too.  Choose from soluble or granular lawn treatments or you may prefer a 3-in-1 option that will kill moss and broadleaved weeds at the same time as encouraging growth and improving the appearance of your lawn.

There is no point in working so hard on your baskets, borders and lawn without completing the finishing touches such as tidying your pathways and gravel areas.   Treatments and weedkillers are available specifically for these areas whereby any weeds will be suppressed and prevented for around three months.

Dependent upon which fruits and vegetables you have chosen to grow in your Edible Garden, you should be reaping great benefits from high yield this month for delicious salads and summertime dining.  Bumper crops of tomatoes will now benefit from a high potash feed for maximum growth.  Lift each leaf and check for whitefly.  If they are present, you will need to treat the tomato plant with a systemic insecticide which is suitable for use on edible crops.

Feed tomatoes and peppers with Tomorite

Feed tomatoes and peppers with Tomorite

Check your plot for any weeds as these will steal much-needed moisture and nutrients from your crops.  Hoe regularly and carefully between the rows of crops or choose a suitable weedkiller. Please do ask if you have any queries or need advice – we are here to help.

Beans such as French and runner should be ready for picking now.  Keep well watered and feed with a soluble plant food for more crops.

Soft fruits such as blackcurrants, raspberries and strawberries should be picked as they ripen.  Birds need feeding throughout the year but they have their own seed and nuts so make sure they don’t help themselves to your fruits by protecting crops with netting.

Finally, make the most of whatever weather we experience this month and head outdoors while the days are long and evenings balmy.  The scent of freshly cut grass, scented blooms and barbecues epitomise summer and let us hope for plenty of sunshine!